Deer Hunting 101 Hunt Does

deer hunting 101 hunt does
When deer hunting especially during the rut “hunt where the does are”. That is what you call deer hunting 101

Last year was my first time deer hunting in Illinois and it was a trip that I will never forget. It was a little deer hunting 101 so to speak.

Deer Hunting 101

I look back on it and at first glance it all seemed so easy. The more I think about it it though it was a tough week of deer hunting. The last day of  the hunt the four of us had not harvested a mature buck and we were all mentally and physically exhausted. Deer hunting and scouting hard all week in unseasonably warm temperatures had worn us down. But to all of our credit we hunted hard all week.


I remember thinking about each spot I had scouted and trying to figure out the best place to score on a trophy buck. And something my buddy kept telling me kept popping into my head, he said “hunt where the does are”. I knew this, but kept hunting the fresh rubs and scrapes which are great places to hunt. But there was a place on a trail that I used to walk back into the hardwoods. To a spot where there were some big fresh rubs and scrapes. But at this one place each time I was walking through there I saw 1 or more does.

Light Bulb Moment

On the last hunt of our trip I’m walking back down the same trail at about 5:30 am with my red lens on my flashlight. Once again in the same spot where I saw does every time, I walked up on two mature does. They didn’t appear to be spooked at all they just slowly walked off. So I start down the trail to the spot deeper in the woods where the fresh rubs and scrapes were. The light bulb in my head went off, my buddy kept telling me “hunt where the does are”. So I made a u-turn and went right back where I had seen the does every time I had walked through there.

Immediately I shined my light looking for a tree to get up in my portable. The very first tree I shined my light on right on the trail was perfect. So I put my portable on the tree and up I went.

Hunt Where the Does Are

Now it was hard to decide not to hunt the fresh scrapes and rubs. I decided to do like my buddy said and “hunt where the does are”. I got settled and watched the sun slowly rise.

Cold Front During Rut

A cold front had moved in the night before and it was about 32 degrees  and the big bucks had to be near going into full rut. About 6:50 I decided to do a little rattling and grunted and bleated a few times. I waited a few minutes and repeated the calling. Then I sat back and anxiously waited. Then I saw horns coming towards me about 75 yards away and I did a grunt and it was like he was on a string. The trophy buck came in to about 30 yards and I was able to put a great double lung shot on the brute and watched him walk about 15 yards and lay down and expire.

Big Buck Down

I had just harvested my first big buck with a bow. And I did just like my buddy Mac had said “hunt where the does are“. It was hard to not hunt where all the big fresh buck sign was but by hunting where the does were I was able to get a big trophy whitetail bow hunting in Illinois.

So when the season rolls around and you can’t decide where to hunt, especially during the rut. Just “hunt where the does are”. You will increase your odds of harvesting that once in a lifetime trophy buck.


4 thoughts on “Deer Hunting 101 Hunt Does”

  1. Great Tip!! In Saskatchewan where they bait deer to bring out the big bucks… the number one thing they tell you is be alert when the bait is on the bait…It is not the food that brings in the big buck, it is the ladies!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Kevin! During the rut those bucks aren’t thinking about eating… they want some lovin!

  3. Results on 2009 Nevada mule deer hunt.
    Well we left for our trip as planned and arrived in our hunt unit on Oct. 14th in the early afternoon.After our 400 mile drive to the ruby mountains in Nevada. After a six day hunting trip we saw only 25 deer compaired to our normal 200 plus and never saw a single buck. Turns out the wonderful State of Nevada Dept. of Wildlife issued almost 1000 doe tags on top of a youth and buck hunt that keeps that area busy with hunters any way.We walked further and hiked higher than we ever have before and got absolutely nothing for our efforts and the $1,300 approxamate dollars the trip cost us. I strongly suggest you contact the Nevada dept. of wild life before you hunt our state to see if they are planning on screwing up your hunt as they did ours before you vest the time and money to hunt here. We never did talk to any one that had killed a buck and never saw one hanging in a tree either at any camp.Nevadas big game managment staff leaves a lot to be desired apparently.Hope all of you had and have a great hunt this year.

  4. Thanks for the update Pete. Sorry you guys had such a bad hunt. It doesn’t seem right to me that they would do that. Better luck next time.

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