This will be the first of two (possibly three) “Rut Weather Forecasts” for November. They will run this week and the following two weeks.
Do you like the header photo? I’m not sure who took it but it holds a special place in my memories. There’s an old bunkhouse on the property that I hunt on in Oklahoma. My grandpa and my brother and I always stayed in it when we hunted there. This picture has hung on the wall in that bunkhouse for many years and it has always brought me excitement while I was hunting on that property. Grandpa is gone now, and this picture reminded me of him when I found it for many reasons, especially because he was an old warrior like the old buck on the left. Not to mention the picture is appropriate for this time of year! It was cool when I saw it online, so I thought I would share that.
IT’S THAT TIME PEOPLE, it’s the rut! I have yet to get out this week but I am dying to. I had my best action of the year so far last week and it’s got me itching to get back out. I had a pretty decent buck come in right under me but it was after legal shooting light. Only reason I know he was a decent buck is because I saw him from a distance at last light and watched him work my way. It was so dark by the time he got to me that I couldn’t even see his antlers, I could just hear him creeping by. There was another hunter not far from me (public land) and the wind had completely died by this time. So when he came through he either smelled me or that other guy and got spooky. I have a hunch it was that other guy because even though the wind was dead, the prevailing wind was coming from him before the wind had died. It may have been me though, who knows. I did learn something though, and that is where he is bedding. Once he got spooky he turned around and I could hear him splash through the creek crossing that was 200 yards to the west. There’s only one place to go once you cross that creek! I’ll be back in there soon and this time I’ll be close enough to catch him before dark.
The weather looks good for most people for the next several days so let’s check it out.
I hope you’re enjoying the cold front that has moved through over the last two days. The timing of the front was surprisingly on par with what we were forecasting nearly a week ago. The great thing about this front is that it was fairly strong and there is another one coming behind it in a few days. So the cool/cold weather will stick around for most people at least through Friday. The second front will affect mostly northern and northeastern states with some areas south of there feeling some impacts. This front will be a deep polar surge out of northern Canada and it will be cold. Montana, the Dakotas, parts of the northern Midwest and northeast, will all have lows in the teens on Thursday and Friday, possibly into Saturday for the northeast. Here’s what that might look like based on the GFS model:
At the beginning of the loop you can see the front that has already passed making its way into the Gulf region and then the large area of pink making its way into the northern US shortly after. If you’re looking for “great rut weather” almost everyone should be getting at least some taste of it this week. Check out the massive area of high pressure associated with the strong cold front that moves across the Midwest and Great Lakes.
I want to give a quick tip on wind since I don’t do wind forecasts here. A good rule of thumb with wind direction is that when you have a cold front move through it’s very likely that initially the wind will have a northerly direction to it (coming from the north). Then, following the cold front the wind direction will begin to shift based on how the surface low pressure (or high pressure) system is moving. Remember that wind spins counter-clockwise around a low pressure system and clockwise around a high pressure system. If you have a cold front move through, it will be coming from the west-northwestern side of the low pressure system (always) moving southward/southeastward. So if you know where the low pressure is headed and you know what direction the wind is spinning around it you can get an idea of what the wind should look like over the next couple days.
Sometimes if you have a really strong front it can overpower the pull from the low and keep the wind coming more out of the north.
There’s no big precipitation story this week. With the big fronts moving through on a regular basis there will be areas that will likely see some winter precipitation. As of right now though, there is nothing in the forecast that jumps out as a major snowfall or rainfall event. Some northwestern states and also some far northern states (mostly bordering Canada) could see a few inches of snow this week, with locally higher amounts possible. The rest of the country will see scattered rain showers over the next 7 days:
The first few days will likely see the heaviest rain since there will still be some moisture available from the Gulf in parts of the southern and southeastern US. After this period the cold front will have pretty much scoured the moisture out of the country and will make it difficult to get heavy rain for few days. Northwestern states however get their precipitable moisture from the Pacific Ocean, so this rule doesn’t apply to them. This region will be quite wet for the next several days.
Some moisture will have started to make its way back in by Friday night following the passage of a low pressure system and will bring some scattered rain into the midwest over the weekend.
Remember, during the rut use the weather as a way to change where and how you’re going to hunt, not IF you’re going to hunt. The rut goes on no matter what the weather conditions are, you just need to use your knowledge of deer and weather to think about how they are going to behave accordingly. Cold, warm, wet, dry, windy, calm, are all different scenarios that require very different hunting tactics. Think about how you can use them to your advantage and not the deer’s.
Maybe we should start discussions based on how to hunt specific weather scenarios. I think that would be a very fruitful path to go down.
I would love for people to send in their kills over the next couple weeks (or from recently) and tell me their weather story and how they approached the hunt based on the weather. If you’re willing to do this, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story and a picture of your deer and I will post it here to the site.
Very best of luck to everyone this week. I hope you enjoy this wonderful time of year.