Bowhunting The Last Week of October

It’s the last week of October. Bucks have been feeling the testosterone slowly build in their bodies, since the velvet on their antlers dried up and fell away or was rubbed off.

Every week since then, the bucks have gotten a little more pumped up until this week, the last week of October, when all hell breaks loose in the world of the whitetail! This is a special week for the bowhunter. And well it should be. This is when it all begins to really happen. Sure bucks have been making some rubs since their antlers have hardened and scrapes pop-up here and there. But now both rubbing and scraping become serious business.

Gary Clancy
Gary Clancy

Some aggressive bucks will make dozens of rubs and as many scrapes during this final week of October. The search for does, even though only a fraction of them will have anything to do with them yet, has begun in earnest. All of this is important to the bowhunter. But the No. 1 reason why I and many other whitetail hunters look forward to this week is that we know that daytime buck movement will dramatically increase during this week. It has to. The buck has no choice in the matter.

Where prior to this week, a buck could slip into his bedding area before first light and stay there all day, venturing out only when it grew dark. That all changes this week. Even the most nocturnal of bucks can be found returning to his bedding area just a little too late, or slipping out of the bedding grounds while there is still a hint of day. For some, that will be a major mistake.

Most bucks will move some during the day now and some bucks will move most of the day as they make more rubs, paw out new scrapes and check old ones — all the while testing the air currents for just the faintest whiff of pheromones, which will send the unmistakable calling card of a doe in need of a buck.

I simply do not miss the last week of October. This is the week to pull out all of the stops. I call and call a lot. I almost always use a decoy or two, and I religiously use deer scents. This is the week when I try to sit on stand all day. Depending upon where I am hunting, I might shake those horns.

The last week of October is no time to sit meekly in your stand and hope that it happens. Make it happen, man, make it happen!

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