Bruce: A Southern Rut Mix

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.

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Overall Activity Status Nov. 14:** The rut is on in Georgia, tapering off in South Carolina, and getting real close in Arkansas. Hunters all across Georgia are seeing bucks chasing does and many nice bucks are being taken. There has been a significant increase in rutting activity in Arkansas ,with bucks making scrapes and sparring.

Fighting: Georgia and South Carolina are seeing bucks fighting with the rut ongoing. With the rut getting closer in Arkansas, hunters are seeing bucks sparring. One hunter reported seeing eight bucks in one sitting with several of them fighting.

Rubs: Pre-rut states Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama are seeing increased rubbing as their rut gets closer. Georgia and South Carolina deer are rutting and some rubbing is still happening along with searching and chasing.

Scrapes: Some scraping is being observed in pre-rut states ( Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama). Daniel Barnett of Wildlife Farms in Arkansas reports seeing a lot of fresh scrapes that are being freshened daily. Barnett has trail camera video of a 160 inch buck working a scrape (see above).

Chasing: Rutting bucks in Georgia and South Carolina are chasing does on a daily basis. Chasing is still several weeks away in Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama, but is getting very close in Arkansas. Daniel Barnett predicts that the Arkansas rut is a week or two away.
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Daytime Movement:** Deer can be seen at any time of the day when rutting as they are in Georgia and South Carolina. With pre-rut conditions in Arkansas and getting closer in other southern states, daytime activity is on the increase.
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Estrous Signs:** Estrous does are slightly declining in South Carolina, as many does have already been bred. Most Georgia does will be in estrus now. If a Georgia doe has not been in heat yet, she will soon. Estrous activity in other southern states is still in the near future.