Overall Activity Status: Deer movement continues to increase as cooler temperatures, dropping acorns, and the approach of the rut stimulates activity. Most sightings seem to be in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, as hunters have been at it for several weeks now and are keying in on travel and feeding patterns. Rut sign is slowly increasing in these states, as their pre-rut is very close if not here already.
Fighting: A bowhunter in Fulton county, Georgia, Sharif Glam, nailed a handsome eight-pointer that was feeding on acorns until another buck showed up. The two began sparring, which turned into an all-out fight. His grunt and snort-wheeze calls failed to grab their attention, but when he used his rattle bag, they came on in. Glam commented that he thought it was early for that to be happening. Indeed it seems to be, but anytime two bucks cross paths, it can happen. Look for more fighting in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Arkansas are the pre-rut gets closer.
Rub making: Rubs are increasing every day as bucks work over any sapling in their area. I have seen a few pop up in my areas, and other hunters are observing horned trees as well.
Scrape making: Josh Brown of South Carolina is reporting scrapes all over his hunting areas. As the pre-rut arrives, look for more scrapes to appear. Bucks can be expected to revisit some scrapes since there are no does in heat yet.
Chasing: None reported yet. There have been a few reports of bucks checking out does, but it's still early for any chasing.
Daytime Movement: South Carolina's Josh Brown has been having great action lately. He reported this: "My buddy Donnie Anderson shot this 8-pointer (pictured here) last Monday morning around 7:00 a.m. He came in to the corn pile. Scrapes and rubs are starting to show up since the full moon on our lease in Barnwell, SC. I imagine by October 12 they will be everywhere and the big boys will be on their feet. I killed a nice 8-pointer in northeast Florida's Nassau county. He was definitely a buck in the rut and his neck was swollen and tarsal glands stinking pretty good. Rubs and scrapes are everywhere."
Estrous sign: No signs yet, but the bucks are eagerly looking for it.
X-Factor: Several good bucks have been taken around dropping acorns. Look for an area that has acorns on the ground with rubs and scrapes nearby. That will be a buck hotspot until the chasing begins.