Overall Activity Status: Most hunters who have been reporting good daytime activity have been hunters who got their deer. But this changes a lot from one area to the next.
Fighting: It looks like themadflyfisher got lucky, watching a couple of mature bucks fighting. Obviously this is the time they do it.
Rub & Scrape Making: Rubs are pretty numerous now, although several hunters have said there are not as many rubs this year as usual. This is the sort of thing that people tend to do, make things out to be most or least. Probably there is truth in it, though, because deer hunters have trained themselves to be observant.
The big scrape that I have been watching since late August came alive again this week. Two bucks visited it on successive nights. I find it interesting that their visits were about an hour different. The first, a 5-point, came in October 7 at 7:01 p.m. The other, a 7-point, came in at 8:09 p.m. Neither stayed long. The 5-point sniffed the overhanging limb and stayed only about a minute. The 7-point sniffed the scrape, then it scraped. It stayed only a couple of minutes.
All of the bucks and most of the does that have visited this scrape did so at night. So placing a stand nearby probably would not make a lot of sense. A lot of things make bowhunting very challenging, especially that during early bowhunting seasons, deer, and bucks more so than does, move mostly at night. That changes in rifle seasons because more hunters are moving around, getting deer moving. The rut makes hunting much better because bucks move much more during the day once does start coming into heat.
Chasing: No reports of bucks chasing does this week.
Daytime Movement: Very little daytime movement, with the exception of our most remote areas in the north.
Estrous Signs: No estrous signs reported yet, but it could happen any time now.
X Factor: I cannot emphasize this enough: Carry a grunt tube and use it. When you operate it correctly, you should have a high degree of success at bringing bucks you have already seen closer.
If possible, get a grunt tube that can be tuned. I have had my best results using a grunt tube that is higher pitched than most. After my favorite grunt tube wore out, my success with grunt tubes dropped, but not so much that I would ever give up my grunt tubes. Maybe I get a little silly about them. I have probably more than a dozen, and I know I will buy more before long.