With the enjoyable winding down within the Mid-South, it is time for reflection on one superior deer season
Reporting on the rut could be a tough factor within the Southeast, since one thing is occurring just about all fall, beginning as early as late July and August down in South Florida. Hunters within the southern Mississippi Delta area are within the thick of issues proper now, however the motion doubtless received’t final for much longer. Farther south, many Alabama hunters are nonetheless anticipating the yr’s greatest rut motion, which doesn’t crank up till January.
However for a lot of the area together with the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, the 2022 rut has come and gone, and the whitetails that survived November are settling into predictable late-season patterns. I’m penning this yr’s last report through the coronary heart of Kentucky’s late muzzleloader season, and at present have a shopper watching a feeder from a field blind. It’s wet and heat at the moment, however a chilly entrance is bearing down on us, and the remainder of the season (which ends Sunday) is trying fairly good. I’ve obtained path cameras set over a number of bait websites, meals plots, and a number of other mock scrapes. For the previous two weeks, the perfect motion has undoubtedly been on the meals sources, and notably so throughout chilly, high-pressure days.
I all the time get pleasure from some reflection on the finish of looking season, and this yr’s rut was positively one to recollect. Usually, the primary week of November is prime on this a part of the world, with plenty of bucks on their ft, looking for and chasing. This yr, the motion appeared a bit of delayed. We guided a bow hunt in early November, and daytime highs hit 80 levels a pair occasions. Deer sightings on the whole have been slim, and mature bucks appeared to be non-existent.
That modified in a giant approach later within the month. A uncommon snow storm blew in on Nov. 12, opening day of Kentucky’s trendy gun season, and superb looking circumstances set in for the next week. My 8-year-old son shot an amazing 8-pointer at 2 o’clock that afternoon, and I adopted up with a giant 10-pointer of my very own the subsequent morning. I then shifted my consideration to Tennessee, the place I stuffed each of my buck tags in two sits—one with a bow and one with a muzzleloader. For just a few magical days, it appeared like huge deer have been simply operating in every single place, and I noticed fairly good chasing clear by the primary few days of December.
There was a flurry of scraping exercise to comply with, however even that appears to be trickling to a halt now. Lots of the bucks I’m seeing on my cameras are damaged up, with a pair mature deer lacking full important beams. As if to place an exclamation level on the time of yr, I discovered an antler close to a corn pile the opposite day that had been forged off clear.
Bait piles can be productive for the remainder of the season, and within the South, cereal grains and even clover plots can keep inexperienced till effectively after Christmas. There’s restricted browse on the panorama proper now, so something inexperienced will entice deer.
As all the time, thanks for following together with this yr’s Rut Report, and good luck to everybody on the market who’s nonetheless packing a tag.
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