Rut Reporter Will Brantley of Murray, Kentucky, knows the region well. He spends 40 to 50 days each season in the Mid-South whitetail woods. Brantley shot his first deer at age 10 with a sidelock muzzleloader. States covered: KY, TN, WV, VA, NC.

With an especially cool and pleasant September throughout much of the Mid-South this season, it seems as though fall has already been here for a while. The hardwoods are beginning to show a few hints of autumn color. Even though the official first day wasn’t until today, the day of the Fall Equinox, finding the first rub line of the year, shown in this video, sealed the deal for me. Fall is here, and the pre-rut is nipping at its’ heels.

Chatter I’m seeing on various hunting forums in this area reveals that several hunters are beginning to see a few scattered rubs and even scrapes in the woods. I’ve watched bucks in bachelor groups this week– and even seen a couple deer still wearing their velvet– but I’ve also seen some of those bachelor-grouped bucks posturing and sparring. Nothing violent; just mild aggravation with one another’s company.

I know there are Mid-South hunters looking at this– what are you seeing in your neck of the woods?