Hunting The Illinois Whitetail Rut
Bow or gun hunting during the whitetail rut can be one of the most exciting times to be in the deer woods. This is traditionally the best time to be in the deer stand. As the leaves begin to fall and the weather starts to drop, mature deer start to become more and more visible during daylight hours searching for estrous does. The Illinois deer rut falls during the month of November. Hunting the Illinois deer rut can be divided up into three different hunting times: the end of the pre-rut, the rut, and the start of the post-rut.
Illinois’ first gun season normally falls at the end of this period. Having a short firearm season during the deer rut allows many bucks to make it though the Illinois gun season. For those who enjoy gun hunting, this can be a very exciting three days!
Watch this video of Ron Way’s 192″ Monster Whitetail!!
This week is the end of the peak rut and the start of the post-rut. Like the pre-rut, it can be very productive, particularly with those bigger bucks looking for the remaining does to come into estrous. Some years, this week has more deer rut activity than any other period in November, especially if unusually warm weather is present earlier in the month.
Transition areas – Find transition areas and funnels between doe bedding areas and feeding areas. Bucks will be scent checking these areas at all hours of the day.
Time in the woods – The more time you spend in the woods the better. So if you are able to, pack a sack lunch and sit in the woods all day, as that trophy whitetail buck could come by in the middle of the day just as easily as he could in the morning or evening.
Stop the buck before you take a shot at him – Bucks can be unpredictable while chasing does and moving animals will most likely result in poor shot placement. Do whatever it takes to stop him before you release your arrow.
Be prepared – The month of November experiences drastic weather variations. Temperatures can vary from 80 degrees down to the teens, and rain and snow are also both a possibility. Hunters must come prepared to endure a variety of conditions to be able to remain in the woods.
Enjoy bow hunting an elusive gobbler while in your stand. You can have the option of hunting turkeys and whitetail during your fall deer hunt.
It’s nice to be sitting in the stand and if a flock of turkeys come in, you have the option of shooting one with your bow. Your fall archery turkey permit is an either sex tag, so you could shoot a hen or a gobbler.