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Is the Midwest Rut over???

December 1, 2009 by  
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I would like to know your thoughts. Since a few days before Thanksgiving, I have been getting reports from all over the Midwest that buck activity has really tapered off and in some cases become virtually nonexistant.

Here in central KY, our rifle season ended Sunday the 29th. We had an extremely warm season, and most of the good deer seemed to be moving at night, especially the last week where highs were in the high 50’s to low 60’s. I was still running trail cams, and when I checked them, there would be 5-8 bucks per night on most cameras, but we would sit and see none. Many times the bucks showed up only a half hour after dark, but seemed most big boys were in there after midnight. Some of this is due to pressure from rifle season being open, but I think with fat build up, winter fur and very warm weather caused big bucks to become more nocturnal.

I just talked to good friend and whitetail expert Bill Winke yesterday about what he has been seeing in Iowa as I am to go hunt with him this weekend. Bill painted a bleak picture and said for almost a week, they have seen almost no daylight mature buck ovement. He said he thinks the big boys are worn out from the rut and are lying low. The temps are supposed to drop some this weekend with highs in the mid 30’s and lows in the mid 20’s, but I don’t know that that is cold enough to get them out on food sources regularly during daylight hours. My philosophy is to go and take the first mature 4.5 year-old buck that I can.

So what have you seen in your area? Are Winke’s and my observations consistent with what you are experiencing? Share your knowledge…and hunt hard…TH


3 Responses to “Is the Midwest Rut over???”

  1. Brittany says:

    Here in Missouri, it has been a hit & miss from what I am seeing. Was able to kill my first buck two weeks ago (10 pointer) & had no signs of rutting. The bigger bucks, we have been seeing are moving at night & barely nothing during the day. I think you are right though, warm temps are keeping them out only during night time.

  2. Buckeye hunter says:

    Rut seems to be pretty much over here in Ohio. It really didn’t seem to ever really get cranked up because of the warm weather. You’d see some chasing every few days but it didnt get as aggressive as normal. The other thing that made it tough this fall was the amount of standing corn.

  3. Tim H says:

    Just got to Iowa. After a week of no movement, the big bucks seem to have been on their feet for the last 2 evenings feeding. I am with Bill Winke, he saw a 150 and 170+ last night, and his neighbor killed a mid 170’s 10pt that I got to see today. We start hunting tomorrow. We don’t expect much morning movement, but hope they are on their feet going to food in the cold in afternoons. It was a high of 25 today with on and off light snow. Gotta go unpack…hunt hard…Tim H.

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