By Brandon Wikman
If you have been out in the woods within the last few days you may have realized yourself that rutting action is at its peak! Archery hunters from across the country are licking their lips and putting their time in stand anticipating a cruising, antlered giant. During this time of year things go bonkers. Bucks are knocking antlers, doe are running through the forest, and the odds of a hunter harvesting a buck are high!
Only a few issues arise during this time of year. Often times, bucks are very unpredictable and you may have just as much luck hunting a tree stump in the middle of the woods than anywhere else on a property! Below you will find a few big bucks hangout hot spots that will increase your setup’s success.
Deer must drink water to hydrate themselves. When bucks and doe are burning mass calories by running around in pursuit of love, they think water before food. Deer can go up to 3 days without food. However, whitetail must refresh their taste buds with some type of water source on a daily basis.
Look for small streams, creeks, or ponds where you are hunting. These are key spots that deer will key on throughout the day. There have been more big bucks shot over a waterhole during the rut than any time of the year. As the rut continues, be sure to spend a few days at a watering hole.
Funnels will constrain deer movement to a certain location. Whether it’s an opening in the fence, saddle on a ridge, finger of woods or simply a low spot in a creek bed, funnels are spots to find right now!
Funnels, also known as pinch-points, are spots deer will naturally use during the rut. Take a hard look at your property and think about what natural or unnatural terrain features will help steer deer in your direction. Many times bucks will use these funnel spots because they are the most convenient and easiest way of passage.
3. Food Source
Food is a primary concept in the eye of a whitetail. Even though bucks could care less about grabbing a snack right now, the doe are and will be in the fields or your food plots. Wherever you find doe, you will soon find a buck. Many times bucks will cruise downwind of a food plot or field edge 50 yards or further back in the brush. They will use their nose to identify any hot doe in the field before they even bother entering. Tree stands that are positioned in the woods a bit behind a food plot are dynamite spots to ambush a lovesick buck.
I hope you take these small tidbits of information to help you pinpoint your own hotspot. During this time of year, sometimes luck is your biggest asset; but with careful preparation, you may be able to make your own luck this year!