Son, I agree our rut is right around Dec6-10. Over the years I have seen lots of activity on those days and even killed a 10 pt chasing a doe on Dec 6 one year. I have noticed a secondary rut about 28 days later for those does that didn’t get bred the first time.
In the past I usually get my best deer the week after Christmas and see most of the rut activity the week or so right before Christmas. The past few years I have noticed more activity earlier. So far I see some young bucks interested but that's it. Im thinking things will fire up pretty quick. I have a LOT of bucks on camera with a few mature shooters but the mature deer are still just before sun up or right after sun down
I moved to my current area 20 years ago and the rut seemed to be hard and heavy right around Christmas for several weeks. It came on fast and stopped just as fast. I agree with the increased doe population theory. They don't have to work as hard to find does in heat.
In past years,, I've known of a couple old bucks that set up in thick swamp areas. The does came to them when ready. Both times I tired of waiting for either of the old bucks to show. So, I went in after them, different years, but both had 10 to 15 does laying around with them. What I saw first was all the doe's get up and run. Learned something there, the buck always lays off to the side a good ways. When he gets up, your will not be ready for a shot. In fact, I only got a glimpse of those bucks when they got up and left. Both bucks were killed the last week of the season, one off property following a late doe. The other on our property by another club member, late season following a doe. So, when the does get to be a few unbred, those wise old bucks will move out to find them.
Weather forecast this weekend, and most of early next week is not exactly ideal, daytime tempts to the high seventies.
I may try Sunday am, and work on feeders/cameras/stands the rest of the day...
Def not burning vacation until we get a cold front of some kind.
Not getting a ton of pics and nothing big esp in daytime but two of my cells have dead batteries.
Did get a cow on my small irwin county lease... Two year old bull!!! He escaped from a pasture as he was being let in with cows on opposite side of a clearcut.. I was pretty surprised when I checked that cell yesterday am. My lease guy found the owner, and he got him back yesterday afternoon - Would have need some help dragging that one out!!!
I drove down and replaced batteries on couple cameras, and repositioned a couple of stick ladders for my loc on's. Didnt see a ton of sign or activity mid day when I got there, decided not to hunt yesterday but did get a decent buck at feeder yesterday afternoon. Thought about tomorrow with the weather going to almost eighty this weekend, but think I will wait for later part weekend or Monday - Looks like a cold front by then. Playing the odds...,
I may go for a morning hunt tomorrow, sometimes a rain moving through gets them moving a bit. Although, my cameras are not getting big mature bucks yet. I need one more doe, I like to put two up each season.
So far, I've passed on three different 8 point bucks while I wait for a real mature buck to show. Problem is, none are showing up on cameras yet. I believe they are there, just not roaming around much. Too much food, and the rut hasn't really kicked in. It has taken me two weeks to get my second mature doe. Saw plenty does and bucks, but all were young deer. Yesterday, finally shot a mature doe, that's my doe limit and will provide plenty ground meat, cubed steak and strap for next year. Already have one buck put up, so all I need now is one more buck, A big ol tough one will do.