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Now Is the Time!

How to Take a Mature Buck Over the Next Few Days!

I have been a full-time outdoor communicator for 35 years. In 1988, I wrote an article in Outdoor Life magazine about the most active two days of the whitetail’s rut. The dates I mentioned were met with skepticism and critique. Some 34 years later, many of the critics and sceptics have embraced the two dates that I mentioned--the best two dates of the entire whitetail rut: November 10th and November 14th.

The peak of the rut always takes place just prior to the time when bucks are actually breeding does. I call this period of the rut the “Big Chase.” Over the five-plus decades I have kept records on the rut, November 10th and 14th have been the most active dates, time and time again, when mature bucks are seeking does.

My experience with these dates has also documented that it is the time when mature bucks – 4.5 years old and older -- are on the prowl to breed receptive does. Mature bucks rarely, if ever, waste their time chasing does that are not ready to breed. They leave that nonsense to immature bucks. Instead, they save their energy and wait until many female deer have come into their peak estrus period and are responsive to accepting a buck’s romantic intentions.

Long story short, if you want to bag an adult buck, November 10th and 14th are the days for you to be afield. This is the time when Mr. Big is up and moving throughout the day. By capitalizing on these two dates, you will raise your chances to kill a mature buck ten-fold.

This period is also the most effective time to use tactics like decoying, estrous scent, rattling and calling. Hunt in areas where you have big views. The more area you see, the more chances you have to bring in an amorous buck to you.

During my 57 years of hunting white-tailed deer across North America I have also learned two important lessons. The first is that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, about a deer’s behavior is written in stone. The second thing is, you would be hard-pressed to find two better dates to bag a mature whitetail buck than the two dates mentioned above!

Good luck,


aka The Deer Doctor


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