Overall Activity Status: Deer clearly have become more active. More big bucks are on the prowl, like this one, which Mike Stimmell caught on a trail camera on the Allegheny National Forest. That activity is a result, presumably, of the approaching rut and of cooler weather.
Fighting: We have heard one report of bucks fighting. No doubt quite a bit of it is going on now. Seeing bucks in a real knockdown brawl is unusual.
Rub Making: Bucks are making rubs all over our Northeast Region. Just about everyone except me is seeing rubs.
Scrape Making: Scrapes are common now. But we should see much more scraping once a few does come into heat. This gets bucks very excited. I have had some success “salting” an area with artificial scrapes (scraping an area clear and adding deer urine to it) to induce natural scraping.
Chasing: No word yet of bucks chasing does. This will not happen until does come into heat. It is still too early for that. Do not be fooled by playful frolicking, which usually involves younger deer.
Daytime Movement: Daytime movement decreased a couple days after the full moon. But there is more daytime movement than there was before that most recent full moon.
Estrous Signs: Still too early for estrus.
X Factor: There have been no notable changes since the last report. Hunters should concentrate on feeding areas, for at least the next couple of weeks, anyway. This does not necessarily mean setting up stands in feeding areas. You probably have noticed that some places and some trails are used almost exclusively by does and fawns. Be alert for these if you aren’t hunting does. You might be able to figure this out by tracks, but the most reliable way is by sight. This includes trail cameras. Be sure to set the date and time functions on them (I have offered to set the date and time on Mike Stimmell’s trail cameras. I think he was in too much of a rush to get them out.). If you don’t, you’ll miss out on the most important hunting information.