Mature Buck Strategies

11/4 Midwest Whitetail Prime Rut Forecast

midwest forecast

*Enjoy this November 4th Midwest Whitetail PRIME RUT addition, and make sure that you are sitting in a tree stand very soon. I chose the centrally located city of Indianapolis for this week's forecast, and I found it to be very reflective of my own area (although about a 1/2 day late), as well as where I hunt in southern OH (about a 1/2 day early).

*For a complete guide to this year's rut, make sure to check out previous Midwest Whitetail Rut forecasts, as well as my entire 2015 forecast:

"The 2015 Whitetail Rut Prediction"
"October 12th Weekly Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast"
"October 19th Weekly Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast"
"October 27th Weekly Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast"

The prime rut is about to begin in many locations, are you ready? The time is here, the time is now and the weather is going to cooperate for literally the best hunting of the season in many locations. There are a few conditions that are serving to create some magical conditions coming up very shortly:

1. The set up of warm weather has been taking place for several days in most locations, with unseasonably high temperatures.

2. The Whitetail Rut Lock Down Phase has been in full force the past few days. What is this? When a large number of does approach their estrus cycles, mature bucks have quite a few to choose from. In fact, these first does that they breed of the season are undoubtably their easiest conquests of the entire year. Mature bucks do not need to wander far, they will be tied up for 2-3 days, and then the woods will explode because the 2nd, 3rd and 4th does become harder to find as the Primary Rut wears on. Tough does to find, equal high value cruising conditions.

3. Huge temperature drops will be experienced across the entire region, created by massive weather fronts containing thunder and lightning in many locations.

4. The back side, calm and cold conditions this weekend will be the best days to hunt the entire year!

What is the current moon phase? I really don't know...and it doesn't even matter. Warm temp setups, the conclusion of the lock down, huge temperature drops and subsequent cold and calm conditions during the explosion of the Peak Rut all combine to mean one thing: Sit, and sit long hours NOW!

Sit Strategies: November 4th Midwest Whitetail Prime Rut Forecast

One of the greatest favors that you can do for yourself, is to chain yourself to a chair if needed, to keep you from hunting high value stand locations, on poor value days! Patience will win in the end, while you allow your best stand locations to "heat up", by going in for a precision kill during high value conditions. Make sure to match the quality of the stand, with quality conditions.

1. Avoid burning out your best stands, during the worst conditions. The best conditioins as predicted, will last for several days. Tree stand preservation will allow you to experience your highest level of success because like most things in life Quality will beat Quantity, even during the rut. Bucks will be breeding regardless of the weather conditions, but make sure that you are matching your sits with when the mature bucks will be moving during daylight the most, during cold conditions.

2. Mature bucks are likely to be finished breeding their first does within days. When the first does are out of the way, then the heavey cruising begins! This means that those prime cruising stands of yours that only saw a brief flury of activity during the Pre Rut, will once again be used, and used often. Mature bucks will experience the need to travel further to located receptive does, and this sets up beautifully in most Northern regions this weekend!

3. Manage your all-day sit opportunities by making sure that you focus on cruising opportunities between doe bedding areas during the morning, and food source locations towards evening. At times a tree stand "has it all", but not often. Try not to burn away 1/2 your day away in a stand more heavily focused towards primarily morning, or evening-only opportunities.

4. Grunting and rattling can work well during this period, and I like to be consverative with my approach when it comes to truly mature bucks in the 5-7 year old age class or older. If I rattle it will be during the first mid to late morning shutdown of cruising activity, or during the middle of the day. However I will only rattle if my downwind is completely blocked from the opportunity for an old recluse to make an entrance from the wrong side. I also grunt a lot more than rattling.

-My grunt call is one of my most important pieces of hunting equipment! I will blind call if I suspect a mature buck around the corner that does not appear to moving closer. However, a grunt call is an outstanding tool for a doe-less, cruising monster just a little bit out of bow range.

*Check out the above bucks that have fallen to these same Midwest Whitetail Rut cold weather predictions, just during the past week!For a complete guide to hunting during the rollercoaster of opportunity created by the cold weather fronts, make sure to check out "Whitetail Cold Front Hunting Strategies".

Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast Necessities

Without these 3 critical variables taking place, than your trip to the woods will most likely be just another day. However when these 3 variables take place, the potential sits that are created for you are worth more than the rest of the sits during the week, combined.

1. The Set Up

Without the actual set up for the best days to be in the woods, there would not actually be any High Value days to predict.

Warm weather, stormy weather, and any set of consistently poor conditions all serve to set up an incredible day to be in the woods. The longer the set up, the better. I have experienced that the value of each day of set up increases, up through 5 days. What that means is that a 1 day "set up", isn't much of a set up at all. However when a high quality day is set up by 3-4 days or more, the conditions have been created for a potential can't miss day to be in the woods.

2. The Drop

Folks, it doesn't matter if it is September, October or November; if you see a 10 degree temperature drop or more, make sure that you head to the woods! Although I really start to take notice of at least a 5 degree temp drop, I prefer at least an 8-10 degree change in the forecast. The more extreme the conditions during the front (high winds, thunder, heavy rain) along with the larger the temperature change, the higher the value of the potential sits, when the conditions calm.

3. The Calm

The first high pressure cool and clear day that you can recognize following the front, make sure to hit the woods! Keep in mind that predicting a high value sit goes well beyond focusing merely on high pressure conditions. Without the The Set Up and The Drop, a good "high pressure day", is just another day in the woods.


Folks, this coming week is the period of time that we live for as whitetail hunters. For the lower portions of the Midwest, including southern OH, southern IN, southern IL and along a line East or West of those locations, you will most likely be experiencing these conditions in about 5 days to a week. Again, patience is vital to your success. Just because we are during the best time of the year, does not translate into that Every Day during this period is going to be a great day. Good luck, and I can't wait to hear about it!


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