As promised, we’ll be bringing you weekly updates from the Field & Stream Rut Reporters, and this week there’s lots of exciting news. Rutting action is picking up across most of the US, as you can see in the above heat map of rut action. Below are a few excerpts of rut observations being had across the country. Visit the Rut Reporters website to get the full scoop on how the rut is progressing in your neck of the woods!
North Central: “In the wake of this week’s record winds, buck activity has positively exploded. I’m getting reports from happy hunters all over the region, as they witness increased buck movement and, in some cases, are able to fill a tag. This is that rarest of time frames during the rut cycle; only a few does are ready to breed, but the bucks are feeling it, big time. And unlike the past several seasons, when warm weather has limited daytime buck activity, temps are right where they need to be”
West: “Whitetail activity is in a mixed-bag period around the West, with bucks displaying various stages of the rut. But in northwestern Montana, “We just aren’t seeing it here, yet,” said Ron Nail of Kalispell, noting that Montana’s opening weekend check stations recorded fewer than normal whitetails harvested. The opening weekend was quite warm while cold weather moved in during mid week.”
Northeast: ” Finally some actual mating. Hunters have reported seeing bucks chasing does over the past couple of days. Dave Zelina, who is out of action because of a fall from his treestand, saw three bucks in his yard. One was a 10-point with an outside spread of more than 20 inches. It chased a doe through his back yard three times, back and forth. This coincided with a drop in temperature through much of the region. Snowflakes were seen Thursday as far south as Pennsylvania. Most of the bog buck activity has been taking place from Ohio across through Pennsylvania into Maryland.”
Mid-South: “Daylight activity has increased over the past few days. I’m still not seeing any big deer on their feet, but numerous smaller bucks are up and cruising. Quite a few dead deer are showing up on the roads in this area, too. With the pre-rut in full swing, bucks are no doubt doing plenty of fighting. I made a few fairly aggressive grunts at a young 8-pointer yesterday evening (see video). He heard them, but didn’t seem curious enough to walk my way and risk a beating from a larger buck. Now is definitely the time to keep a grunt call and rattling horns handy in the stand.”
For more frequent rut updates, great rut hunting articles and to submit your own rut observations visit the Field & Stream Rut Reporters site.