These impressive bucks are among many Field Editor Bill Winke and his hunting companions have tagged during cold fronts that occurred during the final week of October and first couple days of November.
I have hunted nearly every day of the rut since 1990. That's 21 years straight. During the first few years, I thought I was unlucky -- experiencing only a few great days each season. It was supposed to be better than that. After at least a decade of the same, it finally struck me there are only a few great days during the rut each year. That's not nearly as many as most bowhunters would like, and certainly not as many as I would like. Even in a year when the temperatures are cool throughout the rut (seasons like this happen very rarely), you still may only experience a handful of really good days. You can't afford to miss a single one.
There is no debate about whether the rut is a great time to shoot a whitetail. The only debate revolves around which dates are best and when you should start the hunt. If you start too soon, you risk educating bucks at a time when they aren't yet moving during daylight. If you wait too long, you may miss one of those very few magic days when it seems every buck is on his feet.
THE OCTOBER FLURRY
I used to start my serious whitetail hunting on Nov. 1 each year. I had enough work that I needed to clear off the table first so I could hunt every single day of November. However, during those years several of my friends started hunting in late October, and sometimes they had great bucks down before I even got in the woods. I never worried about it, knowing I could catch up quickly once my time came. But, as I already mentioned, that was before I realized how few truly great days there are each year. Some years I never did catch up because the best days were past by the time I started.