Are you considering an all day rut sit? Not so fast! Unless the following 3 ingredients are coming together to create optimum all day sit conditions, you could be wasting a large portion of your precious rut window. While spending the entire day in the woods can often be an outstanding option, sitting in the same stand all day is often not, because you can not maximize the value of each sit.
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3 All Day Ingredients For Maximum Value
Sitting all day during the rut seems almost like a status symbol statement. "Yep, hitting the woods all day tomorrow, the rut is in" or "The bucks are moving, time to sit all day". It sounds cool, it sounds tough, it sounds hardcore. It's almost as if that if you don't sit all day, you just aren't a serious hunter. However, in my experience, a case can be made that sitting in 1 stand all day not only can hinder your overall daily sit value, but that it is a too basic and too common of a hunting strategy. For nearly 3 decades I have experienced a much better option than simply falling into the ultra basic, potentially success hindering all day rut strategy.
While a case can be made for sitting in 1 stand all day, the actual situation that calls for it, is rare. To increase your odds during this year's whitetail rut, make sure to consider these 3 ingredients when making your all day sit decisions:
1. Perfect Weather Conditions
If it is windy, hot or stormy, you can expect mature bucks to stick to their core daytime bedding areas a lot tighter! While an old bruiser may travel just as many miles during the peak rut, in my experience he will do so within a much smaller area. When the weather conditions are poor and the mature buck movements are tight, a morning sit near a bedding area becomes a necessity. However, that same stand during the evening becomes poor as every deer in the woods heads away from bedding to their preferred afternoon food source.
2. Daytime Rut Cruising Opportunity
If you can't answer "Yes" to the question of if the stand you are considering for an all day sit would be a great sit for a mid day cruising monster, then resist the urge. Mid day cruising hotspots are often the perfect compromise for effective stand locations for both a morning and evening sit. A mid day cruising stand location is often between bedding areas and downwind of major food sources, within heavy security cover. Those ingredients add up to good evening and morning stand locations, and when you add the 3rd aspect of a great mid day value, you may be Able to capture an extremely high value all day long.
3. Total All Day Rut Value?
A morning sit that is a 10 out of 10, can then become a 2 out of 10 during the evening as deer are leaving the location to head towards food. The answer to maintain your value for a given high quality day, focus on a stand that takes advantage of food in the evening and a different stand that takes advantage of bedding in the morning. Your goal during poor weather should be to hit two stands that can total a 20/20 for the entire day, instead of 1 stand that equals a 12/20 for an all day sit.
Why not sit everyday during the rut...all day? Because you can considerably lose the overall value of your cumulative sits. Also, hunting during poor weather days will significantly lower the value of the high quality weather day sits that follow. If perfect cool weather opportunities are in the forecast, you should still take a good hard look at the potential value of each period of the day. A 10 out of 10 morning stand can never make up for the loss of value if that same stand turns into a 2 out of 10 during the afternoon. Don't be afraid to change locations and if you have planned your access routes carefully, you should non invasively be able to do so.
By targeting the perfect conditions for both morning and evening (and sometimes even a 3rd stand for mid day), you can maintain a very high value for each and every sit. While I personally rarely sit in 1 stand all day during the rut, I do make sure that I manage extremely high sit levels when I climb into a tree. If I can not find a high value opportunity with my stand choices for the given wind, weather and stand rotation patterns, I wait for another day. By practicing the above 3 ingredients I have experienced well over an 80% success rate with my target bucks since the early 90s, and I believe that you can too!