Brantley: Rut Winding Down

Rut Reporter Will Brantley of Murray, Kentucky, knows the region well. He spends 40 to 50 days each season in … Continued

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.
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Dec. 3:** The rut seems to be about over in much of the Mid-South. Activity has been on the decline since mid-November where I hunt in Kentucky, and reports I’m getting from other states in the region are similar. There is still some localized activity in a few places, including southwest Tennessee.

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Tennessee hunter and outdoor writer Taylor Wilson says, “As is typical, most of the all-out chasing seemed to be happening the week of Thanksgiving in much of west Tennessee, especially southwest Tennessee. But, it hasn’t been a normal year. Personally, although I’ve seen big numbers of deer, I’ve seen fewer scrapes, rubs and actual chasing this year than ever before–and I’ve heard more than one other hunter, guys who are in the woods a whole lot, mention this as well.”

Wilson did pass along this photo of Hunter Campbell, a hunter from Haywood County, Tenn., which is about 70 miles from Memphis. The buck was taken a couple weeks ago, and reportedly green-scores in the 160s.

No doubt some late trickle rut activity will continue well into the month of December, and some late-season hunters will probably see some pronounced “secondary rut” action. But from what I’ve seen and heard, the best seems to be behind us. If you live in the Mid-South, tell us what you’re seeing these days.