Hunting Near a Rut Pit

by Carl

Double Rut Pits

Double Rut Pits

Rut pit, wallow, scent pit I think they all mean the same thing?

Most moose hunters say "if you find one hunt 'by' it."

My first question is where should you really hunt by it? On top of it, a few yards away, a 100 yards away, just in the vicinity?

Second question, do cows make any pits?

Last question, do moose really know why they do this? If they do what is their reasoning?


Good questions Carl, lets see if I can help you out.

1) I believe you are correct, hunters call scent pits any of the names you mention: Rut pit, wallow or scent pit. There is also the term scrape that is used frequently.

I'm not sure there is a correct answer. In my opinion elk make wallows, and moose make scent/rut pits or scrapes, which is the most correct? Any-ones guess I think.

Scraping the ground is used by bulls to attract cows. They do so by urinating in the pit, but this also serves to attract other bulls.

Rut pits are deeper and the bulls will frequently urinate in them. He will then stomp about in the pit to perfume his antlers and body with the sweet smell of bull urine. Rut pits can usually be smelled before you find them.

Another odd thing that can happen at a rut pit, is while the bull is urinating and stamping about, if he has a cow she may attempt to drink some of the soupy mix which in turn causes the bull to urinate more.
Ewww! Right?

Hunting in the vicinity is always a good bet. Bulls frequently visit the rut/scent pits to see if any cows have found the spot and are hanging about. If you find one, try to set-up a calling location nearby. Don't forget, calls can be heard for some distance, even in dense forest.

An exact distance... trial and error.

2)Moose cows also scrape and urinate into the depressions, either in the mating area or when two cows share the same island (E. Addison).

3) Do they know? Good question, but it's part of their biology. During the rut moose are attracted to sounds of water. They will readily approach another moose urinating and try to drink it.
I'm sure you've read suggestions to fill your moose call with water and let it pour onto the ground or into water. Moose find this sexy!

~ Mark

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