The end is very near; this will be the last weekly Primary Whitetail Rut forecast. But wait! Did the Primary Rut even take place yet?
Although the timing is a little earlier in the northern Midwest, and a little later in the southern Midwest, the basic steps still apply. Here are the various aspects of the rut, each season:
1. Heavy Scraping
2. First does reach estrus and scraping all but stops
3. Mature buck activity Locks Down while bucks can easily find receptive does to breed
4. Heavy cruising takes place as a buck's 2nd, 3rd or 4th doe becomes increasingly difficult to find
5. Fewer and fewer does enter their estrus periods
6. Cruising begins to slow down as very few receptive does can be found
7. The Primary Rut ends
However, even though all of those aspects of the rut take place each year, they can be very difficult to experience when temperatures, buck age structure, or hunting pressure levels are not desirable. Nothing shuts down daytime rutting activity like warm temperatures, and many hunters are still waiting for the rut to start, when the rut is actually just about to pass them by.
Although the timing of the annual whitetail rut is at the exact same time every single year for your area, the level of rutting intensity is not. This season's string of warm weather fronts has proven what it takes to truly squash daylight breeding activities. However there is still HOPE; this weekend!
Check out what it takes to create the perfect storm for kick starting this week's Primary Whitetail Rut Forecast:
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. Yesterday and today's thunderstorms and high winds across the Midwest have been spectacular for creating one if the last flurries of the Primary Rut.
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.
This current cold front cimbined with a couple of warm days, couldn't be better!
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! Most locations are experiencing a minimum of 10 degree temp drop this weekend, and in some hunters will see nearly a 20 degree temperature decline for morning lows. 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 eventually subside.
*Where should you be sitting this weekend? That depends on which phase of the rut you are currently in. For example I will personally be using Peak Rut tactics this weekend in southern OH. For a complete guide for each phase, check out "Bowhunting the Phases of the Rut".
3. The Calm
The first high pressure cool and clear day that you can recognize following the front, make sure to hit the woods! Friday will be perfect in some locations, while some will have to wait for Saturday; but rest assured, it is coming to a deer woods near you, very soon!
Keep in mind that predicting this Primary Whitetail Rut high value sit forecast 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.
For some of you, for example in MN, WI and MI the rut is coming to a close within a week. For others in locations like southern IL there are still at least 2 good weeks of rut hunting to partake in. But the close of the Primary Rut is coming soon, and this weekend is an outstanding opportunity for ALL to enjoy, no matter what Midwestern city you live in. What else can be said but to grab your bow, climb a tree, dress to stay warm and enjoy one of the last great weekend rut hunts of the season!