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. 31: “I started out hunting near an apple tree. Everyday that I hunted I noticed that they were moving farther to the north,” said Kirk Rudzinsky, owner of East End Tackle in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Habitat where Rudzinski hunts is the same as is found through much of Ohio and eastward along the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario lowlands. Soils are rich. There is a lot of agriculture. It is big buck country.


A dedicated bowhunter, he divides his days between serving steelhead anglers at his tackle shop and bowhunting. Does were moving close to his stand by the apple tree, but the bucks were about 50 yards to the north.

Rudzinski moved his climbing treestand, but all that he saw close to the stand were more does and immature bucks. However, again to the north he saw other deer moving, so he moved again. But he saw no deer on the afternoon before the full moon nor on the full moon. Monday he hunted another area, then returned Tuesday.

From his stand he watched as a buck scraped and licked an overhead limb. In response Rudzinski grabbed his grunt tube and grunted once.

“He looked up, looked around, and went back to scraping, Rudzinski said. “I grunted twice and he stopped scraping, and he walked right over to me, 6 to 8 yards.”

Rudzinski had been watching deer in the area since before bowhunting season began. Then bucks were in bachelor groups. He feels that now the peak of the rut is getting close, but is not yet here.