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5 Common Mistakes Hunters Make Every Year During the Rut


There are no two words quite as magical to a big game hunter as “the rut.” Signifying the peak of the breeding season, it’s the time when those majestic whitetail bucks become a little bit less elusive, and when the carefully prepared sportsman can rack up a huge tally in a matter of days.

Just because buck patterns during the rut make bagging a big one a whole lot easier, it doesn’t mean that your trophy deer hunt can’t go wrong.  Disappointing ruts are all too common—and are often due to these five big mistakes.

white tailed deer buck in autumn rut

They Start Too Late

Although a buck will move from doe to doe during the rut, the biological peak of the three-week season is a quieter time in terms of daylight activity. After all, the bucks have found their does by now and are more interested in breeding them than running around.

Many hunters make the mistake of thinking that this breeding peak is the best time to see action when, in fact,  the days beforehand are when most bucks are on the move. It never hurts to stake out your spot early.

They Don’t Use Enough Tricks

In the haste to get in on the action, you can’t forget all the toys you use when the season is quieter. Decoys (young bucks before the peak, does during), grunt calls, and rattlers are even more effective during the rut than out of it and should in no way be ignored. Just make sure you’re matching the right decoy with the right calls and managing the scents properly, and you should find your game significantly improved.

They Don’t Read the Terrain

Buck movement becomes highly unpredictable during a rut, making tracking difficult if not a frustrating waste of time. Instead of trying to follow bucks, you need to read the terrain to see where they’ll have to go. Natural or manmade barriers, for example, that funnel deer between bedding and food sources will see a lot of action during peak times and reward the patient.

They Underestimate the Buck

Yes, bucks become a little crazy during breeding season, and, yes, they do drop a lot of that caution you’ll normally see, but that doesn’t mean they lose complete control of their senses. Storm into the woods upwind, and you’re still going to go empty-handed, rut or no rut. Don’t lose sight of the basic principles, and follow our whitetail hunting tips for the best results.

hunting hide in the sunrise

They Don’t Look After Themselves

Get it right, and the rut can be an exhilarating and rewarding time. It’s also a long time, and, with all the action, you’ll be spending hours on end for several days or more. If you’re too into it and forget to eat, drink, and look after yourself properly, you could really mess up your chances. An alert and accurate hunter needs a healthy body and mind to back them up.

Make It a Whitetail Deer Rut Season You’ll Never Forget

To fully take advantage of the rut, you need to be focused, rested, and prepared. With practice ranges, spacious accommodation, chef-prepared meals, and expert one-on-one guides at your service, Montgomery Properties Ranch can take care of a hunter’s every need.

Alongside whitetail deer, six generations of Montgomery Properties Ranch management have produced perfect conditions for exotic game, including axis deer and Texas elk.  Texas big game hunting has never been more accessible and thrilling—visit our website or call (817) 925-2234 to book your all-inclusive package today!