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A hefty whitetail buck checks a scrape and uses its mouth to leave scent on balsam fir boughs just above the scrape. Bucks paw at the ground, scraping it clear in a small area, and leave scent there to let does in the area know the bucks are available for breeding. This fall, Minnesota's firearms deer season more closely coincides with the peak of the mating season -- called the rut -- than in most other years. Steve Fiske of Cloquet made the photograph in early November last year with a remotely placed ...

Later-than-usual season puts Minnesota deer hunters right on the rut

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Good news, Minnesota firearms hunters: This fall, Minnesota's firearms deer season opens this Saturday, Nov. 8, as late as it can in the calendar year. And that means it's more likely to coincide with the peak of the rut.

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Every deer hunter knows buck sign. A circle on the forest floor pawed down to bare ground. Bark freshly peeled from the lower reaches of a sapling.

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