At the Ranch – Whitetail: The Stages of October

The month of October can essentially be broken down into three stages. It is a month like any other and I wanted to run through each stage and what it means for your hunt.

First stage is early October which can be really good if you got a buck on a food source or if you’ve got any type of consistent pattern you are seeing. A lot of times in early, early October bucks are gonna stay on that pattern, whether they’re hitting a beanfield or a food plot. I think of early October as a food-to-bed, and bed-to-food type pattern and you can really capitalize on those food sources.

As we transition to the middle of October, the second stage, the end of the first into the second or third week of October, that’s traditionally known as the October lull. This is basically when food sources are changing, bucks are becoming more nocturnal and they’re just not moving as much. This can be a really, really tough time to hunt. My biggest piece of advice to hunt this stage of October is focus on finding the cold fronts and getting as close to bedding as you can. It’s just probably the most difficult time of the year to hunt.

As you move into the end of October, it gets to one of my favorite times to hunt and that’s the pre-rut. November in most of the Midwest is the classic rut time frame when deer are chasing. But, the pre-rut at the end of October, bucks aren’t really chasing because does are in estrus. However, bucks are starting to get ramped up, it’s getting colder, they’re hitting scrapes, and they’re kind of getting ready for the rut and a lot of times this is when they can be really susceptible to calling and bucks are getting aggressive towards each other. It’s just one of my favorite times to hunt.

october hunting

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