Someday Isle, you have brought up an interesting topic. Predicting the peak rut date consistently as defined by shootable buck sightings I believe is impossible.There are just too many variables. Since 2003 I have been able to hunt every or any days I've wanted during November. Every year there is that special day, that day as they say "A blind man could have killed a big buck with a cane today". Actually there is often a couple or more of those days each season. More and more I believe that the only way to catch those days is to hunt everyone of them except for the impossible wind days.
With that said some guys have learned to shoot long, long range; for those few they can hunt every day in November regardless of wind directions. I'd like to learn that long range shooting skill; I might not use it often but it sure would be nice to have some years.
Back to the subject it is easy to pick the rut breeding peaks in this area;they scientifically happen the same dates each year. It is another matter to predict the rut big deer shooting days which though tied to peak breeding dates are still dependent on weather and area hunting pressure.
Where I hunt in AR, our "peak" rut usually occurs during the first couple of weeks in November. This rut will see all sorts of bucks running around the woods. It would coincide with the information given in the attached article. However, of the nine deer on our "wall of fame", only two of them were killed before the last weekend of November. Most of our big deer are killed the first two weeks of december - one month after the "peak" rut. We dont see as many bucks then - but we see bigger bucks.
When I hunt on our North Missouri land,the rut is usually the same time.The weather seems to be the driving force to me on daylight activity.I think if it's stupid hot then the deer don't just stop breeding they just cover less ground because the Does don't want to move a lot and expel energy.I think the key evidence of it occurring the same time generally is the studies,when they cut out the stomach of road kill does they can tell the time of conception and it's always around the same time frame
I always feel like it's pretty much the same time too. Other than the occasional opportunity to hunts a friend's property I have always been a public land hunter and just hunted when I had the chance no matter what. I've always felt like Halloween was the turning point of seeing lots of activity. As a landowner now I do like having the opportunity to pick my spots so to speak. I like reading all the information I can though and comparing the science to both my own experiences and the anecdotal stories of previous generations.
Yeah I like doing a lot of reading and stuff myself.Its interesting stuff for sure.The only thing I know for certaint though is if I can help it
Nov 2nd - Nov 17th I'll be in the woods everyday I hope.I would say the 9th has always been my lucky day in north Missouri as far as seeing true Giants on the hoof.Havent killed a true giant but I have seen 2 180s plus caliber bucks Before between the 9th-12th has always been the magic for me on sightings of such creatures.
IMO Halloween evening is one of the best evenings to hunt, it's always been money in the bank for me. That evening I will hunt a deer staging area, a small open area a hundred yards off the fields. for the first time all season. It's almost as if every deer in the woods has an open invitation to that particular place and time, an hour before dark. Go a week earlier and no deer will show up there at all. This day marks the turning point between the seek and the chase stage and has been my best time to see a big buck standing still in daylight all fall.
Trail cameras have solved one aspect of the deer rut mystery for me at my location. I have been observing for several years now, and within a day or two either side of November 8 will be the peak daylight movement of any old bucks. This movement could just last a couple of days or it could be stretched out over a few more days in any given year, but right around that day will be it.
Since our rifle season starts the second weekend in November, the peak daylight movement has already passed or just passing by that time. Since the calendar changes each year, the second weekend can be close or several days off. But, we seem to do okay anyway if we just hang in there and put in the time. Peak or no peak, there will be some, although possibly minor daylight movement all through late October and most of November.
For us, November 2019 should be a super hot opener but 2020 should be super slow. Look at those calendars, and you will see what I mean.
The other thing the cameras have taught me is that the second rut in December would be a great time to be hunting on our place.
This is always a good debate. The main reason is good days in the woods can happen at anytime. I have had great days in the woods on Oct. 1st, Nov. 6th and Jan. 12th. all of these for different reasons. But, if we are talking peak rut activity and big bucks getting on their feet during daylight hours I think their is a great window of opportunity Nov. 4th - about the 12th and then another window the first week of Dec. With big deer I have seen a very intense possibly more intense rut craze push in that first week of Dec range. I am assuming because fewer doe are needing bred and at that stage the big breeder bucks are having to travel to find a receptive doe to breed. This is the time of year where I will see multiple big old bucks together and so intense rutting activity. But If I still had to pick a one week window it would start on Nov. 4th - Nov. 10th.
My records of actual deer taken (not counting seen) show a spread from 11/12 thru 12/9 as the window in which we take P&Y class deer off my place since and including 2010. Now P&Y deer are not "toads" but they are nice deer. I seem to not see the really big deer until the number of available does dwindles.....then you see a real brute once in a while doing something stupid! I have seen this early as well as late. The trick is having that doe around!
Depends on your area. For me 11/1-11-10. This year full moon on 11/4, sucks. South texas 12/25, ect. The rut activity is a ski hill up then a cliff of nothing. True big boys are vunerable summer patterened the first week or the rut.