Rut Update

Show Notes

In this episode, the hosts of the Whitetail Experience podcast share their updates on the Ohio whitetail rut. They talk about the factors that affect deer activity. They also discuss the strategies and tactics they use to hunt bucks during the peak of the rut, such as stand placement, calling, rattling, scents and decoys. 

The hosts also share some of the highlights and lowlights of their season, such as the biggest bucks they saw, the best days they had, the worst mistakes they made, and the most memorable moments they had.

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

All right. Welcome back to the Whitetail Experience Podcast. If you have not killed a buck, stay off the internet. You'll drive yourself crazy. That's my PSA for the day, folks. Put your head down, hunt your hunts. Don't let the internet confuse you. Looks like everybody's shooting bucks because everyone gets the likes when they shoot the bucks.

And so it's to the top of the algorithm, stick your head down, hunt your hunt. Don't worry about other people. Let's see here. I'm going to start this show off with a Dave debacle day. Out there in the woods, it's not so much smooth sailing at times. And Dave, he had himself one of those days. If you cut our Instagram, you saw some clippets, but I think this is worth some audio for Dave telling a story about a rough hunt.

Real quick, here we go. So this morning, I had some definite Okas Hunter debacles. Hang my first stick. Go up and I'm climbing up. And I get to the top and I go to grab my stand to put it on the tree. Guess what? I didn't even bring my tree stand up with me. Top of the tree. No tree stand. Climb back down.

Grab my tree stand real quick. Get all the way back up to [00:01:00] the top again. Realize, I don't have my tree stand strapped. Attach my tether to the tree. Clip it onto my tether. Grab my tree stand strapped. Climb back up the tree for the third time. Grab my hand muff. I took a hot hands out. And put it in my hand muff, that way it would be nice and toasty.

Hand muff out of my backpack, and boop! My hand just falls right to the ground. I guess my hand's just gonna freeze this morning. I'm grabbing my gloves, as I'm putting one on, the other one, I drop it, and it falls. And I'm just like, I'm about to throw myself out the tree stand at this point. Put a cap on that story.

At shooting line, right at legal shooting line. Two guys be walking in, and they got their... Full beam, white lighthouse and that thing everywhere, just beaming the whole woods up, literally daylight. I don't know what they were doing. They probably ended up shooting a giant. That's just how it goes.

Public land. All right. We're going to get back to Dave in a little bit. He's got an update on a few of his hunts, a few funny stories, just Dave being Dave, if you will. I had a pretty good buck encounter. I think the deer got six cents. I think he was like eye level [00:02:00] with me I'm in the bottom on a scrape and He came trotting in and I have one picture from him as a three year old where he came Like from behind the camera and I was looking at where he was on the bluff and I'm like dude I think that he's gonna drop down and hit that scrape and Sure enough.

I think he just said, I'm not gonna go down there today And he literally walked lazily back the way he came. He looked over the bottom for probably three to five minutes I got no idea cuz you know, you might say it was two minutes and really it was like but he stood up there forever, just watching over this little creek bottom y type thing.

I think he was maybe looking to see if there was does or other bucks. And this was a 9am. But the other crazy story I have, very odd feeling, and I can't say I probably reacted the best if you will. I am leaving the woods after a pretty good hunt. [00:03:00] I come around the corner and I'm just tiptoeing because at this point I can see like a shelf below me.

Here's a hammer and he goes left and he goes right and then I watch him and I'm like man his legs look like he's gonna Give out or something. I was like, I know maybe like maybe he slipped on a log or leaves or rocks or something I was like, huh? And I watched him, and I lose sight, and I was like I know he didn't go right, but if he goes left to cruise that shelf I know there's a down log off the end of this point, I can run, maybe meet him there.

So I ran there, sat there for 20 minutes, no big deal. End up back at the truck roughly an hour ish later, and there's a crossbow guy loading his truck. I just said, did you shoot one? He said, yeah, I did, buddy. I said, a big one? He said, yep. I said, what time? He said, the time, and that matched when I watched this giant.

And seeing the stagger, 100 percent that deer was literally about to top over [00:04:00] and I was like, Oh, I was like, Oh, no way. And then I just talked to him. He asked me for a gutting knife because his buddy had locked the truck and I ended up giving him one. And I was like, is it how far away is it?

And it was close. So I went and saw the deer and it's a hammer. I'm not going to put inches. I've sent it to a few people, but it's a nice buck. And then he goes, I shot it at 70 yards and I'm just like, man, like that is, after running in this year with like way more guys with like raven crossbows and mobile gear, you're just like, man, if you can hike up a mountain, you can shoot a compound.

And I probably didn't like, I was pumped for the guy he's, and he's told me he hunts the, down, does this and that and hunts these woods and these hollers and yeah, like he said, it was his biggest buck. And I was pumped for the guy for sure, but it's definitely uh, the 70 yards.

I can't pick up a 30 30 with iron sights and be basketball accurate on every shot [00:05:00] at 30, at 70 yards. And it is what it is, but that is bowhunting 2023 Ohio Whitetails. Yeah, we I forget how many Ravens we've counted now. Let alone, some of the other high end 10 points and stuff, but yeah.

The day of the Dicky Moe, I feel is over at this point. The guy that used to just sit on the ground with a crossbow in hand, an old Horton Super Mag, and I think now that's been replaced by the guy with a a Hawk Helium 3 or 4 pack, and generally an XOP or a Trophy Line saddle. We have seen a lot of guys.

Rocking that kind of combo and holding a crossbow. But that is our state. The good news is after this Saturday and Sunday, the woods will die down with pressure. I think Dave yesterday counted 28 trucks on a particular area. I pulled in for a hunt last week and somebody was sitting there gutting a four pointer.

There was five trucks in the lot. Whoo, it has been a busy time of year. I definitely. [00:06:00] hate the first two weekends in November, as far as pressure is concerned. So the good news is that will subside and our gun season is pushed out a bit. So we can get after him here late in the second half of November.

Guys, good luck in the woods. Here's a Dave update. So I'm going to sit here and just give a quick breakdown of what my 2023 rut hunting, has been going so far this year. I've had a handful of hunts. I've seen one potential shooter out of all of those hunts. A lot of, a ton of little bucks cruising.

I forget what day it was. I hunted a few times that first, first couple days there in November and every day I saw not every day, a couple of days. I've been completely skunked and, but days when I was seeing deer movement, quite a bit of movement, I saw multiple small bucks. I think I had one day I saw three different four pointers.

And what's funny is the four pointers. Weirdly not or [00:07:00] four or six whatever little tiny bucks have been coming in quite often after I do if I do some rattling or some grunting or something like it's like clockwork I can call in four pointers all day long I maybe I need to adjust my grunt tube or something I got it set for four pointer mode but that might need to get changed up but I've seen a ton of small bucks I think it was November 1st maybe I actually had a decent buck come in with a doe so I did get some footage of him.

I don't think it's the best footage because I wasn't sure if I was going to be shooting him or not. So I didn't like, I wasn't able to pull out my camera and record it. I was doing with a Tectocam because, I just saw like a quick glimpse of a decent rack and first thing I did was grab my bow and before I couldn't get a chance to doze already on me and, and he was falling behind her.

And she ended up getting downwind of me. That's another kind of, that's a tough thing. Everybody talks [00:08:00] about, Oh, some doe brought the buck right in. It's if you got the wind in your favor coming from, said direction that you expect the deer to come from, so your wind's good and say if that doe was 80 to a hundred yards in front of the buck, and she comes by now she's downwind.

That's exactly what happened to me. Now I probably still could have got a shot at that buck. But, but she got downwind of me because she was 80 to 100 yards ahead of him and then she smelled me and started blowing and stuff and he, I don't know, I don't think she blew actually. She just started stomping.

She just knew something wasn't right. She didn't know where I was exactly. She just knew something wasn't right. So she started stomping her foot and stuff and he hung up back there at that 40 mark. He ended up giving me like a 30 yard broadside, but I wasn't gonna shoot him anyways. But, that's, everybody talks about the doe bringing in the buck.

And it's man, that doe better be right in front of that buck. And that, this actually happened to me and Andy years back. It's actually on one of our hunting films. Same thing, doe was, a buck was following a doe right there beginning part of November. And she was just [00:09:00] 80 yards ahead of him.

And just roamed her way to downwind and blew the hunt. And that was on a giant that actually I was filming Andy that day. And I remember screaming about a hundred F bombs out the tree stand because, the doe got past us. And, does lingering around, I hate it if does are lingering around you, especially if you're like, if you're not shooting a doe.

Because they're going to bust you eventually. I don't know if it's, I don't think it's a sixth sense thing. I think it's just your scent is just lingering there and they're going to end up picking up on something. There's going to be a little bit of a wind swirl, a little bit of a wind shift.

They're going to get in you at some point in time. Now I did shoot a doe on November 2nd. I had a lone doe that morning come by that I passed because thinking there might be a buck behind her. And it's thick enough to where a buck could have been 80, a hundred yards away and I wouldn't have known.

So I let her kind of walk. And then later on that morning, I had a group of five does just coming right [00:10:00] to me and, yeah, I just went ahead and shot the biggest one and and she only ran, she ran about 120 yards. I didn't see her go down, so I did take my time tracking by truck. I waited a couple hours before I went tracking her, but I actually had a four point and another, a different lone doe come in after I shot that doe.

So I don't think I even actually tore up the woods too much. And then I went back to that same area. A day later, just because, I'd seen all these does, I just figured eventually some bucks won't come in there looking around and that day I had two guys walk in on me, lighthouse mode with their beams on at legal shooting light.

I don't know why they even had their lights on still. And, I was flash my red light at him and stuff. I think they just ignored it and that day I didn't see it. I think I got skunked that day. And then just this morning I canoed into a nice little area. As I'm sitting on my tree stand, I had what sounded like a buck coming by at about, [00:11:00] I don't know, 30 yards.

Because you can tell when a buck's walking how It's just got that distinct kind of cadence to it. Especially the older bucks usually, it's just a real steady walk, and they're slowing down every once in a while because they're probably sniffing the ground, trying to scent check some of these trails, a lot of times they'll perpendicular a lot of these deer trails in between bed and feed and You know try to just pick up some kind of ground scent and that sounded that's what that was.

And then that was in the dark. So I was two six up when he came by never did get a good look at him, but and then so i'm sitting there in the dark at this point and I went ahead and Climbed up another stick and then I had some chasing by me as well never got a glimpse of those or anything.

And those were, they weren't that close to me. It was about 80 to 100, maybe 150 yards away. Who knows? Hard to tell in the dark. And clearly some running around chasing though. And and then as I'm, and I can still hear deer about 100, [00:12:00] 150 yards away. I can tell deer, still deer moving around and running around and stuff.

So I hung my stand in the dark and Just did everything really slow and quietly and got in the stand without bumping anything out. And as day broke, hit, I could see. Three deer three, three moving blobs in the distance about a hundred yards ended up being three does They worked in close and worked their ways away No bucks with them at all then I had a Four pointer come through and work a scrape in front of me.

I got a little bit of footage of It was behind a big tree. So I didn't want to like be obvious like stick my The camera way out to the side and have him see it. So I just got like half of his head kind of making the scrape. But he wasn't really kicking the leaves. He was just messing with the licking branch.

And I think he might've peed in it. But if a bigger buck would have done exactly what he did, it would've been perfect. So I was like, okay, I'm in business here. Saw a couple of lone [00:13:00] does just like on the move. Separate occasions. I don't understand why they were half trotting, half just walking with a, like a purpose to get somewhere.

Nothing tailing them. I'm just like, I was confused. It's November 6th and nothing's tailing any does. It's just odd. And then I saw a glimpse of a I saw a glimpse of tines um, moving. Horizontally and about five to 10 yards into this kind of little thicket patch.

I'm hunting near maybe about 80 yards away and I didn't get the best look, but I just saw tines, and I'm like getting my bow and getting ready and thinking it's going to follow that same edge that he's on, which would hook him around towards me. And then that scrape was right in front of me too, that four pointer just hit.

So I'm thinking, he's going to come in and then he didn't, he just disappeared into the thick stuff. And I thought maybe he was going to work his way around. So I hesitated to, to grunt right then and there. And then after a while, he never made that. You know never curved around like I thought he was going to I went ahead and grunted and stuff [00:14:00] and at that point time He might have been 200 yards away 300 yards away and never even heard it So I don't know maybe I should have grunted at him right when he disappeared into the thick stuff or right When he was at 80 yards, but I was more in the open and he was in thick stuff I don't think if I would have grunted he would have just popped out in the open Maybe he would have came out enough where I could have got a glimpse at him But I don't see him just walking over to where I was at just where just the way my setup was I don't think it was the best but tomorrow morning.

I'm gonna go back in the same area I'm a, I'm a shift. I went, I got down and poked around a little bit, looked over at that scrape, and there's another, there's a better deer draw I need to be on, I think. That'll give me a couple more shot opportunities. I'm just gonna to move my stand about 25 yards 30 yards, and I should be in a lot better shape tomorrow morning.

And yeah, and that's the plan. And I saw him too. Try to get after it. All right. Watch your experience. We're out.[00:15:00]