The lockdown phase of the rut is often full of misconceptions. People think that bucks disappear during this stage. However, bucks do move while courting a doe and, therefore, they are harder to kill. They aren’t acting as crazy as they were a day or two before. But that doesn’t mean they don’t move at all. It just means you have to know where and how to find them.
During this phase, you are either in the thick of the action, or none of it. But if you recognize how bucks are likely to behave during this phase, you still have a chance. Try some of our tips now!
What is the Lockdown?
The lockdown phase of the rut or peak breeding occurs when the majority of does come into estrus. This is because the gestation period of a whitetail is right around 198 days, meaning timing the conception perfectly, times the fawn’s birth perfectly. This aligns fawn drop right when spring arrives where an explosion of growth means quality food, quality cover, and nutritious milk.
Why Bucks are Vulnerable After Lockdown
Is there a better time to hunt the best bucks in the woods than when they are more susceptible? Here are three reasons why it is.
After chasing does for days with the sole goal of breeding, bucks are exhausted. They’re looking for a food source, so during this phase, go for feeders and food plots. Have patience as you might need to hunt all day. It takes great mental endurance to sit in a treestand all day long, but it could yield a shot opportunity at a huge deer.
Often, giants look for the next doe by roaming around in the open during broad daylight. During this time, a good stand location is the downwind fringe of a doe bedding area. Position your stand about 150 yards west of the bedding area and hunt on a southeast wind.
Also, bucks sometimes return to scrapes after lockdown. Juice up scrapes with scent and monitor them with trail cameras. That could be another location to hunt, especially if they’re located on the fringes of a food source.
We must understand the rut phases scrapes after lockdown. Juice up scrapes with scent and monitor them with trail cameras. That could be another location to hunt, especially if they’re located on the fringes of a food source. The post-rut is when you should hunt. After the lockdown, bucks are on their feet all day long looking for that last hot doe phase. It is also when there are better daytime activities than the other phases.
Here are other tips you may want to follow when hunting after the lockdown phase.
Hunt Security Cover
Focus on a cover during the lockdown phase. It’s a preemptive approach since you’re trying to predict where an estrous doe and rutting buck will go before they get there. But compared to watching an open food plot or hardwood ridge, it’s a good strategy.
Crawl Behind a Buck Decoy
This is an easy way to stalk if you have the decoy and firearm seasons aren’t open. This strategy could also draw the buck to you once you get the decoy moving. But crawling with a bow and a 3D decoy isn’t easy, so go for a lightweight one!
Hunt the Rut Lockdown Phase
It’s both a blessing and a curse. Although it is not necessarily hard, concentration in the right areas for hunting and more patience are just a few things required from you. On any day, and at any time during the lockdown phase, a buck can come off of a doe.