In Rut or Not?

Kahuna

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
115
Reaction score
0
Hey guys,
As I keep reading and trying to learn as much as I can about Whitetail, I keep asking myself how can I figure out when pre-rut, rut, etc. begins and ends?  Knowing what "mood" the bucks is obviously a key to successful hunting, so how can I tell what time frames these different stages are occurring in my area?
 



Sheryl Billitz

Inactive
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hey Kahuna, Just noticed you where from Jax. I live in St. Augustine, Fl. :wavin:
I am know expert on Whitetail, but I have hunted almost all my life. My father has taken and taught me everything he knows about deer hunting. I have spent years enjoying just watching deer and their activites year round. I have harvested some wall hangers in my time also. My husband and myself have a 3,222 acrea lease in South Carolina Low Country that we have hunted on for over ten years now. A good rut there is better than anything I have ever experienced before! Very exciting...
To answer your question, You see an increase in deer sign as well as the deer sightings increase during the pre-rut. I notice alot of activty in scrapes and also what we call "pitching" everywhere. The bucks are running (pitching) and also they will scrape their racks onto the ground making an impression with both these activities. This is usually one of the sign's of the onset of pre-rut. Prime rut we see high acitivy with deer sightings with both bucks & does. Weather and human pressure can and does effect these sightings during rut. Our rut in S.C. is generally around mid October to early November. Usually after the major rut then 28 days later expect another increase in deer actiivty, then again in 28 more days. Our deer season ends there on January 1st. Unbred does are still being persued even then.
Where do you hunt?

Sheryl Billitz/Buck Ridge
http://www.huntlodge.com/BuckRidge/




(Edited by Sheryl Billitz at 10:28 am on May 29, 2002)
 

FLBowhunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Messages
411
Reaction score
0
Our rut on the west coast of FL seems to trickle on for months with no real "peak".  I have seen small spoted fawns as early as late May and as late as January.  I don't know if it is the weather, moon, heat, or poor buck to doe ratio.  I would be intrested to find out more on this topic as well.
-Scott-
 

Kahuna

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
115
Reaction score
0
Hey Sheryl, nice to see a local!  I am starting in a club this year that is just west of Jax, out towards 301.  So far I have seen some nice tracks.  Of course, with my limited knowledge, I don't know what to do about it yet!! :)  I really need a lesson in scouting!
 

Arrowhead

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2001
Messages
4,244
Reaction score
10
Hey Guys/Gals. I currently live in NC but lived in South Florida for 25+ years. I Still do some hunting around Jax when I get the chance. Was down there this spring to harvest a gobbler.

Get back there to deer hunt as time permits.

Sheryl has some good info, and what looks like an awesome place to hunt. I've hunted around Allendale before and  her dates are right on.

I would recomend getting a subscription to Deer & Deer Hunter magazine. They give the best info regarding the rut that I have found.

Here in NC it start's about the first week in November.

Everglades of South Florida------ July......... Go figure.
 

GutshotJoe

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Hello fellow hunters, I live & hunt in Wisconsin. I've hunted the White-Tailed Deer for 17 years. I'm no expert. I agree with Arrowhead that Deer & Deer Hunting gives great info on the rut. D&DH Magazine showed me to watch the moon phases. For the last 3years they have predicted the rut. D&DH also provide a calendar each year that shows what the deer activity will be, both in the north, & south. I also got a book called Hunting Whitetails by the Moon, by Charles J. Alsheimer.He states the rutting moon which is the second moon after autumnal equinox trigers the rut in the north, & the third full moon will triger it in the south. I dont know about the south, but in the north he has been right on! A few things will afect the rut, temperature, human pressure, shifting food sources, & skewed doe - to - buck ratios.  
 

deerstalker

Active member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
     I agree D&DH is a good mag. Lots of research info on whitetails. IMHO it ranks second only to North American Whitetail which is the only hunting mag I have a subscription to. If you are not reading NA Whitetail, I strongly suggest you try a few issues.
     The best book I have ever run across is "Hunting Trophy Whitetails" by David Morris. It covers the subject from A to Z. I don't believe there is a human being walking the earth that knows more about whitetails than David.
     As far as timing the rut, your game & fish dept can provide you dates for the "traditional" peak in your hunting area. This is a good starting point to work from, bearing in mind that many factors (weather, moon phase, temperature, Buck Age Structure, Buck/Doe ratio, etc.) will affect the timing of when the "actual" peak occurs in any given year. Hunting pressure will not affect the timing of the rut per se, but excessive pressure will cause most of the buck activity to take place under the cover of darkness. The lack of visible daytime activity can fool a hunter into thinking the rut hasn't started.
    Sign to look for that tells you the Pre-rut is coming to a close: 1. Increased scraping activity, especially traditional scrapes and those found in staging areas. As the bucks get more and more "wired", scraping and rubbing become more frequent and more violent. 2. Running tracks in fields, foodplots and cutovers. The does are not yet ready, but are close to estrus and the bucks know it. 3. In areas with light to moderate hunting pressure, you will see increased daytime deer activity. Again, the bucks are pestering the does.
     Sign to tell you the rut, or actual breeding has started: 1. Scraping activity basically comes to a halt. When there are does in heat, the bucks don't waste a lot of time scratching in the dirt. 2. You see a lot of "Orphan" fawns. When a doe comes in heat she will abandon her fawns temporarily. These fawns running around and feeding in foodplots alone is a sure sign breeding is taking place.
    Hope this is helpful.
 

Latest Posts



Top Bottom