Hunting early season or the rut?
There is a debate going on weather hunting early season can be just as productive or even better then hunting the rut. Really it all comes down to being in the right place at the right time but If you realy put in alot of time scouting in the summer months i beleave that you may have a better chance getting that big buck as he will still be on his summer patterns. So lets here what time of year you all would rather hunt. The early days of september where you can pattern deer, or early november where there running wild.
Mike Richardsonearly season = food and cover
I have most success in november by hunting saddles and getting buck cruising ridge tops scent checking does. Definetly hunt all day after october 25th in PA
Hunt ManI like my odds on the first week of archery season.
John JacksonHonestly, I would love to have an early season buck in full velvet on my wall. They just look amazing. As for the rut, I don't allow anyone to hunt my properties at that time. I want those bucks breeding my does and perpetuating the herd. While it may be the most productive time to hunt a buck as they do get truly STUPID, I need that herd growth more.
Joshua Nearhoofyour land your call not a bad idea at all if you want more deer around i like your thinking !
Hunt ManThat is a good point.
Joe OverbyI like my odds the first week of bow season her in Ga. I like the weather in November here in Ga. I hate sweat and skeeters, regards.
Zack DoyleThe first week of bow season always tends to be the best time to bag a buck you've had your eyes on all year long. The feeding patterns haven't shifted yet, and most bucks will still be in their summer type routines. They are also unaware of your presence, at least for the first day or so. The rut is a much more exciting time to hunt. I love rattling and calling, and new bucks you have no knowledge of can show up on your property at any time. Lovesick bucks are easier to fool, but a big mature deer still won't be a pushover.
As far as not hunting during the rut to let the herd grow, from a biological standpoint, it would be wiser to not hunt during the early season. If you kill a buck early, he will have zero chance to reproduce. If you kill a buck during the rut, there is a good chance he has bred at least one doe because they will all hit peak estrous at different times. One way or another, nearly all available does will be bred regardless of the number of bucks around. Deer are of course not monogamous, and one buck may breed more than 30 does in a single season. If you want your herd to increase, don't harvest any does at all, all season long. Stick to strictly older age class bucks, that have had several seasons to pass along genetic information. Many people are also under the influence that they can control the genetics of their herd by harvesting cull bucks, which is very largely untrue, as half of the genetic material comes from the doe. Harvesting cull bucks does however decrease competition for mates, and very minimally lowers pressure on food sources. Let your does live, and your herd will grow.
Nick McPhersonWith the weather last season here in Eastern Ky we had the worst rut I've ever seen and I'm curious if there was one. I hunted 3 days a week on my farm and only saw 1 buck running with the doe herd. There were days of 12-18 doe in the field for hours and no sign of any bucks. I rattled grunted bleeted and finally decided doe patrol. This year Im taking vacation to be able to hit the early season and again for rut so I hope everyone has some better luck than I did last year
Joshua Nearhoofthink it was the same everywhere i no thats how it was here in pa and in ohio for that matter
Tom BennettI like the rut
Todd QuinnWhile I love hunting the rut, usually by the time bow season comes around, Im out of venison and ready to start filling the freezer. I usually see more deer early season, and have take several bucks early. I have also taken many bucks during the rut. The hunting is different at each time. Usually warmer early, and here in NY pretty darn cold most of the time during the rut. I like warm :-) Early season for me.
jaclyn bohneti love hunting in the early season... the coats are nicer and i find the meat is a little bit better tasting then in the rut
Audra GossI don't hunt does, period. There have been some does that the family bagged in the bow season (Oct 15-Nov 26), that were pregnant, even though our rut isn't supposed to come til late December, early January. I prefer the midseason, late Nov to early Dec; that's when I see the most action.
Justin DrabickEarly season for sure!
larry williamsRut I found that rattling and doe in heat bleat work rather well called four different buck in last year my son missed a nice 7 point and the others I could not get a clean shot at welcome to bow hunting. Could have been worse.We both got our buck in rifle though.