Pattern a Big Buck During the Rut

How to Pattern a Big Buck During the Rut

How to Pattern a Big Buck During the Rut

Learning how to pattern a big buck during the rut can change you from a close, lucky encounter to a dead deer on your tailgate.

Patterning bucks during any point in the year can be a tough undertaking, so what makes us think that it’s possible during the most chaotic, wild time of the year for white-tailed deer? Lots actually. While a mature buck may move more and come out in daylight during the rut, he will still stick to an area and pattern that can be taken advantage of by hunters and we want to show you how to pattern a big buck during the rut so that you can fill that tag.

Target the Home Range

Bucks, like most people, have a home range. This consists of a core area and several beds that they use on a regular basis depending on wind direction. While these bucks will travel to different locations in search of does, they always come back to their home dance to check that out as well. Whether it’s to see if there are does that are hot in their core area, refresh scrapes, or just make sure that another buck has not moved into their beds, mature bucks visit their “homes” every 20-28 hours during the rut.

Core Areas and Beds

While there are certainly days that bucks will travel far and wide to find does and new bucks will wander into your hunting spots, the big boys tend to like certain areas where they know the does will be. If they don’t find a doe in one spot, they move to another so that they can find a receptive one. When a buck finds a doe, he may not return to his area right away, but after 24-48 hours, he’ll return.

Of Course, Funnels and Doe Bedding

To kill a buck that you’re targeting on your land or area, make sure to keep his core area and prime spots in mind. You may not see him every day, but if you hunt the funnels and pinch points of this area, where does are, there is a good chance that you can see him. Hunting is never a guarantee, but by keeping tabs on these bucks in the area that you’re hunting, you’ll have a much better shot of killing him than just climbing up any old tree.

Check out more rut hunting tips and the best days to hunt the rut. 

PJ Cashman

PJ is the co-founder of and is an avid hunter and lover of all things outdoors.

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