Bruce: Cool Mornings, Nut Drops Are Key

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.

Overall Activity Status: The season has started in South Carolina, Georgia, and south Florida. This weekend had some slightly cooler temperatures than typical and less humidity. Early morning activity has been best when it is the coolest. The full moon is on September 12, which may affect deer movement by concentrating it at night. Some hunters may try some mid-day hunting thinking deer that bedded down at dawn may be back up again feeding. For the most part, the rut is still months away, but hunters can still see deer by hunting food sources.
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Fighting:** None yet, possibly some light sparring with young bucks.
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Rub making:** None yet, though some bucks will rub the velvet off their antlers on a tree.

Scrape making: None yet.
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Chasing:** None yet.
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Daytime movement:** Most activity is at daybreak when it is coolest. With the full moon, most deer will be very active at night. Best bet is to catch them at dawn and dusk, or try a mid-day hunt close to bedding and food.
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Estrous signs:** None yet.
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X Factor:** Some hunters reported dropping acorns already. Red oaks and pin oaks are likely early droppers. Not a lot of trees dropping, so scout oaks for that rare gold mine.