The Rut = Sore Butt

Even with a daypack full of gear and tricks, your best bet during the rut is to put in your time.

The rut is here and boy do I know it. I’ve been sitting in stands throughout southwestern Iowa while hunting with Aaron Volkmar of Tails Of The Hunt Outfitters.

I’ve had some great action with calls, scents and decoys, but my main strategy so far is putting in my time. That’s where the sore butt comes into play.

Some folks just can’t sit that long or don’t have the patience. Now is the time to get over those obstacles, and here are some ways I’ve found to help pass the time.

First, make sure you have a comfortable treestand or ground blind. Bring along extra padding, a comfortable chair, a bow hanger and extra hooks. All of these can make you cozy and yet allow you to quickly grab your gear when a buck shows up unexpectedly. I like a bow hanger, a hook for my backpack, a hook for my calls and a hook for my binocular.

Next, bring along a diversion. Since you won’t have deer in front of you all day long, but a buck could show up at any moment, you’ll need to pass the time. Squirrel watching just doesn’t do it for me any longer. Today, you can stay connected and entertained via your smartphone.

Unfortunately, most smartphones don’t have enough battery power to say going all day, so bring along extra power or supervise your time wisely. You’ll also want to look up every minute or so. You don’t want a buck to sneak up on you unexpectedly. I rely on talk radio and a single ear bud to get me through the day. I keep the volume on low and an ear free to hear the rustling of leaves, but the discussions keep me wide awake through the day.

Comfort is also a prerequisite. Put a ton of emphasis on staying warm and invest in the best cold weather clothes and even look into a Heater Body Suit ( And you don’t want to starve, so bring plenty of food, snacks and beverages. Carbohydrates and proteins stoke your internal fire to keep you warm as well, and nothing makes me smile like a Snickers bar.

It’s the rut—so now is the time to stay in the woods all day long. I’m doing it and I hope to have a happy ending to my hunt to share with you soon.

Good luck!


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