OVERALL: Oct. 16: Rut activity in the Southeast has not started except for some rubs and a few minor scrapes. Deer are concentrating on food sources, which is where rut sign, what little there is, will be seen. Warmer weather has reduced daytime movement but cooler temperatures on the way with more hunter activity should increase movement and sightings. Daniel Barnett of Wildlife Farms in Arkansas is starting to see some rubs, but no rut activity yet. He reports that bucks are feeding heavily on white oak acorns.
FIGHTING:** Nothing yet.
RUBS:** Rubs are beginning to show up in Georgia, Arkansas, and South Carolina, mainly around food sources. Trevor Franklin of Southern Arrow Outfitters in Florida reports that his bucks are still in velvet.
SCRAPES: A few scrapes are being seen, but not many. The scrapes appear casual without serious working or intent to revisit by the bucks. They basically show that the bucks are in the area and they may be thinking about the rut or going through the motions in preparation for more serious activity to come.
CHASING: Nothing yet.
DAYTIME MOVEMENT: Some daytime movement is being seen, but bucks are still mainly nocturnal. Best activity is right at dusk. The cool weather last week stimulated some daytime movement but this past week, warmer temperatures pushed most movement back to the cool nighttime hours.
ESTROUS SIGNS:** Nothing yet.
X FACTOR:** This past week saw warmer temperatures in much of the southeast with some daytime readings in the 80s. This shut down much movement and limited it to nocturnal activity. Forecasts call for cooler temperatures which should spur more movement and consequently more rut sign. Rifle season begins in Georgia October 16, which will get more hunters into the woods seeing, moving, and killing more bucks.
Rut Reporter Eric Bruce has been writing about hunting and fishing for newspapers and magazines for 25 years and hunts deer all over the South, including near his Georgia home. States covered: AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, FL.