Rut Reporter Will Brantley of Murray, Kentucky, knows the region well. He spends 40 to 50 days each season in the Mid-South whitetail woods. Brantley shot his first deer at age 10 with a sidelock muzzleloader. States covered: KY, TN, WV, VA, NC.
Oct.15–Overall Activity Status: After yet another extended spell of hot weather, we finally received a little rain on Tuesday, and things have cooled off. Deer activity has still been slow for the past several days. They’re hitting the acorns right now, and we have an abundant mast crop in this region.
Fighting:** I saw a pair of 2 1⁄2-year-old 8-pointers step into a picked beanfield a week ago alongside a family group of does. Although they never locked up, their patience with one another was obviously wearing thin, as they postured continuously. I’d venture a guess that those will be the last two bucks I’ll see traveling together for a while.
Rub making: Moderate
Scrape making: Still sparse, scattered scraping activity.
Chasing:** Nothing yet
Daytime movement:** Evening movement around field edges has slowed a great deal, but mid-morning movement seems to have increased. This is likely a product of the hot weather we’ve had recently as much as anything.
Estrous signs:** I’ve seen a few fawns by themselves the last two or three days. Few signs otherwise.
X Factor:** I did see a young 8-pointer on his feet and cruising in the early afternoon a week ago, before another round of hot weather took hold. Such sightings should only increase in the coming days. I enjoy calling–rattling, grunting, bleats–and historically, my best calling success has been around the 20th of October.