Rut Report: November 3

Day No. 3 of a 13-day rut hunt is in the books. Discover what North American Hunter Senior Managing Editor Dave Maas learned during his day in the Wisconsin woods.

This was one of those days when I should’ve gone muskie fishing instead of deer hunting. In total, I jumped one spike buck while doing a push for buddy, and saw nothing else during my morning and afternoon sits. My brother hunted nearly all day, including all of the midday hours, and saw zero deer. One buddy watched a 110-class 4x4 bed near his treestand at sunrise, then the buck slipped away 2 hours later. No chasing today witnessed by any of a half-dozen hunters, which is strange for November 2.

The highlight of our day (2 p.m.) was spotting a 2.5-year-old 4x4 that appeared to be tending a doe near one of my small brassica plots, and he wouldn’t run away even when I drove only 20 yards from him in my pickup. Seeing that buck made us think the afternoon/evening would be cranking, but it was dead.

My wife hunted today in South Dakota, and while she saw a few more deer than what our group spotted in WI, it was still slow by SD standards: a few small bucks, no chasing.

Tomorrow I’ll bowhunt until noon, then help my dad move a few ground blinds (wood structures without roofs) in preparation for the upcoming firearms season. I won’t be gun hunting but my 11-year-old son and one of his buddies (who will be hunting for the first time) is joining us in WI later this month. I want to make sure I have plenty of good spots for the kids in funnel-type areas for winds of any direction. Again today our hunting group was bit in the butt by southeast winds. Frustrating.

After moving the blinds, I plan to pack up my stuff and head to South Dakota. That is, unless the action here in WI heats up and forces me to stay. Who knows . . . maybe the buck that made the rub in the photo above will suddenly appear and make my day!