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Question by jhart2. Uploaded on November 06, 2010
Most of Alabama has a trickle rut that starts off slow in December for a couple of weeks, then really heats up in the middle of January. An awful lot of big bucks are seen chasing does in February, but the season ends the last of January, so we miss out on those.
This is what causes us to have a wide variation in the age of our deer in each year's age group. I have seen spotted fawns in December, and our 1.5 year old bucks may have anything from buttons to cute little forked racks.
I think there's a section on here somewhere. Another good rut report is Larry Weishun's.
Country Road has it right. According to my log, in Hale County, I've seen them in rut as early as December 18 and still in rut as late as January 22nd. I've read that the varied Alabama rut is a result of the deer restocking program decades ago where whitetail were imported from several different states with resulting times for the rut.
Found this on the Buckmaster's site:
QUESTION: I am a new hunter to the state of Alabama and would like to know the approximate rut dates. The area in question is Cleburne County in the east-central/northeast area of the state.
ANSWER: Tyson, I’m a little hesitant to answer your question for fear of opening the floodgates from folks in all the other states with white-tailed deer. However, because you asked nicely, and more importantly because I am currently working on a project for Buckmasters that involves documenting peak rut dates for all the whitetail states, I will answer, with some help from Chris Cook, Deer Studies Project Leader for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.
When is the rut in Alabama?
First, in case you’re not already aware, peak breeding dates in Alabama are highly variable. “We have some areas with late November breeding and others with early to mid-December breeding,” says Cook, with most of the state’s peak breeding ranging from Christmas into the first week of February.
As chance would have it, Cook and his colleagues collected deer from Choccolocco WMA in Cleburne and Calhoun Counties this year. The average date of conception was December 10th. “This WMA was restocked in the 1940s with deer from North Carolina,” says Cook. “This is the main reason it has an earlier rut date. Most areas in Alabama were restocked in the 1950s and ’60s with deer from southwest Alabama.”
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