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I get a lot of questions about when peak whitetail rut occurs. As a result of these questions - I think many people have different ideas about what peak rut is.

Peak rut (scientifically speaking) is the one week of the year when more does get bred than during any other week. It is often when hunters are most likely to see one or more bucks acting stupid (looking for, chasing or tending does) during daylight hours.

I think many hunters think they will see lots of BIG bucks during this time. This may or may not true ... It is the time when when bucks are most likely to be moving during daylight hours.

However, it is difficult for hunters to determine, or even SEE, when peak breeding occurs, because studies have shown that rarely do more than 25% of the does in an area get bred during any one week. Which m eans that if you (the hunter) actually keep track of 10 does in your area, and see them get bred, you will only see 2-3 does in estrus during the ONE WEEK of peak rut, with 2-3 does being bred the week before peak rut, and 2-3 does being bred the week after peak rut.

You'll never know the difference!!!!

As to numbers of bucks acting stupid during peak rut: Unfortunately - depending on the quality of the habitat, the number or deer per square mile, the buck to doe ratio, and the ages of the bucks in the area, this can be highly variable.

So, what you should do is spend the 2-3 weeks when those 50% of the does are in estrus - hunting hard, from sunries to sunset, with most good hunting opportunities occuring before noon, and after 3 PM.

If you can - either choose one particular buck to hunt, and pattern it's movements - or look for a travel corridor or evening staging area (near food sources) to hunt bucks, because where the does are (or move) - is where the bucks will sooner or later be.

IF you pattern a buck the best time to hunt is NOT during peak rut, because that is when bucks are most unpredictable. What you should do is hunt during peak scraping, about 2-3 weeks before peak rut, when individual bucks are most predictabel along their rub routes.

I hope that helps.

God bless,

T.R.
 
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