Whitetail Deer Hunting: Own the Rut With a Great Food Plot

Whitetail Deer Hunting: Own the Rut With a Great Food Plot
Photo By Gary R. Zahm

Every landowner wants to make their property the place whitetail deer want to be during the rut.

In order to make deer want to rut on your property, you have to supply the perfect landscape elements for early season deer tactics. Here's how to build your property into the perfect rut hangout in five easy steps.

1 Serve Fine Food

Carefully placed whitetail food plots and well-managed fruit-bearing trees, such as chestnuts, oaks, apples and pears, provide a perfect setting for bucks and does to meet.

2 Provide A Good Drink

And what is a good dinner without a fine drink? Strategically located ponds or artificial water sources will keep deer from moving off of your land to find water.

3 Make A Safe Haven

Setting aside a sanctuary adjacent to a food source will draw and hold more deer on your property as hunting pressure increases on surrounding properties.

4 Set The Stage

"Softening" an edge between your sanctuary or travel corridor by encouraging brushy (soft) edges (about 30 feet wide) will provide "staging areas," where bucks can intercept does coming to feed. It is the social center for the rut "dance."

 5 Connect The Dots

Travel corridors need to connect social centers and sanctuaries. Develop existing strips of conifers along drainages, or plant them to provide protection for deer that naturally want to avoid crossing fields and large openings.

Did You Know?

Late season bucks use a mixture of frontal gland and tarsal gland scents to influence the behavior of both does and other bucks. And the smell is clearly intimidating to younger bucks. There may be as many as 100 species of bacteria living in the hairs of the tarsal gland that change ordinary urine into smelly rut chemicals.

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Have some tried-and-true early season tactics of your own? Share them with us on Facebook!

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