While the second rut may be rare to experience, it’s definitely important to be aware of it. Plus know a few tactics for taking advantage of its occurrence. The possibility of second rut can do wonders for your attitude and sense of hope in the woods. So hunt hard and be ready for that rutting buck!
Second Rut is Rare to Experience
What is the “second rut”? This is a period of time roughly one month after the peak rut. During this time, fawns or other does that were not bred come into estrus. Of course, this brief period of time in early to mid-December can provide occasional flurries of rutting action. Bucks are looking for those last few remaining chances at action.
Now the second rut is not nearly as prevalent or noticeable as the primary rut. But there can still be some solid action. So here are a few helpful tips to make the most of the second rut.
Hunt Where The Does Are
When a doe is in heat the bucks will find her. So an ideal option is hunting known doe bedding or feeding areas. It is thought that areas with more does than bucks have more second rut action. It makes sense as these areas would have too few bucks to breed all the does in the first rut. These does will cycle again in December. If you have too many does then this could be your chance to catch that second rut.
Hunt the Travel Corridors
As is true throughout the season, hunting travel corridors will give you an excellent chance. Deer will be moving from bedding to feeding with the cold temperatures upon us. This is the area you will most likely have the best results. These deer have been pressured for months so remember they will change their patterns. The travel corridors they once used will most likely be different now. Set up near the thickest cover that offers passage from bedding to feeding. Wary does will travel these thick areas. Without a doubt the bucks will be there too!
Be Ready – It Will Happen Fast!
You must be especially on your toes during the second rut. Rutting action will be rare. It will be fast and furious when it does happens. Do not get caught unaware. In the late season, it’s easy to assume action won’t happen until late evening. Just remember if a hot doe comes through, all hell can break loose in an instant. You don’t want to miss out on that!
In conclusion, a few things to keep in mind. A spot with a high early doe harvest could be excellent. The reason is that it’s potentially holding a lot of orphaned yearlings and fawns. Focus on small deer and key on their bedding area and daytime food sources. You may just see a shooter make a love-induced mistake.
Do you have some tips or tactics you use in December? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below.
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