The post-rut whitetail season feels a bit like the day after the Superbowl or World Series–the big climax that we’ve been waiting for has come and gone.
Unlike those other sports, however, bowhunting continues through December and even January for some of us, offering a perfect opportunity to tag that trophy deer. A great article in this month’s Field & Stream highlights post-rut whitetail hunting as one of the “late, great” hunting opportunities in North America. They even offer a nice strategy for it which I’ll cover below.
First, let’s talk about what happened over the recent weeks for whitetails during the peak of the rut. Before the rut, bucks were mostly in a somewhat predictable bed-to-food pattern. Then the rut arrived and all predictability went out the window, as mature bucks spent all of their time seeking out, pursuing, and breeding does in estrous. They bedded with or near the doe groups. They forgot about food unless there was a doe eating nearby.