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Hopefully we will have a success tracker thread going this year, that will shed some light on things.
 

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I’ll take the last week for two reasons.

1) after years of hearing the season ends too early, I want to see for myself what happens that week.

2) if I take the next to last week and don’t fill a tag, it would be brutal to have to go back to work.

Last year for this conversation for me... retiring before the 2021 rut! 🦌
 

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For those who think the bigger/older bucks don't move till later in the season, the biggest buck iv'e ever seen was on nov 5 and iv'e killed two 160 class bucks on nov 6. An hour before I killed one of them I blew on opportunity at one equally as big.

One thing I see from running cameras is that mid to late november is when the "big strangers" pass thru. February is another time they show up.
 

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Over 4 decades of hunting in a few different states 100-150 miles north or south across the midwest as the rut would assumingely be comparable..... I have take the majority of bucks up to a week before till Halloween, November 4-9th and then the week before Thanksgiving. Also a good percentage of these bucks were taken and many other shooters observed at or around noon.
 

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I think it definitely varies from place to place. I hunt at the foot of a mountain and the ag fields are about 1/2 mile down below. The week after archery ends it always seems like its clockwork that all of the sudden all our shooters are running around in the daylight. October has never been great for me even though I tug out on the first day on an 138" 8 point last year. Conditions were perfect that day. I don't think I've honestly ever seen a big buck in October and I've been hunting for 14 years now. Mountain ground is definitely different than the ag land. Maybe that's a factor? Nonetheless I will most certainly be taking off the very last week of November. As yellodog said that is the best time to pick up the "big strangers" as well.

I have countless camera pics of a few different big buck that are now at least 5 year old that show up every year like clock work the last two weeks of November and into the month of December.
 

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Probably any day in november can be productive. Iv'e shot at least one buck every day starting oct 21 thru nov12, a few before and a few after, with the exception of halloween which has never been good to me. Iv'e spent alot of time hunting into late november and it's always slowed down starting about/after the 10th. Stands that had lots of bucks running past them in early november slowed to a crawl later in the month. That's just been my experience hunting in states that allowed hunting clear thru november. Ymmv.
 

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I'm usually off between Nov 1st-12th-ish. I do see a marked decrease in deer activity after the 14th or so.
 

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All it takes is ONE doe in heat to pull them out of the wood work. My best luck has always been to hunt the hard temp. drops or the high right after a front moves through. First year we hunted Ohio, we went out after our season ended since we heard that's when all the big boys were cruising. Six all day sets at various pinch points and crossings resulted in the loneliest week of hunting ever for me. No doubt there were some big boys killed that week, but we had trouble just seeing any buck that week.
 

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First year we hunted Ohio, we went out after our season ended since we heard that's when all the big boys were cruising. Six all day sets at various pinch points and crossings resulted in the loneliest week of hunting ever for me. No doubt there were some big boys killed that week, but we had trouble just seeing any buck that week.
That's been my experience, with an occasional great day thrown in. About 30 years ago I took Thanksgiving week off, hunted every day, dark to dark, except thanksgiving when I left in early afternoon. Spent most of that week in a stand I'd hunted alot in early november where I'd seen buck after buck, all day every day. That Thanksgiving week was cold, blustery, rain and snow mixed most days. I saw exactly 1 deer that week, friday morning about 11. When I took him to the check station he was the only buck brought in that week, and that's back when there were only 3 check stations in ashtabula county. He was a bigun, 206#'s on the scale at Montys. Good luck to all that get a chance to hunt that third week, but I certainly haven't found much big buck magic in late november.
 

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That's been my experience, with an occasional great day thrown in. About 30 years ago I took Thanksgiving week off, hunted every day, dark to dark, except thanksgiving when I left in early afternoon. Spent most of that week in a stand I'd hunted alot in early november where I'd seen buck after buck, all day every day. That Thanksgiving week was cold, blustery, rain and snow mixed most days. I saw exactly 1 deer that week, friday morning about 11. When I took him to the check station he was the only buck brought in that week, and that's back when there were only 3 check stations in ashtabula county. He was a bigun, 206#'s on the scale at Montys. Good luck to all that get a chance to hunt that third week, but I certainly haven't found much big buck magic in late november.
Like you said, that’s been my experience too. Hunted Ohio the last 15 years. The rut is the same there as here. After the 14th or so it’s pretty slow.
 

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This is just me thinking out loud here, but I would think the buck to doe ratio plays a large part in how much a buck needs to cruise to find that special doe. The more doe, the less the bucks have to move all throughout the rut. So for everyone who hasn’t had much luck later, how’s the buck to doe ratio?
 

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This is just me thinking out loud here, but I would think the buck to doe ratio plays a large part in how much a buck needs to cruise to find that special doe. The more doe, the less the bucks have to move all throughout the rut. So for everyone who hasn’t had much luck later, how’s the buck to doe ratio?
On the particular area we hunt, we generally see more bucks than does in the early part of November.
 

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Doesn't seem to matter where I hunt, pa, ohio, illinois, or what the b/d ratio is, it seems to slow down after the second week of november. That's been MY experience, others seem to like mid to late november better. As I said before, I hope we run a thread that tracks harvest dates this year, that will be a good learning tool for all of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I do know the second week of November is usually dead here also.
That 3rd week just may be fun indeed. Weather permitting.
But yeah. a poll after the new week is finished just may provide insight on that.
 

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I did a harvest date poll a few years on here. Maybe I’ll get it going again if someone else doesn’t.
I do believe north to south in pa that the rut timing is a little different. North being earlier so you see a bit of a difference.
But I hunt as much as I can the last 3 weeks I hopes of catching those hot doe days!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #38
My brother lives 45 minutes away near the Ohio border. His bucks will turn on and I get nothing here...so there is that. LOL

It probably just boils down to which does are on their feet any given day.
 

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On the particular area we hunt, we generally see more bucks than does in the early part of November.
Same for me in 2F. I've kept daily records going back 5+ years. Outside of two years ago when I randomly had a herd of 10 doe come by one morning, the ratio has been about 1:1 in November.
 
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