Techniques to try during the rut

Mastering fawn and doe bleats - especially estrus bleats - and hanging scent wicks soaked in doe in heat urine can be deadly at drawing a love-sick buck in range during this phase. Scrapes can also be freshened with an estrus lure to encourage a buck's return.

This is also the time that bucks are most aggressive, so being aggressive with your grunting and rattling is often productive - but keep in mind these techniques can scare off smaller bucks.

When the breeding phase settles in - which this year is expected to be between Nov. 8 - 22 - Alsheimer recommends hunting around known doe groups as deer movement declines during this phase.

Calls can still be effective, but hunters have to put themselves in a position where bucks can hear them, and even then it can be difficult to lure a love-crazed buck from a group of does.

Still hunting bedding areas and driving deer can be effective during this phase as a buck will often stay on the heels of a doe in estrus, letting its guard down much more so than any other time of year.

Good night, Knight

Did you hear that Knight Rifles - which revolutionized modern muzzleloading when they introduced in-line ignition technology in the mid-1980s - quietly went out of business this summer?

Both my brother and I hunt with Knight rifles, and we have always sworn by their craftsmanship and accuracy. It's a shame to hear the company went under - an apparent victim of the economic downturn.

While the recent presidential election has been a boon for many firearm manufacturers, it has not helped the market for black powder hunting firearms.

Since its beginnings in 1985, founder Tony Knight sold more than one million Knight Rifles. A Web site operated by the company says they will at least offer parts and accessories for the foreseeable future.

John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com.

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