To optimize your opportunities during the rut you need to understand who the rut players are and what parts they play during this period of the season.
The Rut Players
As mature does enter estrous late October to early they will begin trigger the craze that is the rut. Every buck in the area will be on a mission to chase her down, no matter what time of the day it is. If she doesn’t breed during the initial rut she will come into heat again in 28 days, during the second rut. If you can find the does during the rut, hold off because their is a good chance a buck isn’t far behind.
While not a major player during the rut some healthy fawns can actually breed during this time. If this occurs they will generally cycle later than a matrre doe, and are responsible for the bulk of the deer activity during this time.
They are very much active players during the seeking and chasing phases of the rut and if they a lucky they may even get a chance to breed is a dominate male isn’t nearby. If not they will just keep on moving which is why you’ll most likely see one of these guys cruising around. If they do breed it will be during the peak phase of the rut when the larger bucks cannot possibly tend to all the estrous does.
Number one in hearts and our hit list this is the reason most of us are out there. During the rut mature bucks will be doing the majority of the breeding, and fighting which in turn make theses elusive animals a little easier to locate. It also makes this the most exciting time to crossbow hunt. During the peak of the rut these bucks will be very aggressive and can even pose a risk to hunters masking their scent in doe estrous. So if your creeping through the bush, keep your eyes pleeled, ears open and safety off.