Overall Activity Status: Several reports and my own observations suggest that deer have been active, but the activity has been mostly that of does. Tim Tomlin at FishUSA.com in Fairview, Pennsylvania, reported that one of their crew who was steelhead fishing where a western Erie County creek flows into Lake Erie counted 20-plus deer in the evening, but none had antlers.
Kevin Taylor at S & S Taxidermy in Springville, New York, said that some deer are being seen in fields mornings and evenings. Commenter Northeastsportsman wrote that there has been good deer movement in northeastern Vermont.
Fighting: No bucks reported fighting yet, but Steelcityhunter reports some mild sparring caught on trail camera.
Rub Making: We knew of only one rub, on brush, before this week, then Steelcityhunter reported catching a rub on trail camera recently. Also, john carter just found some fresh rubs. If I recall correctly, my friend, you live in east-central Ohio. From Venango County, Pennsylvania, which borders my own home county, JonathonJanuary wrote about seeing several rubs a couple of days ago. (Howdy neighbor!)
Scrape Making: S & S Taxidermy reported seeing a major scrape. A doe was caught on trail camera visiting a big scrape I have been watching in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. Steelcityhunter has seen a scrape, too.
Chasing: S & S Taxidermy reported watching a young buck that was out of velvet chasing a doe around, but it probably was just being playful.
Daytime Movement: Only scattered cases of daytime deer activity are being reported.
Estrous Signs: Too early, still, for does going into estrus in our Northeast Region.
X Factor: We are seeing only the very beginnings of the rut process. Jefferson Archery in Jefferson, Maryland, reported that some bucks are still in velvet. Ray Weasner, owner of Weasner Archery Shop, about 50 miles south of Toledo, Ohio, who runs trail cameras, said that in his area the larger bucks seen have shed velvet, but younger bucks still are in velvet. Note from recent rut reports that the opposite has been observed elsewhere.
Although Ray Weasner has seen some big bucks, those have been in northwestern Ohio, which is mostly open country where bucks grow very big. In most areas, hunters have not been seeing many older bucks. S & S Taxidermy, as an example, reported no big bucks captured on trail cameras yet.
Read the Comments. They contain a wealth of excellent information. Thank you.