Northeast Rut Report: Bucks Are Back on Their Feet


Northeast Rut Report: Bucks Are Back on Their Feet

Posted 2019-11-22T09:53:00Z  by  Josh Montgomery

What deer activity are you seeing?

Northeast Rut Report: Bucks Are Back on Their Feet - c_tom_reichner-shutterstock-ne

November is moving right along, and if you're like me, you might still be trying to fill a buck tag. The good news? There is still some good hunting ahead of us. You just have to stay focused.

New York

Midwest Whitetail pro staffer Phil Scott lives and hunts in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Scott was lucky enough to tag a target buck a few weeks ago. Recently he's been out trying to help his wife Kelly get on one. In his area, scrapes started to die off around November 8 and doe sightings began to reduce as well.

Over the past week or so, young bucks were cruising, and lone doe fawns and button bucks were the only sightings. He believes the mature bucks have been on lock-down. With high populations of does, it doesn't take long to find the next estrus lady. Hopefully, by the weekend, mature bucks will have to begin searching a little more as the majority of does should be bred.

West Virginia

I spoke with Joey Charlton of Bone Shack Outdoors along the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Charlton seen an increase of buck activity with six different sightings in one sit last weekend. He also had a close encounter with a mature deer that came in, worked a scrape, but never presented a shot.

Other locals have been struggling with the lock-down phase. However, Charlton had one of his best hunts of the season at home. Scrape activity is picking back up, too. With gun season starting next week, it should be some good hunting.


In northwestern Delaware, big-buck-killer Josh Tucker said it's been hit or miss since November 10. Scraping was hot, but then it died off. Tucker said they've had some isolated pockets of activity. Does have been on grain food sources, especially during the colder days. But with the recent warm-up, green food plots have been the most popular.


Here in Maryland, the temperature had been well below average. Deer were definitely hitting the food. I watched several doe groups with a few young bucks and there wasn't much excitement. They were all focused on feeding.

Temperatures have increased now. That will remain. If it's been slow around you, mature bucks will likely be out and about trying to find those last few does. I've encountered some of the biggest bucks the week before and around Thanksgiving. Stay positive. Stay after it.

Region as a Whole

Action seemed to tighten up last week, as many areas experienced the effects of the lock-down phase. Things still have been spotty but reports of bucks are starting to show up in areas they haven't been for a few weeks. Scraping activity also picked back up.

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  • Day Activity

  • Rubbing

  • Scraping

  • Fighting

  • Seeking

  • Chasing

  • Breeding