Overall Activity Status: Deer movement is starting to pick up as the days are cooling and acorns are dropping. Some mornings have been pleasantly cool, which is stimulating activity. By afternoon however the temperatures are rising and deer bed back down. The best movement is still to come, but it is improving.
Fighting: With no does in estrus yet, the only thing for bucks to fight over is territory and pecking order. There is sparse sparring, but most pecking orders have been established already.
Rub making: Rubbing is slowly increasing. The initial rubbing to remove velvet is over so rubbing now is for marking territory. Careful inspection of rubs is necessary to determine whether a rub is a velvet rub that’s a few weeks old, or a newer territorial rub. Velvet rubs may be made from a buck in his summer range and may have moved on by now.
Scrape making: Last week Curtis Kitchens noticed about 20 fresh scrapes in central Georgia on his way to his stand just after a rain. The front stimulated movement and scraping. There are some scrapes being seen by hunters although revisits are less likely.
Chasing: One hunter stated that he saw a small eight pointer that seemed to be after a doe. It’s still early for most chasing, but a few amorous bucks may be harassing does already.
Daytime movement: Most movement is early morning and right at dusk. If the cool temperatures linger, so will movement. As always, find the food and find the deer, especially in the early season before the rut. Six-year-old Carter Richards was hunting with his Dad last Saturday (9/22) on the early Louisiana youth hunt. After leaving a pile of corn out the day before (legal in LA), a six-point buck came in to feed. Carter missed his first shot, but the hungry and confused buck came back and Carter didn’t miss the second time to harvest his first buck (photo above). It goes to prove that a food source, even one that you put out, are primarily on deer’s minds now.
Estrous signs: None yet.
X Factor: It’s been mentioned here before but still holds true: acorns are falling early and deer are on them. They are leaving agricultural fields and other food sources to munch on their favorite morsels. Find a dropping oak, go drop a deer.