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Rut Crash Course: Identify Funnels & Pinch Points for the Whitetail Rut

Do your homework and take it to the field, says Mark Kayser in this deer-hunting instruction video.

Hunting during the whitetail rut reminds Game & Fish hunting contributor Mark Kayser of funnel cakes and "tighty-whities."

We'll let him explain:

"[The deer rut] can be as enjoyable as those funnel cakes you got at the fair, and it can be as frustrating as those tighty-whities you used to wear in elementary school that, well, they pinched you," Kayser said in an episode of the Crash Course video series entitled, "Identify Funnels & Pinch Points."

In the video, Kayser details the strategies involved with targeting funnels and pinch points to improve your odds of bagging a trophy whitetail buck this season.

Funnels are large natural or man-made features that bring deer down a specific route of least resistance. Think of a big block of timber with field edges on either side, funneling whitetails from point A to point B.

A pinch point is where the terrain or feature narrows, or "necks down," significantly. This is "where you put your tree stand or your ground blind, whatever type of ambush you're going to set up," Kayser said.

Crash Course: Funnels and Pinch Points
Start your deer-rut planning at home to find funnel areas and pinch points on your targeted hunting land. (Crash Course screenshot)

The most rudimentary of all the funnels and pinch points are narrow ribbons of timber that are found everywhere from coast to coast in whitetail country.

To find where to mark an X for a deer hot spot, Kayser says the work begins at home utilizing such tools as the HuntStand app, Google Earth, or dozens of other hunting-related apps. Satellite imagery and topographic maps can help you easily both funnel and pinch areas. A lot of times, huntable areas jump right off the map.

Once your homework is completed, and everything is transferred to your smartphone, you can take the info to the field to see things firsthand and plan your ambush points.


"The deer are traveling right through here," Kayser said in the how-to hunting video. "This is the pinch point that I identified on my HuntStand hunting app. And, I think I've got plenty of options here."

The deer rut can be pretty random. Don't let it get you frustrated because you're not finding deer. Find those funnels, identify the pinch points, and increase your chances at a big whitetail.

Watch the video to learn more

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