It’s pretty common knowledge for deer hunters that rut season, the time of year bucks mate and breed with does, runs from about September to December. The season spans the fall months with peak rut taking place around November. Does have their fawns in the spring, when the weather is temperate and conducive to providing proper sustenance for the young. But what happens when the deer herd doesn’t have a harsh winter to account for, like in the southern states? The answer is long, drawn-out rut seasons that are difficult to pattern. We’ll discuss more about how to hunt rut season in the southern states below.
In the southern states, it’s important to be on the lookout for multiple instances of does entering estrus. It’s possible for there to be multiple rut seasons throughout the year. A second rut will begin if there are unbred does from the deer herd that didn’t breed during the first rut. Because there aren’t as significant weather shifts in the southern states as there are in other states, bucks and does might not feel the urgency to breed on the same timeline as deer in midwestern states. So, as long as deer hunting season is open in your sate, you could catch a breeding deer as late as February in Gulf Coast locations. This is not a concrete rule, but you could think of it like this: The further south you go, the milder the winter and the longer the rut season will be.
Leave the Food Plots Alone
Because the rut season is so long, the deer herd could feel heavily pressured by mid-winter. Leave your food plot as a safe haven and don’t hunt on top of it. Bucks and does will feed on your property more and more frequently as their options for places to go dwindle. So, whether you’re visiting a southern state to hunt on a trip, or you live in one, avoid hunting on top of food plots.
Any Time of Day
During rut season, any time of day is a good time to hunt. The bucks will be out looking for does at every hour of the day, so don’t underestimate an afternoon hunt during the rut season. Our Stump blinds are comfortable enough that you’ll be able to stay out in your blind all day to catch the deer activity at a moment’s notice. There’s enough room to hunt with a friend, sit down for a picnic meal break, or both. Stump blinds, like our Stump 4 “Scout’, are easy to move on and off a property with the rigid steel hitch, so you can easily load it into a trailer, haul it behind your truck and take it with you on a road trip to hunt a southern state.
Rut season in the south is much longer than ours here in Minnesota. Take advantage of the extra opportunity and extend your season by hunting the rut in the south this winter. Check the guidelines for the state you’re planning on hunting and make sure you have the appropriate license and know the state’s tag limits. Your hunting trip in a southern state might result in Christmas venison to go along with your Thanksgiving turkey.
Do you live in a southern state? What are your tips for hunting the rut season? Let us know in the comments below!