Rut in SE MI

Discussion in 'General Michigan Hunting' started by hmmmnomaybe, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. hmmmnomaybe

    hmmmnomaybe

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    This is my first year deer hunting.

    I’ve got permission to hunt a friends land, approximately 15-ish acres in the middle of farming area.

    I sat out in a tree stand today and didn’t see anything. I’ve also had a trail cam out on the area for the last month. Reviewing the trail cam footage very sparse deer action. Multiple does in the area and 2 young bucks I’ve identified. None have been through the area for the trail cam in the last week.

    When is the rut in SE MI and should I expect an uptick in deer activity in the area or will it be that sparse throughout the season?
     
  2. November Sunrise

    November Sunrise

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    Daytime buck activity begins to escalate at this time of year. From October 24th-November 14th is all really good, especially the last few days of October and the single digit days of November.

    The trail camera if you're checking it regularly can work against you, as it introduces unnecessary scent into the area. Cameras are fun but may not be of benefit to you on a small tract.

    Do you have a feel for whether or not deer sometimes bed during the day on the parcel you're hunting? If not, then your best hunts will be in the morning, as bucks will sometimes pass through on the way from point A to point B. If deer bed on the parcel (or near it), then you're hunting could be good morning or evening, but you have to make certain that you're not disrupting their bedding when you leave in the morning or when you arrive for an afternoon hunt.
     

  3. hmmmnomaybe

    hmmmnomaybe

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    Ok good to know, thank you.

    With the rain storms moving through the nights will that work like a cold front to keep the deer bedded during the night?

    I believe the deer are bedding near by sometimes. My trail cam showed a buck walking through at 6 am then a buddy got a shot at him later that evening around 7 pm. That particular buck and other deer have been seen on the trail cam since my buddy taking the shot.

    I’ve checked the trail cam twice, the last time was when I went in last night to hunt. From where I’m sitting you can see a road to my left and a cow pasture to my right from the stand. The land owner also does take his kids and tractor back through the woods infrequently. Not sure if that would desensitize the deer or just push them out for the rut?
     
  4. November Sunrise

    November Sunrise

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    Deer are rhythm feeders, eating 5-6 times/day at roughly 4 hours interval. Out of those 5-6 times per day there are two major periods, which are the hours around daybreak and nightfall. Rainfall would not disrupt this pattern as it's driven by a deer's physiological needs. At night a deer eats some, moves around some, and is bedded down much of the time.

    It sounds as if the pressure on the land is minimal, which means you're well positioned for some good experiences in these upcoming weeks.

    Here's how a buck will operate during these upcoming weeks. The majority of deer movement will still be during the first few and final few hours of daylight. Those are the best hunting times. But what's unique about the pre-rut and early rut stages is bucks also commonly move around at two other times.

    Firstly, after a few hours of daylight (from 7-9 am after the time changed) the doe family groups are usually bedded down for the day. It's common from the period of two hours after daylight to four hours after daylight (9am-11am) for bucks to cruise from one bedding area to the next, scent checking does to see if any are in heat.

    The next 3 or so hours (11 am-2pm) are the mid-day period, which is the least likely time during the day for a buck to be on his feet, but that doesn't mean there isn't any movement, as many hunters have success during that timeframe. It's still a good time to hunt, just don't expect to see as much movement midday as you will early or late in the day.

    The final four hours, from about 2-6, the odds increase hour by hour that a buck will be on his feet.

    Put it all together and there's nothing like late October and early November for buck movement.
     
  5. hmmmnomaybe

    hmmmnomaybe

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    That is a helpful break down of the day, thank you. Makes sense with the doe groups bedding down.

    Debating hunting more public land as it is a lot bigger area with hardwoods, swamp and bean field but most likely lots more pressure. Or sticking it out on the private as it's smaller and doesn't seem to have tons of deer but lots less pressure.
     
  6. November Sunrise

    November Sunrise

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    Do you have flexibility with your schedule during the week? If so, picture public land hunting pressure as parallel to the Live from the Stand threads here on MS.com. There will be a lot of hunting activity on the weekends. During the week morning hunting activity is minimal, and once the time changes on Nov. 1st it's also harder for many hunters to get afield after work.

    So if you were to integrate public land hunting with private, you might stick with your private land spot on the weekends when public land activity is highest. Maybe add in one hunt on Wednesday on the private land as well. And then on the other days might be a time to pursue public opportunities, particularly if you can hunt mornings.
     
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  7. skipper34

    skipper34

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    If possible you should be in your stand from before daylight to after shooting hours end anytime during the month of November. I have seen most antlered deer during the first week of November from 11 am til 3 pm. Sit all day during that time if you can stick with it.
     
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  8. MSUFW07

    MSUFW07

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    You mentioned the farmer bringing kids and a tractor around once in a while. I am not a deer expert or biologist but I know that on the places I hunt a lot of times the deer couldn't care less about a tractor or a quad as long is it keeps going. If the tractor or the quad goes thru then the deer will turn to watch and if someone jumps off the deer will usually bolt at that point. I hunt an area that is bordered by the Kal-Haven trail. I often will see deer watching people walking the trail and they will just watch until the person is out of sight then they relax again. Same with when we go out on the quad, deer will watch us but as long as we don't stop or get off they will just watch and they become accustom to it. As long as you don't get too close or seem to be chasing them most of the time they really don't seem to care.

    Best of luck in your first year of hunting and don't feel bad if you don't connect this year. Took me a few years to get my first deer. Just learn from what you see out there and enjoy the time outside.
     
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  9. hmmmnomaybe

    hmmmnomaybe

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    I currently don’t have a stand yet as I’m slowly collecting my gear, can’t drop that much money on it at once. So I’m hunting from the ground but I always try to get in an hour before sunrise and at least 3 hours before sunset.

    I have a fairly flexible schedule with my work, would morning or evening sits be the most beneficial?

    Currently I’m unable to stay out all day as my wife would skin me alive if I left her alone all day with our 3 young kids.
     
  10. skipper34

    skipper34

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    If possible I would spend at least one hunting day from 11 am to 2 or 3 pm just to see any deer movement. From the last week of October[now]until the firearm opener is prime time for midday buck sightings.
     
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  11. pgpn123

    pgpn123

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    Are you playing the wind? You should be facing into it. Rt and Lt is good too, but you won't see deer behind/downwind. Check a weather app, it will make a difference where to sit that day.
     
  12. November Sunrise

    November Sunrise

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    From late October until firearm season mornings (first 4 hours of the day) are the best time for buck movement. The final 3 hours of the afternoon are second best.

    While it's not uncommon for bucks to move at midday (11-3 after this weekend's time change) the amount of movement during that time is fractional compared to the beginning and end of the day.
     
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  13. hmmmnomaybe

    hmmmnomaybe

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    Yes, to the best of my abilities I’m playing the wind.
     
  14. Martian

    Martian

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    most of this is my opinion, right now things should really be amping up. The rut is brought on by the photo period, not temperature. However, we were out in Calhoun county for the last 6 days, and did see some activity , but very low, and very few does. and it has awful warm to hot . When it is cold , deer have to move to get warm , to get food, for body heat, and bucks follow them. At daybreak,, and it is 55 or higher, you do not have to move. My feeling is the does were bedding and bucks were prolly 15-20 ft. from them waiting for them to get up. I strongly doubt deer can breed laying down. ( spoon?), I believe, that with the cool down happening Wednesday, things will step up
     
  15. sureshot006

    sureshot006 Staff Member Mods

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    Well if it stays warm like this through November there won't be any fawns next year LOL
     
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