Overall Activity Status: My buddy Jimbo Robinson down in Tennessee put it this way: “It’s been suck city here, Brantley. We’ve got a full moon and a bumper acorn crop, and the deer aren’t moving at all.”
Fighting: Robinson noted that bachelor groups are only now breaking up in southwest Tennessee, but that makes sense. The rut in that part of the world doesn’t really begin kicking until the end of November or first of December. Bucks have been broken up for a few weeks around in my neck of the woods, and fighting is becoming more frequent.
Rub Making: Although rubs aren’t hard to find right now, I’m not seeing as many as I typically do at this time of year.
Scrape Making: To this point, I’ve still only found a couple very small field-edge scrapes. Harry Pozniak, owner of River Valley Farms, said the same thing: “I’m just starting to find a few scrapes here and there, but they don’t look serious yet. We’re supposed to have a big cold front next week, though, and that should shake things up. Those big scrapes appear overnight.”
Chasing: Nothing to report yet.
Daytime movement: As mentioned, it was slow over the weekend. My wife, brother, Dad, and I all hunted the family farm during Kentucky’s two-day early muzzleloader season this weekend. It’s not been hunted in a month, and there are plenty of deer around. But we only saw three of them, total, in two days of hunting.
“I’m finding that a lot of our deer, especially the bigger ones, are showing up right after dark,” Pozniak said. “They’re still on the acorns here, especially under the few white oaks that are dropping. But I planted some oat plots this year, and they’re really starting to hit those hard. This full moon has had them moving a lot after dark.”
Estrous Signs: None yet.
X Factor: By next week, this week of slow movement should be a distant memory. Halloween always seems to be the kick-off time for the rut in this part of the Mid-South, especially with a big cold front like we have in the forecast. Low temperatures are supposed to fall into the 30s by Thursday. “We’re on the rut’s doorstep, and I think it’s going to happen pretty quick,” Pozniak said.