If you were planning to hunt the rut this week, forget about it! We pulled some 40,000 pics this past weekend and very little is happening rut-wise. Plenty of young bucks chasing, but the old bucks are still very much nocturnal. No hard signs of rut activity yet; we’re still a few weeks away. This week we bump up the Rut Meter to 35%.
Many of you have started seeing new bucks showing up on the cameras. Bucks, shuffling for the big show to come, have had a lot of new faces showing up. Some of the first does should be coming into estrous this week, and increases in mature buck visibility should begin to rise. Most bucks are still staying tight to cover and are rarely exposing themselves to feed in the early dawn and just before dark.
According to reports coming in from our rut trackers and hunters, bucks are becoming interested in does and are acting aggressively toward other bucks, littering the countryside with rubs and scrapes. This shows that the bucks are ready to rock, but the does, for the most part, are not receptive quite yet.
Landscapes are beginning to change for whitetails. Food stops are changing from primarily soft mast to harder mast acorns and hickory nuts. Agricultural grounds are being combined and, hopefully, being topped with a cover crop or left alone for deer to clean up. Halloween marks the beginning of things to come.