Crossbow Rut Hunting Success & Blood Trailing Tips + Unexpected Surprise

by Josh Dahlke

Content Director MORE FROM Josh

It was early September when I received a compelling text message from my friend, Alex: “Hey, got something that might be interesting to you. Found a farmer in western Wisconsin who wants to lease his ground for bow season.” An interesting proposition indeed, yet the idea of getting into a whitetail hunting lease wasn’t even resting in a far corner of my brain. I can hardly find enough time to hunt on my family’s farm, and most of my season is spent traveling out of state to feed my hunger for new hunting adventures. But when I discovered this Wisconsin property is within easy driving distance of my home and it would enable me to hunt weekdays, it wasn’t long before Alex and I were signing the lease and hanging trail cams. It also wasn’t long until Alex jumped on the fatal mistakes of a pre-rut day-walker.

Now that Alex had put his October buck in the truck, it was just my Mission crossbow and I attending the main event in whitetail hunting: the rut. I had already sat several stands on the property during preceding weeks, but one fresh stand remained that Alex had hung for us to share. In trying to maintain a low-impact approach to our new dirt, I hadn’t even laid eyes on the stand nor the area surrounding it. Alex shared the stand location with me in HuntStand and according to HuntZone the wind would be perfect for an all-day sit on November 15. As the sun illuminated the forest floor that morning, it quickly became apparent I was in for some action—the area was overwhelmed with fresh deer sign.


I’m not a fan of all-day treestand sits, but I intended to stick it out from dark to dark on this day. However, a cruising buck and a swift shot allowed me to end this hunt with plenty of time to make meat that afternoon. Watch the video above to see how this hunt played out, plus I share some blood trailing tips and an unexpected surprise upon recovering the rutty buck.



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