Oct. 12: While out setting trail cameras in the Nebraska Panhandle last week, I spotted a tall 5×5 bedded against a hillside. I’ll be hunting him with my bow until the end of the month, so wish me luck. I don’t have any pics of him on the trail cam yet, but hopefully I’ll post one in the next few weeks with my hands wrapped around one of his antlers. I did see four other bucks running together while I was in the field last week, so bachelor groups are still together around here.

Some of my friends have been out hunting whitetails and the reports are filtering in. Jeremy Wonch of western Nebraska killed his best buck yet with his bow a couple weeks ago. He returned to the magic stand last weekend with his son Dustin.

Nebraska held a special antlerless-only season Oct. 2 – 11, and Dustin connected with his first ever deer, a fat whitetail doe. Congratulations to Dustin. Jeremy also reported seeing a lot more scrapes opened up since he hunted the stand the last week of September.

Up in southeastern South Dakota, John Lubeck spent some time in a treestand this past weekend. He said activity was slow, which he attributed to increased agricultural activity in the area. It seems earlier in the week farmers had picked the beans he was sitting over, and a nearby cornfield was being harvested. Once the farmers are out of the fields, he expects the deer to settle down and get into their pre-rut patterns. He did see one small buck that was spooked his direction by some nearby duck hunters.

We’re getting into the meat of the season and should start seeing some rut activity crank up as temperatures drop and daylight decreases. I’ll keep you posted.

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.