Late-Rut Bulls

Many bow seasons end before the rut has run its full course. However, some states offer opportunities for bowhunters to pursue bulls into early October. Here lies a very over-looked and under-utilized resource.

Eddie Claypool

Most bowhunters expend most of their energy and time during the early stages of bow season; thus the woods are much less crowded later. Also, the weather has a tendency to be more inclement at this time. Both these factors combine to provide late-rut bowhunters with excellent opportunities at still rut-crazy bulls that are less pressured, thus more active and relaxed.

As the peak breeding period begins to wind down, it becomes much harder for bulls to find “hot” cows, thus competition becomes intense again. With the lion’s share of their cows already bred, herd bulls may even begin to roam about looking for a random “late” cow.

I’ve experienced some of my most incredible rut-hunting action during the last few days of September and into early October. Don’t give up on bow season just because it is in its dying throngs!

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Eddie Claypool provides tips weekly on bowhunting, with an emphasis on whitetails. Over the past dozen years, Claypool has harvested 22 Pope & Young recordbook whitetails. Six of the deer were taken on public ground, with the rest coming from private ground that he accessed through knocking on doors. He has not been guided on a hunt, or hunted on managed properties. He also has hunted many other species of game including elk and mule deer.

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