The rut is a period in the year when deer are in a mating frenzy, making it an ideal time to hunt for Georgia Whitetail deer. With their mating desires in overdrive, bucks' survival instincts are ignored slightly more than normal in favor of their desire to find a doe to procreate with.
Hunt Into the Wind
The olfactory glands on a buck are an important part of both their survival and procreation instinct, meaning that just because the buck is focused on finding a doe doesn't mean he can't also detect a hunter. Hunting into the wind ensures that your scent will not be carried into the path of the buck, causing it to flee the area.
Minimizing Your Impact
The less you disturb the area around your blind and the area you will be hunting, the more likely it is that you will find a buck wandering into your location. Wearing high rubber boots and gloves when moving through the woods will minimize the chances of you leaving behind a scent trail that will tip off the bucks.
As bucks are actively seeking out does during the rut, creating a fake scent trail into your hunting zone allows you to attract a Georgia Whitetail deer into your sights. Using a hunting drag system with an artificial doe scent in it, you can create a trail which begins elsewhere in the woods, and once picked up by a buck, will lead it to your location.
Faking a Scraping
Scrapings in an area will create the illusion that the section of the woods you are hunting has been a mating site. Use a rake to clear debris beneath a tree with low branches, then sprinkle both male and female deer urine around the base of the tree before hanging a scent pack in the branches over the scraped area.
Calls take advantage of bucks using their hearing to identify rut hotbeds. A rattle call simulates the sounds of antlers bashing into each other, as happens during a battle between two bucks attempting to show off for a doe. Using a rattle call in addition to grunting to replicate the breathing of the battling bucks can attract nearby bucks to investigate.
Rut in Georgia
If looking to hunt the rut in Georgia, look for areas of potential high traffic before the rut begins in early November. Areas which have a high number of rubbings and other signs of deer in a breeding frenzy year after year are ideal. The first cold day in November is the earliest time to get out for the rut, however the rut commonly reaches its most intensely hunted stage in the middle of November. The intensity of rut activity will vary based on the doe-to-buck ratio, with three does for every buck the ideal ratio, while areas with more young bucks will see increased activity earlier than areas with more mature bucks.
- whitetail buck image by Bruce MacQueen from Fotolia.com