Mature Buck Strategies

2017 Whitetail Rut Forecast

The 2017 whitetail rut forecast for the best days to sit in a tree this Fall, includes toe numbing mornings, clear blue skies and if you have to predict, probably even a little snow. However, let the whitetail rut prediction follower beware, because not all rut forecasts will lead you to precision success. The rut formula that you will learn in this article relies on decades of proven tactics that you can apply to not only hunt the 2017 whitetail rut, but to predict which days to hunt during every rut for the rest of your life! Also, make sure to read to the entire end, to discover the most simple forecasting tips of them all, for making sure that you don't miss the best days to be in the woods, this season.

2017 whitetail rut

10 Out of 10 Precision Pre Rut Formula Forecast

The conditions for my 2007 15 point buck, were forecasted a week in advance. Major cold fronts are hard to miss when they pop up in the weather report, and this 2007 late October front was no exception! Even the moon, which has been proven to not play any role in the actual timing of the rut, contributed a small influence for the potential movement of this buck. The details of the forecast led to a perfect score of 10 out of 10, when using my rut prediction formula illustrated further within my 2017 whitetail rut article.

October 26th, 2007 15 Point, Morning Sit
1. Moon: +5 (Full moon rising during evening)
2. Temp Change: +40 (5 day drop)
3. Wind Speed Post Front: +5 (5mph)
4. Top Wind Speed During Front: +10 (Greater than 20mph)
5. Extreme Conditions: +2 (43mph winds)
6. Calm Days: +8 (4 days slow drop)
Calculation: 70 points/7=10 Value Sit

After 4 straight days (+8 points) of both calm and poor hunting conditions to enhance the effects of the 20 degree temperature drop (+40 points), the foundation was created for a high value pre rut morning sit. With a full moon rising (+5 points) during the evening hours, the deer experienced a rollercoaster of high level feeding and social activities that created a peak forecast for potential movement following a major weather front that included top wind speeds of over 43 mph (10 points for over 20 mph +2 for extreme wind conditions). The cool and calm 5mph wind forecast (+5 points) for the morning of the sit was the final ingredient to make sure that this morning was a sure-fire "10" based on the high value hunt prediction algorithm. After adding together, the hunt prediction points described in the paragraph equal 70 (8+40+5+10+2+5). When divided by 7 the total value is a "10".

2017 whitetail rut

*My 2007 WI Archery Buck (above), became active exactly in time for the annual pre-rut, for SW WI. When is the approximate timing of the rut in your location? That timeframe is very important and I urge you to check out the Northern Annual Rut Timing, for your area.

Create Your Own 2017 Whitetail Rut Predictions

Following various rut calendars and your favorite day of the month of October or November, can be hit or miss at best. Why? Because even the most popular forecasts rely on a heavy dose of coincidence to hit the actual best days to be in the woods. While no prediction is perfect (even this one), you can still narrow your whitetail rut efforts to a more reliable method that you can not only use for the entire rut, but for the entire hunting season. The key factors to follow for 2017 and beyond, are these:

1. Temperature

2. Wind

3. Extreme Weather

4. Stability

5. Moon (last and still least)

By learning how to use all 5 of those factors to forecast which day to be in the woods, you will be well on your way to pulling the trigger on your best target buck, nearly every Fall. The the most consitently reliably days to climb a tree, rely on the most predictably unstable weather patterns. If you are a numbers kind of a person I will provide plenty of math for your enjoyment however, if you prefer results, make sure to check out some of the examples below of how those 5 factors were specifically used to create proven results.

*In 2016 I used this formula to predict the harvest of 2 target bucks, including the Ohio Public land rut buck featured in the above video.

Whitetail Rut Prediction Formula

The bad thing, is that math is boring. The good thing about math tho, is that math can be used to accurately assign levels of predictability in many areas, including when it comes to the annual whitetail rut! If you don't care for shear boredome of numbers, make sure to skip ahead. However, if you want to ingage in a mathmatical formula that will deliver during the rut and any other portion of the hunting season, here you go:

1. Calm Days before the front/Poor Value Days: 2days=1 point, 3days=3 pts, 4days=8 pts, 5days=10 pts

2. Temp Change (pre-post front): +2 Points for every temp drop up to 20 degrees(2-40pts)

3. Top Wind Speed During Front: 1-10=1point,11-15=5pts,16-20=7pts,20+=10pts(1-10 pts)

4. Extreme Conditions During Front: +2 each for extreme rain, wind (25+mph) snow, sleet, and thunder(0-10 pts)

5. Wind Speed Post Front: 0-10mph=5 pts, 11-15=3 pts, 16-20=1 point(1-5 pts)

6. Value For Each Day After Front: Day 1=Full Value, Day 2x.67, Day 3x.33

7. Moon Phase: +5 for Full Moon late morning sits, -5 for Full Moon Evening sits +5 for dark moon evening sits (+/-5 pts)

Now, I do not expect most folks to fully calculate every day that they want to hunt during the 2017 whitetail rut, the early season, the late season or even during a Summer scouting mission. However, I developed this formula to accurately reflect the conditions that not only do I personally use to determine my own rut forecasts each season, but this formula accurately reflects that majority of my buck harvests dating back nearly 25 years! If you learn the concepts of this formula, you will be headed towards a highly predictable level of success, every Fall.

2017 whitetail rut

*When will the 2017 rut take place in your area? Not only do I rely heavily on the weather and the traditional timing of the rut, but I also rely on one of the best trail cameras on the market, ExodusTrail Cams. If you haven't already, they are worth checking out for this season!

3 Rut Forecasting Basics For 2017

The best days to hunt during the entire 2017 season, rely heavily on 3 critical factors: Temperature drops of 8-10 degrees or more, wind speed changes of 10mph or more, and a rising barometric pressure. When those conditions take place after the front has passed, make sure not to miss the first calm and cold, evening and morning sit. That's it folks! If you can get 3-5 days of calm, warm and consistent days to take place before the front passes, and then throw in some extreme factors of heavy rain, high winds or snow, and the sit opportunity gets even better!

While you may have come here for insight into the 2017 rut, the basics of this forecast apply to every deer hunting rut pas, present or future. However, that's not all! If you keep an eye on the forecast for the buck movement triggers of temperature, wind and pressure, you can create your own forecast for just about any day of the entire year - whether you are scouting during the offseason, or hunting during any portion of the season, including the rut.

2017 whitetail rut

*Do you know of any young hunters between the ages of 6 and 14? Then make sure to check out the book inspired by the buck featured in the rut formula example found below, in "Turntine and the Poachers"

A High Value Peak Rut Prediction Example

When warm weather takes a bite out of the middle of a week-long rut hunt, what do I suggest that you do? Don't hunt! By saving my best cruising rut stand locations for a high value day, I was rewarded with a 173" gross target buck monster, the first time using the stand location. Every year the majority of high value sits are sqashed, days or weeks ahead of time, by impatient hunters. How do you kill more bucks by sitting on the couch? By letting your best stands improve when they remain completely unpressured. Make sure to not turn a perfect "10" into a dud "1", by using the stand during warm weather and high winds, no matter what the moon phase or date on the calendar.

November 10th, 2005 "Turn Tine" Buck, Morning Sit

1. Moon: No moon impact

2. Temp Change: +28 (14 degree morning temp drop)

3. Wind Speed Post Front: +5 (8mph)

4. Top Wind Speed During Front: +10 (47mph gusts)

5. Extreme Conditions: +2 (47mph winds)

6. Calm Days: +10 (5 day slow warm up)

Calculation: 55 points/7=7.8 Value Sit

While a 7.8 value day may not seem high but not necessarily a perfect "10", it was certainly more than passing! In fact, Thursday November 10th was the first day in La Crosse, WI that scored over a 4 since October 30th. With several warm days preceding the 10th, I left on Monday to return home for work and family, waiting for the Thursday prediction of a high value day. The signficant improvement in value led to a first sit reward, for an incredible target buck!

2017 whitetail rut

*When I narrow my sit to the best treestand in the best tree in the woods, you can bet it is American made, has a huge seat, sits in the tree on a T-screw, clamps to the tree with two 800# rachet straps, includes a welded on footrest and uses rubber coated chains to hold the platform in position. That list of ingredients can only be filled, by a Family Tradition Treestand.


As I think back to the majority of my top 25 buck kills, they really do fall within the 8-10 value whitetail rut calculations. However, many of you just don't have the time or passion, to actually sit down and figure out the values for each and every day of the 2017 season. The good news? You don't have to! Instead, by keying on major temp drops, wind speed changes and rising pressure sits, you will notice a signficant trend of incredible deer activity. There is also one more factor to add to the equation, that may make your 2017 season even more successful: If the morning temps are below 32 and you know for certain that your toes are going to get a little numb, make sure not to miss out!

*Is he really nocturnal? Probably not, and here is how to make sure that you have a great shot at the oldest buck in the neighborhood, during the entire 2017 deer hunting season!


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