As the calendar pages turn, more and more state deer seasons are opening. Arkansas opened last Saturday and portions of Mississippi and Louisiana opened October 1. That only leaves Alabama and parts of Mississippi yet to open on October 15.
With the weather turning slightly cooler, rubs, scrapes, and some rutting activity is showing up. Jeff Callaway hunts in central Georgia and observed a 3½-year-old buck exhibiting early rut behavior. He watched it in a field at dusk "bird-dogging" some does. The does, of course, were not receptive, and just scampered away. Then he saw the same buck the next day coming out of the woods behind some does and grunting. Callaway noted that the buck was not grunting lightly, but letting out long, deep grunts, which are more indicative of a buck in rut.
Another hunter from Georgia noted that a buck on his trail camera had its neck outstretched and nose pointed toward a doe on the camera. He also noted that the buck had not been seen before and was not a "regular" from the area, indicating that it may already be on the move looking for does.
If you're able to find an area with rubs and scrapes, it likely indicates an over-eager buck in the area. Watching doe areas such as food plots and oak ridges just may get you a shot at an early buck on the hunt already. Most heavy rutting is still to come, but we're seeing a prequel in some areas.
One hunter recently scored on a monster buck, and you don't have to be a redneck to know who it is. Jeff Foxworthy has a ranch in west central Georgia that has plentiful lush food plots. The celebrity nailed a 175-inch buck with extremely tall tines.
The best is yet to come and some areas are closer than others. If you do find rubs and scrapes, the buck is more likely to revisit them at this time, since there are no does yet to chase.