The “Pre-Rut” is finally upon us here in Northwest Missouri. Last weekend while attending the deer-stand I noticed numerous fresh scrapes and rubs. I hunted hard over these scrapes in hopes that a dominant buck would soon arrive to freshen them. The temperatures were considerably warm, leading me to believe that the mature deer were still roaming mostly at night. With my Nikon binoculars I caught glances of several deer in the distance. They were beginning to show signs of aggression as their bodies would momentarily swell, but they seemed to resolve conflict without confrontation. I did tickle the rattling antlers together a few times, only to have one smaller buck approach the stand.
The temperatures are going to plummet this weekend, the moon will be full, and the deer should definitely be on their feet! This will mark the second full moon after the equinox, and as scientists hypothesize, this stimulates the rut into full swing. Last year on Halloween morning, I was able to shed blood on the large buck in the above photo. The Rage broad-head made its mark, and I was fortunate enough to recover this deer and slap a tag on him. Fellow pro-staffer Steven Marriott also connected on a deer the night before Halloween of 2011. You may recall this deer as Deer and Deer Hunting’s buck of the month a short time back. I hope history repeats itself, and I wish the best of luck to all other hunters out there. Get out, get aggressive, and your efforts are sure to be rewarded.