October is the month of \u201cThe Switch\u201d.\u00a0 Buck behavior changes more rapidly with each passing day, just like the leaves take on the colors of autumn.\u00a0 Once lush crops now undergo the reaping of the farmer and a deer\u2019s world is changed with a flick of a switch.\u00a0 The changes in their behavior and habitat mean you must also adjust as a hunter.\u00a0 Whether you\u2019re looking to score on an \u201cOctober Lull\u201d buck, or holding out until the time is right, scouting should still be a subject of focus if you\u2019re looking to strike success this deer season.October Hot SpotsScrapesThere is no better hot spot than an active scrape.\u00a0 Deer activity (both does and bucks) is literally concentrated around a single overhanging branch and a three foot circle making it the perfect trail cam location.\u00a0 A trail camera will be your best tool to scout the scrape as most activity will occur during the night \u2013 if it\u2019s got video capabilities, now is the time to use it.\u00a0 If you find one, get your camera on it to see what\u2019s hitting it.While they are tremendous spots for trail cameras, hunting over them can sometimes prove more difficult since most of the activity is happening at night.\u00a0 If you\u2019re hunting a scrape, your best results will likely come towards the end of the month, when the bucks are ramped up and the does are not yet ready.Here’s a trail camera I placed over a fresh scrape October 1st, below are some of the deer that stopped by to make their own mark. \u00a0In total there were 6 different bucks that were caught on camera actively using the scrape in the first week including one big old mature buck.Notice the body size difference between the buck on the bottom and the two young ones on top.Best Time to Hunt: October 20th \u2013 31stWhere to Find Them: Field edges; logging roads; trails; single standing tree with low hanging limbsRubsRubs are another excellent scouting tool to hone in on during October.\u00a0 Rubbing activity basically comes in two waves, the first occurs when velvet is shed and the second is the days leading up to and during the rut.\u00a0 In between, however, there is a trickling of rubbing behavior.\u00a0 It\u2019s certainly nowhere near the frequency you\u2019ll see during November, but they can still be a key factor in honing in on a target buck.\u00a0 Generally the bigger the rub, the bigger the buck.\u00a0 Find one on a sizable tree and you just might be in business or at least know that a big boy is using the area.What you\u2019re really looking for during this time is a signpost rub.\u00a0 A signpost rub is one that gets used year after year, therefore, look for a rubbed tree that shows evidence of scarring from last year.\u00a0 These are called signpost rubs because they are essentially the communication hub between the different bucks in the area.\u00a0 Also, rub lines will tell you a whole lot more info than a single rub. You can learn things such as travel patterns, bedding areas, and times when a buck is travelling that line.\u00a0 There\u2019s so much to mentally absorb from rubs that I wrote an entire article about finding and analyzing rubs in the latest Mapping Whitetails Blog.Rubs act as communication hubs for\u00a0the different bucks in an area.Best Time to Hunt: October\/NovemberWhere to Find Them: Edge habitat; logging roads; check out Mapping Whitetails #04 for an in depth look at rub linesCrops (standing and harvested)Depending upon the area you hunt, cropland may or may not be a huge influencer on the local deer herd.\u00a0 October is typically the month of harvest throughout the United States and thus, a large portion of deer and deer hunters are impacted by the harvesting of ag fields.\u00a0 Hundreds of thousands of acres that once stood as adequate cover for whitetails is now cut to a stubble and possibly plowed.\u00a0 Hopefully for you, some grains got spilt along the way and the farmer won\u2019t drop the plow until spring.\u00a0 While standing crops offer a tremendous food source, the cover they provide can make deer hunting extremely frustrating.\u00a0 Thus, the harvesting of these acres often serves to concentrate deer in wooded parcels and other brushy areas of cover.\u00a0 Take advantage of the harvest by scouting from a safe vantage point immediately after the field is picked, take notes, and move in the following day. There\u2019s no better time to hunt an ag field than the first week following the harvest.This cornfield was cut on my hunting grounds recently. \u00a0You can guess where I’ll be sitting this next week.Best Time to Hunt:\u00a0The week following the harvest (maybe longer depending on amount of waste grain left behind)Where to Hunt:\u00a0Scout from afar then move in\u00a0AcornsAs long as the oaks continue to drop acorns, these will be prime areas to hunt.\u00a0 Deer simply love acorns and will likely choose them over anything else.\u00a0 Of course some oak species are preferred over others, for instance white oaks over red oaks.\u00a0 Finding the target tree may not be that hard if there\u2019s only a few in the area, but if your hunting large oak stands your guess may be as good as mine as to which tree they\u2019ll be under during any given day.\u00a0 This and the fact that deer never have to leave cover to feed are the reasons hunting acorns can be frustrating.\u00a0 However, if you stick with it and hunt the wind correctly, there\u2019s a decent chance of catching a mature buck browsing during daylight hours.Acorns are likely the most attractive food source in an area when they are dropping.Best Time to Hunt: As soon as they start dropping up until they eat them all upWhich ones to hunt: In order of preference \u2013 white oak, pin oak, red oak, black oakRut StandsTowards the end of October is when most hunters really start ramping up their efforts and rightfully so.\u00a0 The \u201cpre-rut\u201d, as most hunters call it, is the period just before the does become receptive.\u00a0 Bucks are pumped full of testosterone and on the move and, as deer behavioral expert Charlie Alsheimer explained in his 2015 Rut Predictions, you should be hunting!\u00a0 With plenty of rut content to come, we\u2019ll just touch on the basic areas that you should get your stands hung.Putting in a little extra effort to hunt a piece of unpressured property can pay off big time during the rut. Here the hunter uses a boat to access the back side of public ground to set up in a funnel between two water bodies.Best Time to Hunt: October 24th \u2013 November 14thWhere to Hunt: Pinch points; ridge tops; saddles; creek crossings; river bottoms; staging areas; etc.ConclusionMost likely, hunting the end of October is nothing new, but maybe those other October hot spots will help you fill your tag by then.\u00a0 Nonetheless, October is a crazy month for whitetails and you have to be ready to adapt to the changing conditions of both the habitat and the whitetail.