The 10 Best Stand Locations for Hunting the Rut

The 10 Best Stand Locations for Hunting the Rut

Author: Outdoor Life
Published: November 8, 2022

It’s that time of year! This article from Outdoor Life is very helpful in aiding you this season.

“The rut is the most exciting time to hunt—if you’re sitting in the right spot. Here are our picks for the top stand locations for the rut

The rut is a phenomenal time of year to be a deer hunter. It’s when anything can happen at any time. Bucks are chasing does, and even those elusive mature bucks can be spotted on their feet during daylight. The drive to breed can push bucks to travel miles from their typical home range which gives hunters the opportunity to tag a giant buck that they’ve never seen before.

However, the chaos of the rut can also make deciding where to hunt more challenging. If a big buck could show up anywhere at any time, it’s also true that he could never show up at the spot you’re hunting. And this leads to the biggest question when it comes to hunting the rut: Where should you sit?

To help you make the right call, we’ve listed the ten best stands for hunting the rut. These picks are based on interviews with expert whitetail hunters, deer biologists, and from personal experience in the field.

Buck Bedding Areas

While this might seem like a surprising choice, sticking to thick bedding areas that bucks have been using all season long can produce during the rut. According to The Hunting Beast’s Dan Infalt, this is an excellent way to encounter mature bucks that rarely move elsewhere during daylight hours. He says these are the places that he kills most of his mature deer, even during the rut.

Generally, these are the absolute thickest, nastiest areas around for bucks to live in. It gives them an advantage on seeing, hearing, or smelling danger before it reaches them. Hunting these in a strategic manner can produce solid results. Listen to the podcast below to hear how Infalt does it.

Doe Bedding Areas

One of the best stand locations for the rut is near doe bedding areas. This is a time when bucks are covering ground in search of does. The downwind sides of doe bedding areas can put a hunter in a good position to capitalize on cruising bucks.

“I will hunt doe bedding areas that harbor bucks, or adjacent bedding areas near there,” Infalt says. “But I still kill most of my bucks in bedding, not in funnels.”

Interestingly, according to recent research, you might even have new rutting does and bucks pushing through an area that weren’t previously there.

“We’ve learned that females make forays outside their traditional home ranges in the breeding season,” says Duane Diefenbach, wildlife biologist with Penn State University. “The conventional wisdom was that it was all about males making mate selection choices. But females play a role in mate selection as well.”

To read the full article, click here. 

Photo Credit: Original Author

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