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.
Oct. 27:** This Pennsylvania doe my trail camera photographed was traveling alone. This could be an indication that it is about to come into heat, otherwise it would probably be accompanied by at least one fawn (of course predators could have gotten her fawns).
Some hunters reported seeing smaller bucks chasing does, but no big bucks were around so it is unlikely the does were in heat. I anticipated that a few more does would come into heat around the October full moon. It did not materialize. However, some rut related activity did pick up. Hunters reported increases in rub lines and in new scrapes throughout the Northeast Region. That is a good sign, enough to re-energize hunters at least. The sight of fresh scrapes is very encouraging. At least we know there are bucks in the area, and they are interested in mating.
Ohio, the top huge buck state in the region, is getting interesting. With all of that open farmland, bucks are more visible when they increase movements even a little. Only hints of rutting in Pennsylvania, even less in the way of scrapes and rubs than usual. In central New York not much changed over the weekend it appears. Bucks are refreshing rubs in central New England but they are doing it at night. In Maine it seems that feeding still is the primary motivation for deer movements.
Could it be that with the November full moon at the start of the fourth week, the rut timing is a bit later than usual, and if it is, how do deer know?