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.

Oct. 19: Almost everything in life has to do with timing. Being in the right place at the right time is critical to success in many ventures. This is true with the whitetail rut as well. If you can get to your stand during peak rut, your chances of seeing and bagging a trophy buck go way up.

This is why it is so important to know when the whitetail rut in the region that you hunt. The problem is, it varies across the country and the hunter needs to do his due diligence to know when the timing is. No where else does the rut vary as much as in the south. The peak rut can range within several months in states adjacent to each other. If you’re on your stand rattling and grunting in October when the rut is in January, you might as well be banging garbage can lids together. But if the rut is in October and you wait till December to get serious in the woods, your best chances are way behind you.

Right now the rut is gearing up in coastal South Carolina. Reports are coming in about bucks with dark hocks chasing does. Hunters need to begin employing rut hunting tactics such as scents, grunting, and rattling. Palmetto hunters would do well to plan their hunting vacations and get in the woods as much as possible during late October. Timing your hunting then would significantly boost your chances to bag a wallhanger this season.

On the other side, the Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi rut is months away. While you can still hunt food sources and travel corridors and have a chance of seeing a good buck, your best bet will be later when the bucks are rutting and the does are coming into estrous. Tell your boss that you want your hunting vacation during the December or January rut in those states.

Knowing the timing of the rut in your neck of the woods is vital information that you as a hunter need. By putting in some research, like monitoring this website, you can know the timing of the bucks you’re hunting and take one step closer to a successful season. It’s all about the timing.