_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.
Nov. 21–Overall Activity Status: Pre-rut conditions are here in Arkansas and Alabama. Bucks have broken up out of bachelor groups in Florida and are making rubs, according to Trevor Fitzgerald of Southern Arrow Outfitters. Rut is still going in Georgia and South Carolina although at the tail end of the SC rut. Mississippi and Louisiana bucks are getting close to the pre-rut.
Fighting:** As pre-rut conditions approach in Arkansas and Alabama, bucks will begin sparring and fighting more. There is some fighting in Georgia and South Carolina, although bucks are more interested in finding hot does. Florida bucks are starting to spar and assert their dominance.
Rubs: Arkansas and Alabama bucks are rubbing regularly, while Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi bucks are starting to mark their territory with rubs. Georgia and South Carolina deer are spending more time searching and chasing and only occasionally rubbing.
Scrapes: Scraping in pre-rut states (MS, LA, AL, FL) is increasing, but most are one-time visits. Arkansas bucks are scraping regularly as their rut is very close. GA and SC bucks visit scrapes occasionally as they search for does.
Chasing: No chasing in FL, LA, or AL, yet but it’s getting close. Young Arkansas bucks may be harassing does some, but the real chasing is a week or two away yet. Georgia and South Carolina whitetail bucks are chasing does on a daily basis. I harvested an 8 pointer in middle Georgia on November 21 that was with a doe. (More on that hunt in an an upcoming blog.)
Daytime Movement:** The full moon (Nov. 21) put a damper on some of the daytime movement, as many deer did their feeding and chasing under the bright night skies. Still, there was plenty of daytime chasing in GA and SC. Expect more daytime activity in Fl, AL, LA, and MS as the moon wanes and the rut approaches.
Estrous Signs: Does are coming into heat in GA and SC throughout this month. The number of does still to come into estrous will be declining, while the other states look forward to estrous activity. X Factor: The full moon affected deer activity with less daytime movement. As it wanes and the rut gets closer in AR, FL, AL, LA, and MS, expect more rut activity and movement.