The chase is on for whitetail hunters

Early November – it is arguably the best time of year to hunt whitetails in Pennsylvania.

The start of the rut is in full swing this week – a phase many call the chase phase. It’s a time of year where it’s not uncommon for archery hunters to see bucks, especially young bucks, cruise through a treeline with their noses to the ground in search of a doe.

It’s also a time of year for archery hunters to break out the bag of tricks – scents, rattle bags or antlers, and grunt tubs all go into the hunting bag this week. You never know when you’ll need one or all three of these in a time of need. Personally, I’m a rattling fan, but I also use estrous bombs this time of year. I’ve rattled in a few bucks over the years, but never a giant.

I have seen my share of bucks following my drag line, though, and four or five years ago was lucky enough to make a good shot on an 8-point. It is quite rewarding when a plan comes together. More often than not the plan never fully works out.

Some hunters say they like cold mornings this time of year. A little chill seems to add to the crispness of the air and leaves, making every leaf sound like potato chips under a deer’s hoof.

In early November, my experience tells me it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside – when the time is right the deer will be on the prowl in the wind, snow, whatever the elements. It’s easy to get discouraged sometimes when 9 or 10 a.m. roll around and there isn’t a deer to be seen.

Bad day? There is no such thing in my opinion. You’re in the woods, living the dream, I would say.

It’s early November and there’s a buck cruising just over the next ridge, searching for a receptive doe. Wait him out because chances are a deer is going to cross your path eventually and you will be ready.



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