Northeast Rut Reporter Mike Bleech has been hunting whitetails in his native Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast for more than four decades. A Vietnam veteran and full-time freelance outdoor writer, Bleech has had more than 5000 of his articles published. States covered: ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA OH, MD, DE.
Finally some actual mating. Hunters have reported seeing bucks chasing does over the past couple of days. Dave Zelina, who is out of action because of a fall from his treestand, saw three bucks in his yard. One was a 10-point with an outside spread of more than 20 inches. It chased a doe through his back yard three times, back and forth.
This coincided with a drop in temperature through much of the region. Snowflakes were seen Thursday as far south as Pennsylvania. Most of the bog buck activity has been taking place from Ohio across through Pennsylvania into Maryland. Kirk Rudzinski reported taking his buck Wednesday in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania.
How many of us thought it should be the other way around, with bucks starting to chase does first in the northernmost states?
Picking a specific day to take a vacation day from work to stay all day in a tree stand will be difficult, though. With no full moon for weeks, maybe the best bet is to look at the weather. Avoid unseasonably warm days. Look for a frosty morning, or wet, cool air with heavy overcast. Of course, any day you can spend in a tree stand is going to be a great day.