Overall Activity Status: Deer exhibited a small but distinct change in behavior over the past few days. On one particular trail camera, two bucks, including the heavy 8-point shown here (my guess is that it is a 2-1/2 year-old), showed during daylight hours. Does also have been more active during daylight hours. This probably has not been related to a full moon.
Robert Rogan has finally gotten photos of a big buck in Connecticut. It made an appearance at 3:30 a.m.
Northeastsportsman commented from northern Vermont after my previous rut report that he has seen an increase in deer movement.
Fighting: Bucks are still fighting, while in many places dominance has been determined about as well as it is going to be. Dominance does not necessarily determine which bucks breed with which does. Does generally breed with as many bucks as possible while in heat. On a few occasions I have watched an inferior buck breed with a doe while a superior buck just stood by ignoring it.
Rogan said he has had younger bucks “bashing their horns together” at his Connecticut and Westchester County, New York, hunting areas. But no big buck fights have been seen.
From eastern Massachusetts, brett corliss commented that he watched a couple of 5-points fighting briefly.
Rub Making: Why bucks would choose this particular time to increase rubbing activity is a mystery to me. In some parts of our region, at least, including my home and surrounding area, rubbing got off to a slow start this fall, but it has picked up recently.
Scrape Making: Bucks appear to be making more scrapes now, over the past few days, than earlier. Or it might just be that leaves are not falling as heavily, so scrapes are more visible.
Chasing: Readers are reporting bucks chasing hot does. In northcentral Pennsylvania, themadflyfisher reports seeing a nice 6-point chasing a doe. Northeastsportsman saw a nice 4-point chasing a doe in northern Vermont.
Daytime Movement: Daytime activity increased starting October 21, according to my trail cameras. To this point anyway, the 8-point shown above, is the nicest, or most desirable, buck, by my standards, that I have seen in this area this fall. Last fall I saw a few that were bigger. The symmetry of this buck adds to its appeal.
Estrous Signs: One of the does caught on the same trail camera looked suspiciously like it might have been in heat, by the way it held its tail straight back.
X Factor: Deer are more apt to be moving during daylight hours than they have been up to this point. If you have been doing little hunting while waiting for the rut, quit waiting, although most of the bowhunters I know have no concept of waiting to go bowhunting once hunting season opens.
Scent lures might be helpful now, even doe-in-heat scents. Grunting will draw in a good percentage of the bucks that hear it. Bucks are expending more effort being near does now.
My references to reader comments to the Rut Reports shows how much readers contribute to our collection of information. I hope you are reading those comments. I do, and I appreciate them.