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What Triggers the Rut?

The Rut. Millions of hunters across North America wait patiently for this special time in the deer woods.

The time has come. 

When the rut is on, it’s on. A flip is switched. The big bucks move, while you stay still in the stand…hoping all of your hard work will pay off. If you’re shooting Winchester, reliability and power will be delivered every single time. But you need to make sure you’re in the stand when those bucks are on the move.

Timing of the rut varies by location. Depending on where you hunt, the rut can take place as early as August and can stretch as late as February*. When the Winchester crew went to Texas in January, the rut was just ending. This can play in a hunter’s favor if you’re sitting near a solid food and water source. The bucks are fueling up, looking for food to replenish the nutrients they lost when they were on the chase. But back in the northern regions in January, the rut has long since ended.

What triggers the rut to begin and end? It’s all about light. 

Also known as the photoperiod, the shifting ratio of daylight to darkness regulates deer hormones. Hormones are connected to the breeding cycle and antler growth. When the amount of daylight diminishes, it’s a kickstart for deer to change their behavior and priorities so they can breed. 

The northern regions of the Midwest see a more drastic difference in daylight due to the seasonal shifts from summer to fall to winter. In the South, it’s not as significant of a shift because the sunlight change isn’t so dramatic. This is why the breeding cycle in the southern regions are wider, and why the Winchester crew could start their new year with a whitetail hunt to remember in Texas. 

When the rut arrives, make sure you are ready. Winchester is there every step of the way….to provide the tools you need to start and end the season on a high note. 

For more information on Winchester, visit www.winchester.com


(*Source: https://www.qdma.com/triggers-whitetail-rut/)

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