Whitetail Buck Chasing a Doe During the Rut

5 Signs That The Rut Is On

Legendary Whitetails 11.6.2014

The Rut is quickly approaching and Facebook has certainly shown the signs of successful cold front hunts. It has been lighting up with harvest photos, trail cam pics of monster bucks moving during daylight, and of course the infamous tree stand selfies.  Not to mention all of the bucks flying into our #BuckCountry page where an ungodly amount of inches of antler are on display.

It is no secret in the Midwest that the first couple of weeks in November are a magical time to be on stand and according to our Data Driven Rut Predictions, it’s only supposed to get better!  Now, just because one area is experiencing rutty activity, it doesn’t mean everyone else will be experiencing the same.

Here are 5 sure signs that the rut is on in your neighborhood:

1.) Fawns are seen alone or with other fawns.

When the momma’s are being chased, they ditch their babies and let them fend for themselves.

5 Sure Signs the Rut is On

2.) Tarsal glands get darker and darker.

As stinky and nasty as they are to deal with after a successful November hunt, tarsal glands can provide several good key indicators to the observant hunter.  First, they darken as breeding season approaches.  The gland secretes a fatty substance, that when peed on reacts with certain molecules which form odorous bacteria.  The frequency of which they pee on their legs increases leading up to the rut.  Simply put, if the stain appears blackish in color the rut is on.  Also, the length of the stain can give you an indication as to whether a buck is mature or not.  Mature bucks will have a longer stain running down from the tarsal gland.

Rutting Buck w/ stained Tarsal glandsCheck out how dark the tarsal glands are on this buck’s back legs.  Also, notice the way the stain runs down the leg a ways – a good indicator of maturity.

3.) Does are often seen alone and acting nervous or finicky.

Does are on constant alert from the harassing bucks.  You will often see them moving quickly and frequently checking behind them.

5 Sure Signs the Rut is On
4.) Mature bucks are seen during daylight and little bucks run rampant.

Simply put, the urge is on.  Just like college boys in a coed dorm, they have one thing on their mind and they are willing to do incredibly stupid things to get that thing.

5 Sure Signs the Rut is On

5.) More Deer-Car Collisions

During your daily commutes it becomes pretty evident when deer activity is ramping up.  Either you yourself have had to hit the breaks unexpectedly or you see signs of others who didn’t quite have the time to react to a sprinting buck.  It’s no coincidence that deer-car collisions peak the same time as the rut.

Deer running across a busy road

6.) Bonus! – Social Media Says So

There’s not a whole lot of explaining to do with this one.  You can tell when things start heating up in the deer woods by scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feeds. Snapchat has also been a growing outlet and gives you a real-time look into a hunt or recovery.  Be sure to follow us on all outlets, but especially Snapchat as we keep you posted with up to the minute updates from the stand.

If you are noticing these signs in your area you better be in a tree as much as possible….standing up, with your bow in hand.  Bang those antlers together, grunt that tube, bleat the snot of that can, and trick them to coming in close with an intriguing decoy setup!  The RUT IS ON and it’s time to CELEBRATE THE HUNT!


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