For hunters, November is an exciting and favored month. It’s a pivotal time for deer hunters, marked by the peak rutting (breading) season and the unique behavioral patterns of deer. It’s also the period for open deer hunting on public and private lands for archery and firearms in most local areas. We provide insights and strategies for successful deer hunting, gathered from various experienced hunters and experts.

Week-by-Week Breakdown of November Deer Hunting

November 1-6:

Pre-Rut Behavior: Bucks are in the pre-rut stage, actively rubbing and scraping, and beginning to search for does, though the does are not yet receptive.

Hunting Strategies: Focus on areas near scrapes and use calling tactics. Ideal locations include staging areas, near buck or doe bedding areas, saddles, pinch-points, and funnels. Treestand hunting is highly effective during this period​​.

November 7-13:

Lock-Down Phase: Some does enter estrus, leading to a lock-down phase where bucks stay close to a doe. This can make hunting challenging as bucks tend to be less mobile.

Hunting Approach: Continue using tactics from the end of the first week. Position yourself near a thick brush or other dense cover where bucks might pursue does​​.

November 14-20:

Post Lock-Down Phase: The lock-down phase generally ends, and deer movement increases again.

Tactics: Adopt the same strategies as in the first week, with added caution due to increased hunting pressure. Consider hunting near leeward ridges, trail intersections, and pockets of cover​​.

November 21-30:

Late Rut Activity: Bucks revert to seeking and chasing behaviors, and big bucks are more active. Younger bucks might show decreased activity due to fatigue.

Strategy: Hunt as in the first two weeks but consider moving deeper into cover to adapt to hunting pressure and changing deer patterns. Be ready to switch to late-season tactics if rut activity decreases​​.

Additional Hunting Strategies and Tips

  1. Hunting Thicker Cover: During the lock-down phase, focus on heavier cover areas, often referred to as “heat cover,” where does in heat might isolate themselves. This can attract bucks checking on prospective mates​​.
  • Choosing Hunting Days: Utilize tools like Drury’s DeerCast to select the best days for hunting based on game camera activity and rut predictions. Consider hunting throughout the day, especially midday, as this period can be surprisingly active​​.
  • Rub Lines: Locate rub lines to find areas where mature bucks are active. Trail cameras can be strategically placed along these lines to monitor deer movement and identify potential targets​​.
  • Run-and-Gun Method: This tactic involves moving hunting locations frequently, especially on public land where deer are wary of human presence. It’s effective for adapting to deer movement patterns and avoiding over-pressuring a specific area​​.
  • Mock Scrapes: Creating mock scrapes can be an effective tactic to attract bucks, particularly when enhanced with the right scents and placed strategically near your stand​​.
  • Scent Control: Rigorous scent control is crucial for hunting mature whitetails. This includes using scent elimination products, managing what you eat before the hunt, and understanding wind direction to stay downwind of your target​​.

Successful November deer hunting requires an understanding of deer behavior during the rut, strategic placement of stands and blinds, the use of trail cameras and rub lines for scouting, adaptability in hunting tactics, and meticulous scent control. With patience, observation, and the right approach, November can be an extremely rewarding time for deer hunters.


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Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:

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