Rut Signs Scarce, but Steadily Increasing

Overall Activity Status: Archery season finally began (October 1) for Mississippi hunters and the remainder of Louisiana that wasn’t already … Continued

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Overall Activity Status: Archery season finally began (October 1) for Mississippi hunters and the remainder of Louisiana that wasn’t already open. Some hunters are seeing deer and some are not. It depends if you’re near a food source. The rut is creeping closer in some areas and hunters are starting to see slightly more buck movement. Mike Files of Arkansas says that “with the rain and cooler weather, things are fixing to pick up.” Indeed those two factors will help stimulate more activity.

Fighting: No major fighting is occurring yet. Files reports seeing four bucks traveling together, and two eight-pointers butting heads–kind of wrestling, he said. This is not the serious rut-time fighting, but light sparring in preparation for more battling to come.

Rub making: Some rubbing is going on here and there. I saw one small sapling that had been ripped up by an aggressive buck. With bucks not traveling extensively yet, rubs should indicate a buck’s home range for now.

Scrape making: Scrapes are sporadic, you may find one here and there. Most likely places to find them are along oak ridges or edges of fields where bucks are feeding. Several scrapes were spotted along a logging road adjacent to a hillside loaded with white oaks that I hunted recently in Georgia. Most scrapes appear half-hearted because most bucks are just going through the motions now.

Chasing: A few hunters in Georgia have reported seeing bucks following does and even some grunting. This seems too early yet, and likely the bucks are anxious and pushing the does that are far from ready. But as mentioned, Arkansas’ Mike Files saw four bucks still running together, indicating that these bucks are still in a summer-type bachelor group.

Daytime movement: Best movement is still dawn and dusk. Two deer that I’ve seen this week showed right at dawn. James Cassey was hunting in Pulaski County, Arkansas last Saturday and had the above double-beamed eleven-pointer stroll past. He made the 30-yard shot and collected his buck early. Not many mature bucks are moving during daylight, but some are if you’re in the right place.

Estrous signs: None yet.

X Factor: We’re having rains lately. Closely monitor the weather forecasts and plan to be in the woods when the skies clear because all deer in the woods will be moving.