State of the Rut: Still Waiting

Brow Tines and Backstrap

State of the Rut: Still Waiting

Posted 2015-10-27T21:58:00Z

Oct. 27 Update From Michigan, South Dakota

Rut Report

Football season has come to a close.

Which means my deer season can finally begin.

Well, soon as I clear this pile of work off my desk anyway.

Who am I kidding? Work will wait. The rut will not.

It comes but once a year and it's coming fast.

But it's not here yet.

This is the first of what will be multiple posts aimed at giving you a leg up on the state of the whitetail rut.

I'll be spending the rut hunting near my home in southern Michigan, in South Dakota, in kansas and Ohio.

While that's not exactly coast-to-coast coverage it should give us a decent representation of the status of all things rutty.

So here's today's report: The rut is near. But maybe not as close as I would have guessed.

A few days ago, I spent a couple of sits in southern Michigan. I did see a couple of yearling bucks bumping does around and noticed an increase in scrape activity.

But as this is written, I'm just back in from a 5-hour sit in South Dakota. I'm hunting a pretty impressive piece of ground and bucks are everywhere. But they're still in small bachelor groups and displayed almost no interest in does. In fact, I saw a pair of mature bucks this evening. They were hanging out together in an alfalfa field. I also saw a fawn nursing a doe in that same field.

I have a trail camera in Ohio that transmits photos via Moultrie's Game Management System.

Over the past two weeks there has been a steady and dramatic increase in buck activity - but it's still under cover of darkness and I've seen no indication of breeding and the seeking and chasing phase amongst mature deer.

Bottom line? The rut is coming. But we'll have to wait a bit longer for things to really start to crank.