Building Whitetails - How to Hunt Lockdown and Post Rut

The rut is on, but before long, it'll dwindle and fade. In the northern half of the country, most does are bred between Nov. 10-20. While some does conceive outside of that window, most don't. This is a fixed occurrence each year.

Of course, the rut is much different in the South, and peak breeding dates vary from as early as July in Florida to as late as March in Louisiana.

Still, regardless of location, while peak estrus sees a high volume of receptive does, this period many refer to as the “lockdown” phase isn't a dead period. In fact, you'll still see mature bucks.

All in all, the best thing you can do to ensure success during the rut is to maximize the habitat in your area. Build it, and they will come. Have quality food sources, water sources, and bedding cover. Offer both greens and grains so deer have everything they need.

Design the property in such a way that deer can't resist it, but make sure it's huntable. This includes good access (entry and exit routes). The rest will take care of itself.

Finally, if you still haven't filled that tag by the end of the rut, don't panic. The late-season is a great time to hunt. Don't rush in or make bad decisions. Continue to exercise patience. The cold days ahead will likely drive deer to hit food sources in daylight. Wait for it, and be there when it happens.

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