Estrous Signs: Bucks are sniffing for the odors of estrus, but as of yet no reports have come in of hunters seeing hot does. Hunters have reported seeing bucks intently looking for hot does. If the rut is to be early, it had better get started or it will no longer be early. Remember that the rut is not a short-duration affair. Rutting typically starts sometime in October and may continue past December. It is the peak of the rut which generally happens around mid-November that gets hunters excited because activity peaks. There probably will be a second peak almost a month later, but it will not involve as many deer as the first peak. Also, rutting goes on between peaks.