Overall Activity Status: Oct. 15: Deer are starting to show some pre-rut activity, with rubs and scrapes increasing.

Fighting: With bachelor groups breaking up, more lone bucks have been spotted. No sparring has been reported, but we can assume bucks are starting to test their dominance.
Rub making:** A few more rubs have been reported across the region.

Scrape making: Hunters have reported scrapes opening up overnight. Expect a dramatic increase in the number of scrapes as we approach the full moon.

Chasing: No chasing reported.
Daytime movement:** Still limited due to warm weather, but early morning and evening movement has increased.
Estrous signs:** Historically a small percentage of does go into estrous in mid-October in some southeastern areas of the region. Could see some localized rut activity soon.

X Factor:** Unseasonably warm conditions continue throughout the Great Plains, with some areas yet to experience a hard frost. Corn and soybean harvest is really ramping up, which has accounted for deer moving away from heavily used agricultural areas and into the deep woods.

Rut Reporter David Draper grew up hunting deer and small game throughout this region and presently lives on a family farm in Nebraska. Draper, former communications specialist for Cabela’s and an authority on the Great Plains, subsists on a diet of duck breast and venison. States covered: ND, SD, NE and KS.