*For a complete guide to this year's rut, make sure to check out last week's Midwest Whitetail Rut forecast, as well as my entire 2015 forecast:
"The 2015 Whitetail Rut Prediction"
"October 12th Weekly Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast"
Are you ready for a Midwest Whitetail Rut forecast based on proven strategies, that you can actually take to the field during the week of October 19th to October 25th? Then you have come to the right place. In fact, you can use these details to predict your own rut forecast for the entire North 1/2 of the whitetail range.
*If you like learning all that you can about mature buck hunting strategies, make sure that you check out my"Whitetail Success By Design"series of books.
For several years on this site, and even in my books, I have detailed how hunting the various cold fronts that travel through the season can pay huge rewards. This is a method I have been using literally, since the early 90s; at a time when my best weather source was deciphering the local conditions from a marine radio forecast in MI's thumb area. Several years ago I created a 45 day weather forecast, which eventually led to a 30 day forecast last year. Now this year...I hope you enjoy this forecast, by the week!
This Midwest Whitetail Rut forecast is about predicting the weekly high value days for you to make sure that you are sitting in a tree stand for. Bonified
High Value Sits are greatly outnumbered by poor to moderate value days, so it pays to be tuned in to both the weather, and this rut forecast to make sure that you don't miss out on some incredible mature buck opportunities!
October 19th: Your Weekly Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast
This most likely will not look exactly like your weather forecast because I chose the major, Midwestern city of LaCrosse, WI for a central example of this week's prediction. If you are West of LaCrosse by 200 miles or more than your High Value Sit forecast will be a 1/2 day or more Earlier than predicted. If you are 200 miles or more East of LaCrosse, then your High Value Sit forecast will be a 1/2 day or more Later than predicted.
The key is to be able to plug in your own conclusions based on The Set Up, The Drop, and The Calm as predicted in the forecast for your area. However in this week's forecast, check out the following:
*Thursday, October 22nd reflects a 10 degree temperature drop, which is significant for this time of year! Temperature drops are all relative, meaning that the end temperature is often not as critical as the amount of the drop itself. The 10 degree temperature drop to 60 is very good, but following 3 days of temperatures in the low 70s is what really set's up this day to be the first true glimpse towards the beginning of the Pre Rut in many areas.
*Sunday, October 25th brings only a 6 degree temperature drop to the table of mature buck opportunity, but following cloudy, breezy, and several degree warmer conditions it becomes a can't miss day! As an even greater chance of being firmly cemented into the beginning of the Pre Rut, this could be one of the first really high quality days to be in the woods for the entire year. Clearing skies with rising pressure is certainly the icing on the cake!
*Saturday, October 31st is a long ways away and getting into an accuracy window range of most likely 10-15% or less, however this is still a period of time to keep an eye on as we draw closer. October 31st is traditionally a solid day to target in most Northern settings, but when you combine a major cold front set up, drop and calm...make sure that you do not miss out, because this is a period of time where many mature buck dreams can be made.
*As always there will be a handful of good to fair days to be in the woods, but don't forget that just 1 high value "can't miss" day is typically worth more than the rest of the lower value days during the week, combined.
*The Moon will offer a quality, low impact influence over whitetail feeding times, with the start of the New Moon phase taking place early in the week. Expect feeding times to be early during the afternoon and evening hours due to dark skies during the early hours of the night. Without the influence of a full moon, typical early morning mature buck movements will take place from daybreak to the hours of mid morning. You can expect very little mid-day movements during this moon phase, with the exception of feeding on natural food sources of mast or high quality native browse, directly adjacent to mature buck bedding areas.
*Make sure to check out my whitetail book series to help you find public or private land mature bucks this Fall, including "Whitetail Success By Design" and "Food Plot Success By Design"
Sit Timing: October 19th Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast
The 19th is nearly beginning of the Pre Rut, but by the 25th the Pre Rut will be in full swing in most areas. Two of my top archery bucks were taken on 10/22 and 10/27, with another close call for a near 6-7 year old Booner on 10/22, still leaving an aching hole in my heart. Monster scrapes, a few major buck battles, a giant rub or two and even some decent mature buck cruising will lure folks into a rut-crazed frenzy! This is the beginning of still holding onto a few early season tactics, while introducing some mild rut tactics into your Weekly Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast plan of attack:
1. High Priority Evening Doe Sits
Do all that you can to find high quality, brushy funnels that allow you to observe high volume doe family group afternoon movements to food. Make sure that you aren't sitting too deep into the woods, because the closer to dark the day passes, the more likely that nearly every deer in the woods has already gravitated towards the highly social, afternoon food source locations. Taking an "all day" sit may sound like a bold idea, but if you are near food you could be missing some outstanding opportunities during the first 1/2 of the day, and if you are near bedding you may be less likely to see a buck as the afternoon progresses towards the end of legal shooting hours. Think bedding areas movement during the morning, and travels to food sources during the evening.
2. Morning Bedding Opportunities
Between bedding areas, on the way to bedding areas, or downwind of high quality bedding areas, are all stand locations that I will take advantage of during the later 1/2 of this week. If you have a mature buck residing in a bedding area that you can set adjacent too, expect his morning range to increase from well less than an acre, to 5-10 acres or more. Although I wouldn't expect a buck from the neighbor's land to cruise by from a mile away, a great funnel located within 100-200 yards of a suspected mature buck bedding areas could yield fairly predictable success!
3. Does Mid Day Matter?
For me, the answer would be a pretty quick "No". During this period of time I expect up to 4 hours of high quality action during the morning, and up to 2 hours during the evening. However during the middle of the day, unless I expect my neighbor's pressure to move deer my way or there is a Full Moon rising during the evening, I prefer to save my "middle of the day" time for closer to the first week of November.
*Make sure to stay tuned though, because when and where you should time your sits during the coming weeks will be changing drastically! It pays to take a gamble on a quality morning hunt, because unlike the periods of the early season and October lull, this is when we will be experiencing the transition from the priority of evening feeding hunts, to extremely high quality morning cruising madness; we are very close!
Critical Weekly Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast Details
Make sure to also apply the priority of sits when weighing your decision to take the woods, or not. As the season progresses, the value of the most highly predicted days to be in the woods will increase substantially to the days of the annual whitetail rut. Here is how I personally place a priority on any upcoming sits:
1. From Pre to Post, nothing beats the RUT
2. The first week to 10 days of the bow season are often a missed, but extremely high value time to hit the whitetail woods, especially for the well-prepared hunter.
3. Although the dreaded "October Lull" is largely hunter induced, this period of time still falls behind the early season and especially the rut, when it comes to consistent mature buck harvest opportunities.
High Value sit days are few and far between because there are 3 Variables that need to take place in order for you to find proven success: The Set Up, The Drop, and The Calm
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.
*Check out the above bucks that have fallen to these same Midwest Whitetail Rut cold weather predictions, just during the past couple of weeks of the season!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".
By learning to apply these proven cold front techniques to your midwest whitetail rut hunting efforts the entire season, you will be well prepared for the mature buck opportunities created during the entire whitetail rut!
Although this will most likely not be an exact forecast for your area, this can serve as a fairly accurate guide for your own prediction efforts. Follow this rotating Midwest whitetail rut forecast each week, as we ride the rollercoaster of high and low value sit opportunities, while using examples of various major cities across the region.