Whitetail Rut-cation Journal 2018
This journal will chronicle my Rut-cation and review tactics, based on weather and timing, to hunt NE Ohio whitetail deer. I look forward to sharing this ongoing story with you.
Good Luck Everyone and – Stay Afflicted with Whitetail OCD
(Decided to hunt some October Pre-Rut this year. Will be out through 10/29 in this October phase)
- Pressure 30.38
- NW winds 5 MPH
- Morning Low 31 degrees
- Afternoon highs in middle 40’s
- Waning Gibbous
- Rise: 7:29 PM
- Set: 8:29 AM
- Hunt Edge where hayfield, overgrown field, and timber all meet
- Trial Cameras have 3 good bucks using this location (Along with some pesky coyotes)
- Morning/Evening Sits
- Frosty cold 32 degrees in late October
- Looking for cruizing bucks as we get close to November
It was 5 AM and I was in the woods hanging a run and gun setup in a new location. I chose to get in early as this would be my first time setting up in the dark. I was glad I did. It took twice as long as I anticipated due to the calm windspeed this morning. Every noise seemed amplified in the cool crisp morning air. I did my best to work quickly when the numerous trains went through town to help cover the sound of hanging the stand. By 6 AM, I was sitting in my stand, frustrated for taking so long, but excited for the hunt.
At 6:50 AM the sounds of a deer approaching in the frosty hayfield caught my attention. The full moon illuminated the area and I could see the body slipping down the edge of the overgrown field right towards me. The whitetail came in, worked a nearby scrape and proceeded to pass along the trail right in front of my stand. Perfect, except it was still dark outside.
At 7:03 AM, still under the cover of darkness, I hear the sound of another deer approaching from the hayfield. This time the deer hugged the cover tightly. Through the moonlight, I could make out the shape of a very large deer as it strolled past my stand a mere 10 yards away. This deer did not do anything but follow the trail and work off into the bedding. Two deer at “dark thirty” in the morning! Right spot, wrong time.
Around 7:20 AM on my downwind side a doe caught a faint scent of me and blew multiple times. She walked off slowly after alerting the woods. I was hunting the trail with the wind in my face and she was in the timber behind me. I was discouraged but decided to stay in the stand.
Next, at 8:00 AM four doe walk the edge and come into my location.
And at 8:19 AM three small bucks cruizing in the hayfield. One was a spike and the other had a small basket rack. He looked like a 6-point, but young none the less.
Around 10:00 AM, I exited the stand for the morning.
Good wind direction, so I choose to hunt the same stand as the morning. My plan was to hopefully catch one on the way out to feed in the evening. The two bucks that came in during the morning sit were just before sunrise. My thought was that their preferred bedding location had to be nearby.
At 5:00 PM two doe were feeding on acorns in the hayfield on my way back in and I bumped them off the field.
Nothing else moved during the remainder of the evening hunt. My best guess is that when I bumped the two doe off the field, they cleared the timber and bedding area as well. They never blew, but deer tend to react to other deer. NOTE TO SELF: if this happens again, then the location will be a morning sit or all day sit location. I am not sure if I was more disappointed at not seeing deer or not seeing those coyotes.
It was an eventful morning sit. My thoughts are the young bucks are up and moving, while the mature deer are staying nocturnal for the most part. As we inch closer to the start of the seeking phase, I anticipate movement will be steadily on the rise. We have rain forecast for the next several days here in NE Ohio. The timing and amount of precipitation will determine my strategy. I want to catch the movement just before and just after the rain events. Timing is everything!
Tomorrow, the wind is 100 percent wrong for this location. I was wanting to rest it anyway, so I may be in the killing tree for the morning. This time of year, anything can happen, and I want to take advantage of every moment possible without burning out a stand.
Till tomorrow, everyone be safe in the woods and STAY AFFLICTED with WHITETAIL OCD.