Hunting The Second Rut

The second rut occurs 28 days after the peak of the first rut, which is typically the second week of December. Mature Doe(s) that did not get bred the first time, along with yearlings that weren’t ready to come into estrus, give bucks one more chance to get the job done.

The Second Rut Is Different

There are many differences in the second rut. For example; you have to deal with winter weather, the deer have started to herd up, bucks are tired and recovering from the first rut, and most Doe(s) have already been bred and want nothing to do with the bucks. One big advantage, the second rut is dominated by the older bucks, 3 years and older. Also, the same holds true for these bucks, in that they will follow estrous doe(s), becoming more vulnerable during this period. However, you will find that many of the racks are broken up due to the aggressive first rut.

So get out the grunt call, rattle, and doe scent as these all will aid in improving your chances in bagging a nice buck. Also focus on the crop fields as the deer are eating more to recover from the first rut and trying to gain their strength and health back. So finding the feeding areas is key for hunting the second rut.

Doe(s) Will Be Moving More Abruptly

Be ready and alert as most of the doe(s) have already been bred and want nothing to do with the bucks. So they will be moving more abruptly than normal. You may see them in the field being chased around and the next thing they are blowing by you with no buck in site. The doe in this video was in the field with 12 others, over 100 yards away, only to be 4 feet within my stand before I could even get my camera up to film. This deer came from in-front of me and stopped behind me, then came back around in-front of me again. My stand is only 5 feet up and is half way down the ridge near the field. It’s also placed near what I call a Spoke-Wheel trail. Where there are 8 trails converging into 2, one to my North 20 yards and one to my South 10 yards. Once past my stand the trails open up again into 5 trails going around the ridge and on the edge of the field.