When Is The 2nd Rut
In the MIdwest the 2nd Rut starts the second week of December and goes to the end of the year. Now you may think this is a very tough time to archery hunt because of the cold and snow, but the opposite is true. Yes it’s very cold and walking in the snow requires more energy, but there are fewer doe in heat and the big bucks are covering a lot of area to find them.
Another advantage is that the deer are herding up, so seeing groups of 10 to 50 deer is not uncommon. If the snow is deep enough then you only need to focus on those trials heading to and from the feeding areas, so just wait them out. Many late season hunters bag big bucks during this time.
Are You Alone In The 2nd Rut
Depending on the Winter you may find yourself alone hunting the second Rut. With temperatures reaching down into the single digits and up to the low 30s most archery hunters will not venture out. The snowy cold is just to much to bare, but is there any thing better than having the woods to yourself.
Best time of the Day To Hunt The 2nd Rut
The time of day is all on your comfort level. For example I like to be there 15 minutes before light/dawn, as the deer will be bedded down on the East facing slopes waiting for the sun. Once the Sun is above the horizon they will become more active, but if you walk in at this time you will only push them out.
If the mornings are to cold, then focus on the noon hours, the bucks will be moving, scraping, and looking for doe that did not get breed during the first rut. The noon hours are also warmer so you can handle sitting in the deer stand much longer. The next best time is a couple of hours before dark. This is the time the deer will move into the fields looking for any grain that was dropped during harvest. So focus on those trails that go from the bedding areas to the feeding areas.
Snowy Hill Sides – Easy To See But Very Cold
Here are a few pictures on the land I purchased this year. These were taken during the Black Powder Season, unfortunately I still have not see a Buck that I want to take. I will try to get out a few times for the late archery season and see if I can tag one.