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Almaink

Rut

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So it's now November and I've yet to see a single scrape in any of the places they have been showing up for the last 30 years. I also haven't seen but one small spike buck although I have seen a few rubs in the last week on real big trees. The woods are full of acorns more than I've ever seen before, so I'm wondering if that has anything to do with the lack of rut sign in the usual places? 

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That is odd. What part of the state? I was out yesterday and found a bunch of scrapes but not many rubs. This was in central NJ.

 

 

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I am seeing the same thing in zone 6 northern New Jersey. I've taken long power walks around both of my setups in an attempt to find rubs and scrape with the intention of moving to get in on the action. So far I've found nothing. I'm hunting areas that I've killed deer in before. These are not new setups. The only thing different this year is the mast crop.

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Zone 8, I'm not seeing anything happen. Same 3 players.

Zone 7, 3 new bucks in the last week on my cameras but no chasing that I've seen.

Zone 6, 1 new buck, several does hanging around and 2 new bears on my cameras

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I am seeing a bunch of chaseing but verry few rubs and scrapes but wethier I am in woods or vehicle I am seeing chaseing all over.

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The field edge scrapes showed up 2 weeks ago and went dry. It seems like all the action is in the woods right now. The does are so close to going into heat right now. I saw my first sighting of a doe pinned down out in a wide open bean field last night. They were out there for two hours.

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I'll be checking my cameras tomorrow in Zone 8 but, the landowner says he has not seen any bucks chasing at all. I know in Virginia, there's nothing going on.

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I hunt zone 6 and I have video of bucks chasing. I also have little sign just starting to see scraps pop up but no rubs as all. The buck I shot Saturday was deff looking for love

 

 

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I saw five new dead bucks today that were not there last Friday, on I-80 between Interchanges 19 and 37.  Somethings going on.............

Edited by LittleM

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A 7 pointer had a doe pinned down in front of me from 3:30 until dark this afternoon, he was grunting his head off.   

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It's gonna be a strange week with these temps I'll be back out again tomorrow . Good luck to everyone

 

 

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Not being able to get where I need to I'm not seeing a whole lot. I did come across a new rub right alongside an old rub with a scrape nearby. Its one of those king of the hill spots I should have never challenged.....

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I'm a huge fan of being mobile all the time and doing a lot of "virgin sits". If you're not seeing sign and deer, move. There are a lot of rubs and scrapes that I've seen so far and definitely rutting action is happening. You need to find it asap. 

 

If you have a lightweight stand, throw it on your back and walk edges of cover until you hit fresh sign and setup. I do it all the time and at the very least, it eventually puts you on deer again.

 

Travel light though, otherwise you'll want to setup at the first hint of deer activity. But also never go past awesome sign (unless you're gut says keep going). Once I hit sign that feels "right", I slow to a stop and really look things over before moving forward anymore. I try to select a tree without moving around at all. Ground scent is a huge hunt killer.

 

If you don't have a lightweight stand that you can quickly and quietly get in a tree with, then just grab the bow and go scout early...start scouting at like 8 or 9 am. Once you find the right spot, go get the stand and setup for the evening. Maybe leave the stand in the woods and hunt the AM again....If nothing. Move on.

 

Good luck!

  • Agree 1

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I'm seeing a similar situation at one of my spots. It's a backyard 10 acre spot that I bait. There's usually a lot of deer hitting the feeder every year with the same trees being rubbed and scraped. This year it's different so far. Not much going on. It has to be the acorn crop. I scouted a piece of public land and hung a stand in a small oak flat I found. I saw 8 deer last night during my sit including some small bucks bumping does around. I'm always learning and I love it. One thing I've learned is that during the rut, you never know what will happen. You could sit a spot that you haven't seen much at, and have a nice buck cruise through at any time.

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It's not just acorns.  The last Fish and Game Council meeting mentioned that early deer harvest reports for this fall had the numbers down between 35% and 40%.  That was blamed on a combination of things including: back to back harsh winters where predation by coyotes increases, fawn predation by apex predators in spring, unlimited doe harvests, lack of acorns over much of the state for two or more years, and localized EHD.    

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The buck I got on Saturday was chasing a doe hard, the night before there was another buck chasing a doe at last light, I haven't been out since so I dont know what this heat is doing to them, but it definitely looked like the Rut was at least beginning this past weekend in Z15.

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I have a few bucks on cam all in the early am. Nothing in the evening. I have been around does on the days Ive hunted and have not seen a buck on any of them. Im seeing the bucks solo with no companions and the does in small groups with no sugar daddy's

Edited by outdoorslife

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activity has been slow in Hopewell this year. The only deer I've seen on my trail cam is at night. Not the typical year for deer

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I had 4 bucks within 30 yards on Sunday -- Zone 8 -- from 3pm till sundown -- 2 came in together the other 2 where traveling alone

 

They all got a pass -- nothing worth using the buck tag on so early in the extended season

 

Not one doe to be seen

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The bucks are on the does but with this heat there's not a lot of running around.  I watched another buck yesterday just standing guard over a bedded doe.  

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I've been hunting a lot since mid October, and also have about 8 cameras still working.

 

There was a great flurry of daylight activity on my cams starting October 18th and seemed to shut off immediately on the 24th, with just a little bit of activity on the 25th and 27th.

 

This matched what I saw on stand, and seemed to coincide with the cold front we had. I hunted the 19, 20, 21st, 23rd and 24th. I saw several bucks grunting and chasing does hard on 3 different properties, each several miles form the other, through the 23rd. The 24th was quiet. Hunted again the 26th and 27th, and saw some does and fawns with no rut activity around them. I went out in the rain on the 28th and pulled my cards and found the cameras matched what I saw from the stand.

 

Hunted the afternoon of the 29th, and the 30 through yesterday afternoon. Not much going on. I went to a small private piece I have limited access to on Nov. 2nd and had a doe and 3 fawns come out early to feed on a green field. About 45 mins later, 2 does and 3 fawns came out to join them. After watching them for a while, and not seeing any bucks around them, I shot a big doe, first deer I've killed in NJ with my bow in 3 years. She went 20 yards and fell over. The other deer didn't go far and I watched them until dark to see if the rut would show up. It didn't.

 

Hunted a few times since then and saw one spike buck cruise through right at dark, no other rut-like activity. 

 

I still see pics showing up of guys killing nice bucks and reporting rut activity but it's just a matter of being where it's happening. With fewer and fewer deer, the places it's happening tend to be 'few and far between', so we don't see it as much. 

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There was a great flurry of daylight activity on my cams starting October 18th and seemed to shut off immediately on the 24th, with just a little bit of activity on the 25th and 27th...

 

...I still see pics showing up of guys killing nice bucks and reporting rut activity but it's just a matter of being where it's happening. With fewer and fewer deer, the places it's happening tend to be 'few and far between', so we don't see it as much. 

 

I remember seeing good flurries of activity around the same times you mentioned too. However, I've been fortunate enough to see another recent flurry.

 

The rut is always intriguing to me because people perceive it in so many different ways. Plus it seems like so many people wait for it and want to hit it right on every year, but every year people complain that it didn't happen. It did....it had to. lol

 

It's kind of like what you said, you just have to be there when it's happening. Could even be happening in the woods you're in, you're just not where it's at or you missed a great day and landed on a dud. I have to believe we still have some serious action to come, but for anyone waiting on cold weather to "trigger" the rut, I would recommend just getting the heck out there. Anytime from October to January I have seen breeding. Remember it's like a "bell curve", you start with a doe or two going into estrous in early October....then you gradually build up to a lot of does in estrous around now (give or take) and then fade back down quickly. The same thing happens again about a month later.

 

That's my take on the rut anyway. You just have to be out there and hope you hit the right area at the right time and the right doe has all the bucks going loonie around your stand.

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