Hunters in parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana seeing some pre-rut activity; big show mostly over in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia
The Kentucky rifle season ended on a rainy, windy note Sunday evening, but my buddies who were still out hunting, along with intel from my trail cameras, suggested the deer moved pretty well. Season totals aren't in yet for Kentucky's 2022 modern gun season, but I expect them to be good. We've had mostly cool, favorable weather throughout, and the chasing action was as good as I've ever seen it opening week.
Still, the big show is pretty much over at this latitude for the year. That doesn't mean it's time to hang up your gun or bow if you still have a tag, though. You can catch a buck up and cruising — and perhaps even see sporadic chasing — any time between now and about December 15, even if most of the mature does have been bred. I've seen a flurry of fresh scrapes over the past week, and right now is a pretty good time to pattern a specific buck and tag him using some of the same pre-rut tactics that were productive back around Halloween.
Tyler Jordan reported much of the same down in South Georgia, where the rut timing is similar to here in Kentucky and the Midwest. I think it is starting to die down a little bit here, he said. I've seen several mature bucks go back into normal feeding patterns. While there's been some chasing going on, it's nothing like what it was a week ago.
It's a different story elsewhere in the region. Hunters in southwest Tennessee and northern Mississippi, where gun seasons are still in full swing, should be seeing pretty good chasing activity right now, since the rut normally peaks there around the first of December. Down near the Alabama Gulf Coast, where a buddy of mine is in on a hunting club, members report that the deer are still in feeding routines, but are beginning to spar around a bit.
Over in Northeast Louisiana, Cole Barthel with All Things Hunting has been sitting in the deer stand in the evenings following early morning duck hunts. He says the rut there is still a ways off (it typically peaks around Christmas) and for now, deer are still on feeding patterns. In Northwest Louisiana, where Barthel's buddy Kyle Barefield hunts, bucks are just starting to make and visit scrapes. Barefield says the best chasing in that part of the Pelican State usually happens around December 15.
Point is, as the best hunting comes to an end in much of the country, it's just getting started in parts of the Deep South. Enjoy.
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