Bleech: Rut Inconsistent Throughout Northeast

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.

Nov. 25: The post-full moon reports have been extremely diverse.

Excellent hunting was reported by a small group of hunters from central New York. Bucks were moving in the morning, and were still moving by midday. Some bucks were in the company of does, but whether any of the does were in heat was uncertain. Nothing the deer did gave any indication of imminent breeding. Writer Bill Vaznis took a buck that weighed well over 200 pounds, field dressed. It did not have an exceptional rack.

In southern Maine, Steve Carpenteri reports that he is not seeing any new rubs or scrapes, nor many old ones, and he is uncertain of the reasons. Nothing happened even around the full moon.

Determining what the nature of daytime deer activity is in Pennsylvania during bear season might get confusing. Enough hunters are in the woods to get deer moving artificially. Seeing deer during midday might, or might not, mean something if bear hunters are in the area. What is for certain is that no let-off in the rut is in sight.

A young hunter‚s first buck is always good news. Toward the end of the Pennsylvania archery season, 14 year-old MaKayla Keith was hunting with her grandfather, Mike Hall, in the northwest corner of the state. They were about to leave in late Morning, but Hall said they would wait about 10 minutes while he got his video gear together. He had hoped to capture her first buck with the bow on video. It was then, at 10:15 a.m., that he spotted a buck coming and told her to get ready. Keith‚s shot was perfect.

Hall carries a grunt tube, but the buck was not responding to the call. He noted that the buck appeared to be searching for does. They did not use scent.

Assistant Wildlife Supervisor Al Gerhart, in Ohio‚s Region 5, which is the southwest part of the state, said he has been hearing hunters saying that the rut is about over. He expects, though, that some does may still come into heat.

"It does happen throughout a couple of months," he said.

According to Gerhart, the rut in southern Ohio peaks during the first 10 days of November just as it does in the rest of Ohio, maybe a bit earlier. A secondary rut peak occurs during the first week to week and a half of December, when does that were not impregnated during early November will come into heat again. Also, younger does will start to come into heat once they reach a weight of about 75 pounds.