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John's Journal... Entry 173, Day 1


Understanding The Rut Phases

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jerry Peterson is the founder and product designer of Woods Wise Products, the makers of quality game calls in Franklin, Tennessee.

QUESTION: What are the basic facts a hunter should know about the rut?
PETERSON: Most importantly, you must understand the phase of the rut you are hunting. If you don't know, you can make two simple observations of the does, and also look at scrapes to determine the rut phase. Generally, when bucks make scrapes, they are looking for, but not finding does. During the prerut, bucks work scrapes to their maximum. When they stop tending those scrapes, you know you are going into the peak of the rut. The bucks no longer have any reasons to tend scrapes because they are finding what they are looking for. Secondly, you can look at the doe's tarsal glands on the inside of her hind leg and gauge the phase of the rut by the color of the glands. For example, a solid-white tarsal gland means there is no rutting activity whatsoever going on. The prerut phase is marked by a chocolate-brown center in the white tarsal gland. And during the peak of the rut, the doe's tarsal glands are jet black. The fourth point about the tarsal gland is once she has bred, she licks it clean. So you can gauge the progress of the rut by looking at every doe you see.

Once you know what phase the deer are in, by gauging scrape activity or studying the does' tarsal glands, you can begin to determine what calls to use.

For more information on Woods Wise Products, call 1-800-735-8182, or visit their website at www.woodswise.com.




Check back each day this week for more about SECRETS FOR CALLING BUCKS ...

Day 1 - Understanding The Rut Phases
Day 2 - Secrets For Calling Bucks
Day 3 - Prerut Calling
Day 4 - The Rut and Post-Rut
Day 5 - The Importance Of Calling

John's Journal