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Hunting the Deer Rut Day 4: Know Intruder Bucks Are Another Problem Dominant Buck Deer Must Solve During the Rut

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Editor’s Note: A couple of weeks ago I went out and spent several days photographing wild deer. The rut just had kicked in, which allowed me to learn new things about hunting the rut that I never knew previously. This week, I’ll share what I’ve learned and have seen to help you become a better rutting deer hunter.

Another scene I observed when I was photographing white-tailed deer was the problem that mature bucks have during the rut besides the hunter. When an older-age-class buck finds a doe that is ready to breed, he’ll often stay very close to her, waiting on the moment that she’s ready to accept him and allow him to breed her. However, as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes more than one buck has found that same doe. Although the second buck may be a young buck, he still has the instincts and desires to want to breed an estrous doe as much as an older-age-class buck does. 

As I watched a mature buck with his doe while photographing, I also spotted a younger buck that was only slightly smaller stand as close to the mature buck and the doe as he could get. The older-age-class buck had to decide whether he could keep the younger buck away from his doe, or if he would have to fight to keep that younger buck away from his doe and possibly lose her to a third buck that might be watching what was happening and try to move in and steal the doe, while the two bucks were fighting. 

The bigger buck not only has to be conscious of hunters and trying to stay alive, he also has to be conscious of intruder bucks that may come in and try and steal his doe and breed her. Since that buck has many things on his mind during the rut, he’s much more vulnerable to the hunter than at any other time of the year. That’s why the rut is the best time to find and take an older-age-class buck, due to so-many things going on during the rut besides just breeding. Dealing with intruder bucks who try and steal does from them is just another problem mature bucks have to solve if they’re trying to breed the next generation of whitetails in that region.

To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” ( You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free, and you can listen to 10% for free).

John E. Phillips has published several more books this fall and winter of 2020 you’ll enjoy. 

1) “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro, Volume II” – available in Kindle and print at

In “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro, Volume II,” you’ll learn tips and tactics from 21+ Bassmaster Classic winners, two Major League Fishing champions and 20+ Bassmaster Anglers of the Year about some of the dramatic changes in bass fishing. 

2) “PhD Gobblers: How to Hunt the Smartest Turkeys in the World, Revised Edition” – available in Kindle, Print and Audible at

Turkeys that have earned their PhDs in the turkey-hunting wars know more about hunter-dodging than most hunters know about turkey hunting. These turkeys have built such a huge database on humans they’ve earned their PhDs.

3) “PhD Whitetails” – available in Kindle and Print and soon to be in Audible at

To become a “PhD Whitetail,” a whitetail deer has to have gone to school on hunters. He knows when to move, where to move, and how to move to avoid detection. The professional hunters in this book have spent their lifetimes finding these bucks with doctorates. 

4) “The Bowfishing Bible” – available in Kindle, Print and Audible at

This book doesn’t promise salvation or a ticket to heaven, but it does give you much of the information you need to be a happy, successful, productive and winning bowfisherman. 

5) “The Briar Patch Philosopher” – available in Kindle, Print and Audible at

Some of the reviews for this book include statements like, “I find myself looking through these wonderful thoughts about life, courage, love, children and God. This collection of sayings are very useful in helping me control my emotions. Some of my favorites include:
“Feelings change, Truth remains.”
“Embrace fear, because it’s an excellent motivator.”
“Life is a race. The beginning, we can’t control, and the end can’t be determined. But how well we run in the middle is all that counts. ”

Tomorrow: Meet Buck Deer Like Dodger

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