Brantley: Right on Schedule

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

Oct. 22--Overall Activity Status: I've been out of town (and more importantly, the woods) for nearly a week, but last weekend (Oct. 16-17), deer activity was steady, especially in the morning. Acorns are the key food source in much of the Mid-South right now.

Fighting: Activity should be reaching a fevered pitch at this latitude in the coming days. Late October has always been my most productive time to rattle.
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Rub making:** Moderate to heavy.

Scrape making: Moderate to heavy.

Chasing: Little to speak of thus far.
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Daytime movement:** Although daytime movement was good last weekend (I shot a doe at 3:30 Friday afternoon), buddies tell me that it's slowed significantly this week. The upcoming full moon may partially be to blame.
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Estrous signs:** Sightings of lone fawns are on the rise; other signs are few thus far.

X Factor: I expect things to get pretty busy in the next two weeks, provided the cool weather holds out. A contact in Virginia tells me that rubbing, scraping and fighting activity is increasing in his area as well. Farther south, a West Tennessee contact reported that although he's seeing a few rubs, deer are still on a predictable bed-to-food pattern--not surprising, since the peak rut in that area is usually in late November or early December.