Was It A Early Rut

11/16/23 @ 7:26 AM
User since 11/20/12

Was it a really early rut this year? I take the last week of October and first two weeks in November off. The week of October 15th my cameras were getting a lot of video of mature bucks chasing does and bucks cruising. I thought that was a bit odd. I expect that from the younger bucks. All my ropes were getting hit regularly. My first week was a lot of action and some really nice bucks that never came within range. I was excited for the following weeks since October week was phenomenal. After Halloween everything went dead. Very few pics of even does, was lucky to see a does sitting for the next 2 weeks. Some does I did see were by themselves just feeding and looked like back with their fawns. Kept thinking to myself anyday now and nothing. Slow, slow, slow. I hunt 2 different properties 30 miles apart and the exact same scenario happened. Talking to others they seem to experience similar activities. I've been hunting 40 years. I've seen rut activity carry into rifle over the years, but don't recall it ever happening in the middle of October. I would think being breed two to three weeks early would hurt the fawn survival rate depending on the spring.

Displaying 1 to 15 of 16 posts
11/20/23 @ 10:17 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 6/22/01
Well, I checked my cameras and indeed the bucks were chasing the does the week after I was there. I have a couple of them on camera plus lots of rubs that weren't there just two weeks ago. Still, as someone mentioned, the rut is pretty much the same every year and a few things can change the "perfect" day.
11/20/23 @ 10:31 AM
User since 8/3/12
The rut (in a biological sense) is the same time every year. It is controlled by photoperiod (length of daylight) and nothing else. Granted weather conditions can dictate at what time of the day deer move around. Colder weather, they will move all day more consistently and pretty much anywhere, warmer weather they will try to stay low and near water and do the majority of the heavy activity at night, but whether its 100 degrees and windy, or 10 degrees and calm, deer are gonna deer. Just because we don't see them doesn't mean they aren't doing their thing, they just aren't doing it where we are.

Hunt them where they are, not where you think they should be.

2 years ago I spent 3 weeks in southern Iowa on 7000 acres of public ground. From October 1-25 my cameras were on fire all day long with giants doing rut things. The day my hunt started (Oct. 26) my cameras all went ice cold. I had scouted alot of areas and had trees picked where these cams were so i hunted these spots for the first week and saw very little action other than one day of the 2 year old parade. My 6th day I said screw this and took the whole day and went looking for them, both on foot and from behind the windshield. What I found was that they had moved off to all the areas that had very little sign during my scouting, but damn were they in there now. I spent the last 2 weeks in spots I had written off during early October and saw the most intense rut activity I have ever seen anywhere, and Giants almost daily. These were also quite unconventional areas, one spot didnt have another tree within a mile of the one we hunted, and the other spot didn't have a tree big enough to climb within 400 yards of where I sat. Anyone sitting the areas where i had great camera action during the first 3.5 weeks of October would have been saying "lockdown" "early rut" "late rut" "too windy" "need colder weather" but the rut was in full swing, but they were rutting where they were, not where i thought they should be.
11/20/23 @ 10:11 AM
User since 2/14/08
Plenty of Rut activity in South-West WI yesterday all day long, Lafayette County.  Several smaller bucks being run off by larger bucks, and larger bucks scent checking multiple does and cruising through the woods, nose to ground, etc.
Maybe it was the second time around, but I never really witnessed this activity over the end of October and first couple weeks of November while bowhunting.  Maybe I was just lucky yesterday in the right spot, by a hot doe, etc, but it was the most "rut" activity I saw all year long.  Good luck All, & Happy Thanksgiving!
11/17/23 @ 9:30 AM
User since 1/2/10
Shot mine on November 5th. Had bucks on cam up until 2 days ago. Seems like a trickle rut. We need some cooler weather!!
Was It A Early Rut photo by govenor
11/17/23 @ 9:01 AM
User since 6/9/02
Oct 25th - 30th was hot for us. Couple real good bucks taken and other close calls. Seemed slow this year during the normal Nov 2nd-7th historical great time??? North of LaCrosse area.
11/17/23 @ 8:25 AM
User since 4/2/10
I think with this cold snap now people are going to see good numbers of decent bucks cruising this weekend.  Same thing happened last year, but we had snow on the ground. 
This was a very slow year as far as number of bucks seen on stand, and actually does for that matter to. I think my area our buck doe ratio may be close to even therefore 1 time around and everything should be bred. 
This is 3 years in a row now that we have had 60 degree plus temps during our rut. The fact we have any daytime activities with those temps is a miracle. 
11/17/23 @ 6:48 AM
Outa line
User since 8/9/21
Central Mo. Retired & hunt most days. Seemed like Oct 30 - Nov 2 was the most active.
11/17/23 @ 5:03 AM
User since 3/9/11
The deer are in rut right now in the north woods. Saw it Sunday and had another buck walking my food plot with his nose in the air yesterday.
11/16/23 @ 9:23 PM
User since 10/31/15
I don’t know when the peak rut was or do I care, but our little click killed mature Bucks on the 4th, 8th, and 9th. Day photos of said deer and other mature Bucks coincide with the same time frame.
11/16/23 @ 8:39 PM
The hamburglar
User since 4/20/23
I felt like runting was best at the end of October. 
11/16/23 @ 5:39 PM
User since 10/23/20
seemed to be going strong early from pre rut in mid oct. tell this last warm snap last weekend. maybe it will pick back up with the coming cold front for gun deer? or  maybe its over tell round 2... kind of sad looking for gun opener

11/16/23 @ 2:29 PM
User since 1/19/02
Ive hunted every weekend since Oct 21st two different properties waupaca and fond du lac co's and Ive seen prob less than ten does and 2 spikers. just a weird year so far. 
11/16/23 @ 12:54 PM
User since 7/20/09
My best buck pictures were week of Halloween this year.  I think that is fairly normal for me.  If anything it seemed to end more quickly though.

Lots of fawns by us this year, I'm expecting some second rut action around end of Dec/New Years.  Usually that is when I see bucks pushing doe fawns.  Have had that numerous times.
11/16/23 @ 9:01 AM
PRO MEMBER User since 6/22/01
I've hunted the weekend closest to Halloween the last 3 years and this year I also hunted the weekend after that on Sunday.  I was not seeing much on my cameras and very few scrapes and deer rubs.  I was not up there this past weekend, but I'll check the cameras when I am on my way to my blind opening morning of gun season.  I don't think the rut had even started as of a week and a half ago where I hunt.  A few areas in the state I had heard the rut was a week or two early, but that was not the case where I hunt.
11/16/23 @ 7:52 AM
User since 7/17/09
The rut by me in Lacrosse Cty hit about the usual time this year. Last 2 previous seasons l scored on Oct 26 and last year Oct 31. This year seemed like the hot days were Oct 30 - Nov 3. This year I missed a nice one Nov 2 .
It went stone cold going into the weekend of Nov 4. I thought the rut was really short this season. Still bucks moving around after dark. Camera pics went back to mostly night movements since then. 
I thought the pre rut phase was behind this year. I didn't start seeing aggressive buck sign until 1st -2nd week into Oct. 

Displaying 1 to 15 of 16 posts
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