10 phases of dating
In areas with low buck to doe ratios rattling should be used sparingly or not at all because bucks typically don't need to fight to find hot does.
Important Notes: Scrapes that were being checked frequently just a week or two ago are starting to be ignored and become less relevant, as bucks are starting to pursue does that are coming into estrous.
The theory is based on the fact that measurments taken of fetal fawns have consistently and accurately shown that breeding occured just around the middle of November.
So whether or not you believe that daytime activity, or observable rutting behavior is at it's peak in mid-November, there's a good deal of data to show that's the time when successful breeding occurs most often.
Best Communication Tactics: During this pre-rut you may start to see the first signs of rutting activity as a small percent (around 10%) of does come into estrus around the pre-rut moon, but that typically drops off quickly.
Older does sometimes breed several weeks ahead of other does and bucks may start seeking them out at this time.
Find the does at this time and you're more likely to find the bucks.
Rattling works best in areas with higher buck to doe ratios.
The first, and probably most data-backed, is the photoperiod theory.
Most wildlife bilogists and experts at the QDMA would tell you that this is the most accurate method for determining when the rut takes place, and it varies very little from year to year.
Phase: SEEKING AND CHASING Average Dates: November 3-12 Scouting Tactics: Look for fresh rubs and rub lines.
If you find a hot one, hunt it as soon as possible.
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You need to be in the field, or at least be in touch with buddies who are, to accurately determine when the initial rut phases begin in your area.