Hunting the Rut: Bucks Trailing Does

Whitetail Hunting: Hunting the Rut

Question: When out whitetail deer hunting, whenever I think the rut is close or on, when a doe steps out I don’t even think of shooting her… hoping that a nice buck may be trailing her. I always keep and eye out for that rutting buck, even 45 minutes after first seeing the doe. In your hunting experience, what is the furthest (time wise) you’ve seen a buck trailing behind a doe? Just curious because I’d like to get some meat in the freezer, but I’ve also seen some rutting activity.

Answer: In all my years of whitetail deer hunting, most rutting bucks will be right the doe, or at least within one minute of her. Only on a few occasions have I seen bucks come much later that I thought were on the doe’s trail. Of course, these bucks could have simply been walking the same trail, but I don’t think so.

One factor that can effect chasing behavior in deer is the buck to doe ratio. When the buck to doe ratio is close (1:1), does that come into heat will have bucks right on top of her. However, if there are many more does than bucks, this may not always be the case. In this instance, then you are more likely see bucks that would be following further behind because they may be in search of another doe after covering the previous one. But buck to doe ratio aside, if you are deer hunting during the rut then anything can happen!

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