When it comes to making the most of limited opportunities, hunters have created their own science. With the use of hi-tech weapons, advanced optics and cutting-edge gear, we have upped our chances at success by being more efficient and deadly; however, one of the greatest advantages is being ignored by most Whitetail hunters during the rut; hunting all day long.
Most hunters know that rutting bucks are totally unpredictable and sporadic during heavy pre-rut and actual rut, but still many come out of the woods at midday to take a break from hunting. We all know that all-day hunting is a serious grind sometimes both mentally and physically, but the hours during rut time are the most precious hours in a deer hunter’s lifetime, and they add up when they are missed.
If a hunter leaves the stand for a four hour break every day for a five day hunt, he or she is forfeiting 20 hours of hunting time during the rut. That is a lot of wasted hours in only a five day time period. To some, that’s crazy. The first and second rut will only come around one month a year, so why waste that priceless time when a buck’s brains are silly with unchecked risk-taking.
I have hunted and guided for almost 20 years in various places, yet when I travel to Kansas most years to assist an outfitter friend of mine, I see countless clients take midday breaks on their semi-guided hunts. I cannot imagine paying for a guided hunt and volunteering to forgo 20 or more hours of rut hunting opportunities, but I see it happen with almost 80% of clients. It may be logical to feel the need for a break, and it may be necessary to maintain saneness, but it’s not good math to do so. You can always recover and get counseling after the season.
For civilians, time is measured in hours and days, but to a deer hunter, important moments only last seconds and if you are not there to experience those micro-moments, your hunting career is surely being cheated.
One final thought of the significance of time; we are only here on this planet for a limited amount of time so hunting all day during rut might seem trivial, but in the big picture, those hours are hours that we spend pursuing our passion, and that’s very cool.