Brantley: Warm and Windy Weekend; Buck Sign on the Rise

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. 25: The weather roller coaster of fall 2010 continued this weekend in Kentucky. It was warm and windy with a big full moon, so I took a break from the deer stand to do some fall turkey hunting and deer scouting.

The first order of business was pulling a trail cam I'd had in place over a scrape line for nearly a week. Numerous bucks and does appeared on the camera, and I even got a few daylight buck pics, although they were all of the same forkhorn. One nice buck, an 8-pointer with long tines that looks to be 3 1/2, appeared as well, but it was late at night. I moved the camera to a different scrape line a few hundred yards away, and will hopefully check it again this weekend.

Like the deer, turkeys in my area were gorging themselves on the heavy white oak acorn crop, so I covered a lot of ground on hardwood ridges both days. I found numerous scattered rubs and scrapes (and managed to fill two turkey tags). It seems the majority of the acorns have fallen by this point, but with so many of them on the ground, it's safe to say that they'll still play a big role as bucks begin cruising food sources for receptive does in the coming days.

By day's end yesterday, the wind had really picked up and eventually, some much-needed rain set in. It's raining right now. The temperatures are supposed to fall this week--if I was a gambling man, I'd say there'll be a few reports of bucks chasing does by Halloween.