Why YOU should hunt out-of-state… NOW!
Updated: Nov 10
WHITETAIL: LATE OCTOBER
If you ask any whitetail hunter when their favorite time of year is, they’re likely going to tell you November—the RUT. November marks the whitetail rut in most regions of the United States and serves as a starting point for many “rutcations”, days off work, ‘sick days’, and all-day sits in the deer woods.
Well if you were to ask me that same question, I have a different answer…. As an avid whitetail hunter, I obviously love the month of November for chasing rut-crazed bucks. The issue I have with hunting in November is competing with rut-crazed hunters. It seems most tend to stockpile their vacation time for early November, and with good reason! For someone who hunts a lot of public land, though, this can throw a wrench in many well-thought-out plans.
I have absolutely nothing against any of these hunters! I just prefer having some space to operate. With that in mind, the HFS crew will be taking a trip to hunt the hills of Eastern Pennsylvania this week, and I could not be more excited! We can call it a pre-rutcation, and it marks my favorite time of year to hunt, late October.
Bucks have now all but forgotten their friendships with fellow bachelors and most have ventured out in search of territory and doe groups, vying for the first hot doe.
Historically, my favorite day to hunt is Halloween. This has meant sacrificing many parties with friends to sit alone all day in the wilderness, usually 20’ off the ground. I will say, I have made it to a party here and there, dressed as a ‘hunter’, of course.
So, why cash in those precious vacation days before the rut, you may ask? Well the answer is mostly simple. Less human influence on bucks that are nearly rutting and becoming more vulnerable by the day. This trip to PA will be from October 26th-November 3rd, encompassing what most would agree to be the ‘pre-rut’.
Not only do I desire less hunting pressure, but also during the last week of October, bucks still tend show their hand in many different ways. Hunting scrape lines, rub lines and pinch points can be DEADLY. For a bowhunter trying to learn a new piece of state ground, every bit of MRI (Most Recent Intel) is so valuable.
The further these bucks progress into the rut, the less they will pay attention to the sign they leave, the less they will care about scrapes, territories, or other bucks. They become doe-obsessed, and often latch on to one doe for upwards of 24-48 hours at a time!
The rut does bring its fair share of advantages as well, but if you ask me, the pre-rut is the time to branch out of your comfort zone and try to kill one of these cruising bucks.
I would like to leave you all with a little disclaimer about our upcoming hunt. We are not going to be picky! We are going to let some arrows fly this week, so don’t judge our trophies by the inches, judge them by the stories we share!
And if you have ever been on the fence about trying an out-of-state whitetail hunt, consider what I have talked about in this article and also keep in mind, when you travel to a different state and go after whitetails on public ground, you don’t have to shoot a giant to have the hunt of a lifetime. This kind of hunt is made in the adventure and the memories made with friends.
Stay tuned to Hunt Fish Shoot Channel for this upcoming hunt and many more to follow!