Rut Report 9-15

Overall Activity Status: Kentucky’s archery season is the first to open in the Mid-South. It’s been in for almost a week, and I’ve been able to hunt nearly every afternoon. Though it finally cooled off—down into the 80s—on Wednesday, the big takeaway for the 2015 kickoff is that it’s been brutally hot. It was 96 on opening afternoon.

Still, the deer have been moving late in the evenings, same as always for this time of year. I haven’t personally seen a shooter buck, but I did manage to kill a fat doe on the second evening. Statewide, hunters are reporting excellent success on some big velvet-clad bucks. F&S Deputy Editor Dave Hurteau spent the week hunting in Central Kentucky, where he shot a cool-looking non-typical that had just shed its velvet. Other hunters in camp scored on great bucks as well—including a 200-class giant taken by a traveling hunter from Louisiana.

Few acorns are falling yet, although that will change about any day. Deer are still hitting the abundant green soybean fields in the area, food plots, and bait sites.

Fighting: Nothing to report yet, as most of the bucks in this area are still wearing their velvet.

Rub Making: Again, not much to report. But with new bucks shedding velvet by the day, you should be seeing the first rubs of 2015 about any time.

Scraping: I saw the makings of a small scrape—not much bigger than a basketball—on a field edge yesterday evening.

Chasing: Nothing to report.

Estrous Signs: Nothing to report. Most fawns in this area are still wearing their spots and even nursing a bit. It’ll be another month, at least, before the does start kicking them away.

X-Factor: Farmers in this area have started shelling corn over the past week. In my opinion, there are few better early-season spots to sit and see numbers of deer—including bucks—than over a freshly picked cornfield. It’s an instant change in bedding cover to the landscape, but more than that, the smell of a cut field is a powerful draw. If you have access to a cornfield, plan on hunting it immediately after the farmer harvests his crop.