Skip to main content

The Post Rut - When to Hunt by Terry Drury


Terry Drury, the co-owner with his brother Mark of Drury Outdoors, produces several TV shows, including “Bow Madness,” “Dream Season,” and “Thirteen” for the Outdoor Channel and “Natural Born,” which airs on the Pursuit Network, and has been a member of Mossy Oak’s ProStaff since its beginning.

After the rut, the deer will move more in the afternoons than in the mornings. I am defining afternoon after 10:00 am. Often, they will move from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. We have observed that in the post-rut, mature bucks move more often between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm than they do at any-other time of the day. Around that noon hour, most deer hunters are out of their stands eating lunch or going home. So, during the first rut we may not go to our stands until 8:00 or 8:30 am. The last 10 days in October we usually hunt afternoons here in Missouri. The first 10 days of November, after the rut is over, we usually hunt in the mornings. We start seeing bucks with does and following does the second 10 days in November. After the rut, we see mature bucks traveling with two or three does, instead of being locked-down with only one doe each as they are during the rut. We think mature bucks are traveling with several does in hopes that one of those does will have a second estrous cycle. They move with those does later and later in the day after the rut. 

Once the rut is totally over, Mark and I start hunting only in the evenings. After the rut is over, generally the buck has lost a lot of weight, and he needs to rebuild his body weight for the winter. So, he will be all about going to the food sources. He substitutes the need to breed with the need to feed. Once a mature buck feeds, the breeding season is over, and he doesn’t have to cover a lot of ground looking for an estrous doe. His need to feed will be far greater than his need to breed. He knows cold weather is on the way. During that frigid weather, he knows he needs to put on more body weight to survive. This is the time of the year that Mark and I start hunting over our BioLogic Maximum food plots. Instead of going to a stand at 8:30 am and staying until 1:00 or 2:00 pm, we will go to the stand at noon and sit there until dark. Sometimes those bucks won’t leave until 4:30 or 5:00 pm or just before dark. Once the sun goes down, the mature bucks will get on their feet and start heading toward those bigger food plots. 

The Rut Is On - When to Take the Mature Buck

Quick Tips: How To Take Post-Rut Deer

Latest Content