In Some Parts, It’s Prime Time for Big Bucks

Overall activity status: The rut is on in Mississippi, Alabama, and eastern Louisiana, and deer movement is great. The exact rut peak varies depending on the area of each state, but it's close in most of these states, and good bucks are being seen and killed.

How good? The buck above was taken in Jefferson County, Mississippi last week by Matt Moss. A medical student at LSU-Shreveport Medical School, Matt left his home in St. Charles for some hunting during his holiday break on a lease that he shares with his twin brother Brent and friend Kyle Bennett. He chose a stand that he had not hunted before but had a good history. The two-man ladder stand overlooked a clover food plot. The first visitors to the plot were a flock of turkeys. At 4 p.m. he heard leaves rustling and saw a buck with a crazy rack 50 yards away on the edge of the field.

It was a mature buck checking the field for hot does, which weren’t there, and the buck turned around to leave. Moss found an opening in the brush and took the 40-yard shot with his .45-70. With his brother Brent, they followed a short blood trail and were stunned to see the rack on the buck. The 18-pointer has numerous sticker points and a 25-inch extra main beam, and scores 216 inches Boone & Crockett—making it a likely a top ten non-typical buck from the Magnolia State.

Fighting: Bucks in Alabama, Mississippi, and eastern Louisiana are looking for and competing for hot does now, so a fight is likely to break out anytime two bucks encounter each other.

Rub making: Some rubs are being made now, but most bucks are on the move for does and only occasionally stopping to make a rub here and there before moving on.

Scrape making: Scott Perrodin from Louisiana reports that he's still seeing plenty of scrapes. There should be many scrapes in rut areas, but don't count on too many bucks tending them, as most are looking for or chasing does.

Chasing: Chasing is going on in many areas, including the Three Rivers WMA in Louisiana. Josh Perrodin (Scott's nephew) from Bayou Chicot, Louisiana, spotted this stout 165-pound eight-pointer chasing a doe on January 6 and promptly put it down at 12:30 in the afternoon.

Daytime movement: The bone-chilling temperatures have deer moving and hunters shivering. Temperatures have been in the teens across the South, and that, along with the rut, has deer moving well. As Josh Perrodin can verify, bucks will be on the move at any time, and the more you spend in your stand the better your odds of seeing one will be.