X Factor: Chris Ryan's background is in game management, and he offered an interesting opinion on this year's rut timing. "Last year, we had a 40-year-record mast crop," he says (and that was the case in much of the Mid-South). "As a result, the does were extremely healthy, and that triggered earlier rutting activity than normal. Bowhunters were reporting it, and we also were seeing more fawns earlier this past summer. This year, the mast crop is much spottier, and I expect that to have an impact on the timing. It probably won't affect it much, but it could move it five or six days later. That's something to consider for a guy planning his hunting vacation."