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If you believe Charles Alsheimer and I do, it will be an earlier rut this year. According the calculations used from his data, seeking phase will begin October 21st. Chasing phase begins October 25th, with the breeding phase begining November 1st.

Alot of guys prefer the seeking and chasing phases best, before the bucks have found their doe and are in a thicket breeding.

I will be in the woods from October 21st and beyond
 

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I've always heard tell it has more to do with the amount of daylight in the day than anything else. I've always thought from halloween through veterans day was peak time. But hey I'm no Dr. James Kroll
 

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As it is with every yr . Seeking will occur the end of October and beginning of Nov . As a few does become receptive the big deer will lock down with them around the 6 or 8 of Nov .
Peak breeding will be in the teen days of Nov and you'll see a drop in deer movement except for young bucks and fawns who are wandering around while Mom gets bred .

The week leading up to Thanksgiving weekend will see big deer on their feet again looking for the remaining does that haven't been bred .
 

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From my experience it is the same time every year. It has more to do with the amount of daylight throughout each day. That being said I start to see activity the last weekend of October and ramp up the first week of November which is typically when I see the best daytime movement as long as the weather is good.
 

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I've always heard tell it has more to do with the amount of daylight in the day than anything else. I've always thought from halloween through veterans day was peak time. But hey I'm no Dr. James Kroll
https://www.drdeer.com/uploads/cms/nav-17-5801202c0f63b.pdf

LOL James Kroll believes it has to do with the full moon. Oddly enough the full moon is October 24th this year. According to Mr. Kroll and Charles Alsheimer that means an earlier rut this year.

I will let everyone know what I see from October 24 and beyond
 

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I am on the fence about the moon phase, I have seen him nail it and miss it. I believe it depends on the doe numbers. If you have a high doe numbers then some may come in to estrus earlier than others, especially older doe. The majority of doe will come into estrus roughly the same time every year. Each property is different, by maybe a week or so. And we all know someone maybe seeing bucks seeking and another be watching nothing but squirrels. Halloween is always the first day I will hunt the morning, but I will hunt evenings as much as possible till then.
 

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If you believe Charles Alsheimer and I do, it will be an earlier rut this year. According the calculations used from his data, seeking phase will begin October 21st. Chasing phase begins October 25th, with the breeding phase begining November 1st.

Alot of guys prefer the seeking and chasing phases best, before the bucks have found their doe and are in a thicket breeding.

I will be in the woods from October 21st and beyond
Money...and hunt the red moon. But any time spent in the stand is uping your chances cause it can happen anytime.
 
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It was yesterday, try again next year.
 

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My experience, it all depends on where you hunt. The amount of does etc. At one point I use to hunt in three different parts of the state. I would start catching rut around the 21st at on spot. The 29 th at the other and The Fith of November at another spot.

Here in my neck of the woods seems around the 8th through 16th of November. Favorite day November 11th. I believe it’s differnt everywhere.

All depending on the number of deer/does. More does mean some will come in earlier making rut sooner than others/stronger rut earlier rut/longer rut.. less does slower and shorter. Also your buck to doe ratio. If your in a well balanced area,You will definitely know.
 

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I guess the overall is Halloween weekend up in to gun season. But the gold is usually Halloween weekend till around the 14 November. Everywhere tho is different.
 

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I believe there are several things that go into the rut factor . The moon phase I think has a lot to do with what time of day that deer are up moving around feeding, but when a doe is coming into heat that buck isn't going to let her stop rest or eat much until he has done his job . Hunting pressure in an area can hurt deer sightings also during the rut or whatever time of the season it is . I believe less Daylight light hours is what triggers the rut off each year and it will be the same in your area every yr give or take 2-3 days . A lot of guys think just because we see 1 big buck chasin a doe across an open corn field in the middle of the day that the rut is full blown everywheres (wrong) . But what I do know is this , on our place in southern Ohio is that most of the best bucks are killed or seen from Halloween to about the 11 or 12th. And if we want to narrow it down a lil more, It will be somewheres about Nov. 3-8 for me . The best thing to do is to be in a tree somewheres when you can from Last week in Oct. until bout Second week in Nov.
 

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I like about Nov. 8-20. The mature bucks were daylight cruising in my area starting around the 9th and it continued through the 25, last year. The 3 oldest bucks I know of in my area were all chasing a doe panting at noon on the 25th. I’m going to watch the pre rut close this year as I noticed as soon as a scrape was hit in Oct by the first hot doe the older bucks were there for a couple days after in daylight.

Totally agree with everyone above that densities and ratio will have a drastic affect on what you see.
 

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The dates in my area(SE Ohio)are almost identical every year
Oct 27th-nov 3rd peak cruising
Nov 4th-9th first lockdown
Nov 10-12th crazy chasing
Nov 13-15 another short lockdown
Nov 16-24 mature bucks day walking looking for the last does.

I used to move my vacation around based on a variety of predictions but for me I have enough of my own/buddies journal data and trail cam evidence to say that on my ground it happens almost exactly the same every year. Now sure the amount of activity changes based mainly on weather or a full moon may have some happen at night. We also confirm this by running cams early summer and cam yell when the majority of the fawns are born on the same days.
 

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I've seen a wide variety of behavior with mature bucks locked on does in heat. Some encounters are 5mins or instant breeding happens. Besides doggin I've see one buck hook a doe in the side repeatedly until she would stand looked very painful. Some are lazy. I think some encounters can last over 24hrs if the buck allows it to take that long. Ive found pairs laying together from daybreak until past dark in prime November. I saw locked pairs from late October until monday shotgun last year. The most pairs Nov 2-12. Then most single deer out cruising on a mission 12th on. U can definitely tell when its on the downhill slope...
 

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So I decided to go hunt for a couple of hours this evening after work. I am sitting in a very tall grassy area, with a large creek five yards at my back, with about a 60 yard wide corner of a cut corn field in front of me and then the woods that I refused to go into until the rut. I sat down at 5:00 and at 5:15 I smell doe estrus. I smelled it for about an hour, but there were times during that hour it smelled really strong. The wind was blowing out of the woods directly in my face. Then at about 6:15 I hear what sounds like deer moving back and forth in the woods. It was definitely more than one deer and was very loud. They sounded like they were maybe 20 yards inside the thick woods and covering about 100 yards along side of the cut corn field. This went on for about 5 minutes. Then at 6:45 it happened again, but this time it only lasted about a minute. The deer never did enter the cut corn field so I slipped out of there at 7:30.

Is it normal for does to be in estrus this early?

Maybe Mr. Kroll and Alsheimer are onto something with their early rut predictions. I know one things for sure, I will be using my best stand before October 30th. Its only about 130 yards from where I was sitting and about 50 yards from where those deer were carrying on.
 

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Does anyone know when whitetail rut will be this year? I'm in Southern Ohio. Looking to get out on the weekend of November 3 and 4 and hoping that will be during rut.
PA game commission put the moon theory and other to rest by doing a study on fawns, they said that most are conceived in about a two week period you have a few early and late, but it would seem that the week before and the week of Thanksgiving is always the weeks that the most breeding takes place, EVERY YEAR ! I might add that through all my years of trapping fox when I was in my 20's 30's & 40's, that was also the week that I saw the most bucks chasing does when I was checking my traps ! I had an auto trapline that covered sometimes over 200 miles a day !
 

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I am on the fence about the moon phase, I have seen him nail it and miss it. I believe it depends on the doe numbers. If you have a high doe numbers then some may come in to estrus earlier than others, especially older doe. The majority of doe will come into estrus roughly the same time every year. Each property is different, by maybe a week or so. And we all know someone maybe seeing bucks seeking and another be watching nothing but squirrels. Halloween is always the first day I will hunt the morning, but I will hunt evenings as much as possible till then.
You will always have some early and late breeders, but mid November has been proven to be the peak of the rut in PA I would think Ohio would be about the same ! The PA game Commission by checking a number of fawns determined the majority were conceived in a two week period with mid November being the peak time ! EVERY YEAR ! I think as you Halloween forward you should see some chasing does they may not be able to breed yet but the bucks should be out giving their nostrils a work out ! The bucks have been proven to be ready before the does ! Sound familiar ?
 
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