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I just want to vent a little and if you don't want to hear it then by all means stop reading now. I have been bowhunting since I'm old enough to hunt with my dad, I'm now 33 so I think it's around 21 years minus 4 for time I spent in the marine corps. These past couple years I think the rut is completely nocturnal event, sure everyone kills a buck here and there that was rut induced death but I think back through all the years and remember so much more daytime activity than since game commission started all these early this and early that during archery. IMO the muzzleloader and jr/sr rifle hunt has basically ruined what the rut should be and once was. I know guys rant and rave about it but I'd be willing to bet the guys who are having great ruts are probably on private property or semi private grounds. Not a bash against them or their property rights but public ground rut hunting is a joke!! I've got 21 years of hunting in my past and love bowhunting. I spend countless hours scouting/tree stand time and am starting to ask myself why? I am really considering giving up the sport, I don't like what's happening and where its going. Thanks for listening If you read along
 

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Just too many people in the woods ! Deer are too smart now everybody has a rattle bag and a grunt call and calls all day .
 

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Yeah I didn't see any chasing at all. I hunted a spot on Wednesday down by Carnegie. They saw a HUGE 8 and another smaller 8 the Saturday before so they thought I should hunt it. I sat from 10:30 until dark and saw 5 deer (2 button bucks, 3 does) and not one adult mature buck showed. The does just weren't ready I think.
 

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I completely agree, I didn't see no sign of rutting activity in my area.
 

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Ive been off work on vacation since the 1st of nov. An not rut in fayette couty public land, in the daylight that is.altho i hav bagged a buck it is one i've past alot of times hoping one of the shooters would come in during the rut, but hasn't happened. I believe to many ppl in the woods is true. An not to mention one of the guys who lives close buy bates an shoots at night that dont help much.
 

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Even though I was able to kill one yesterday, I agree the rut this year was the most sporadic and uneventful I can remember in my 15 years of archery hunting. I don't think it's totally snapping here yet. Sure a select few does may have been close, but many were not and I was still seeing several groups still bundled up and many little ones with the adults. I may get bashed for this, but I truly wish they would start the season a week later, or extend the early season another week. I have never seen so little rutting action as I did this year in my area. Many of my friends who are die hard archery hunters have experienced the exact same?? It was a frustrating season to say the least. Kudos to all who stuck it out.
 

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The last two years were a bust for me too...Plenty of bucks on trail cams..All night movement...Didn't see a buck chasing till last week...Went three weeks without a sighting, same last year...I can remember years ago, when after October 20 all [censored] would break loose...Anymore, not so much, and there are plenty of deer around...Maybe it's the warmer weather patterns, but we had plenty of cold mornings where it just didn't happen, and it should have....Can't explain it

And as far as a different rut on public vs. private land...I don't believe it....I hunt some very good farms and nothing has been happening there either...Lots of rubs and other nightime activity, no daytime movement..
 

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I agree Ken. I have been hunting private land that didn't see a ML hunter or a junior/senior rifle hunter anywhere around and the rut action was very slow this year.
 

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I only hunt public land and I haven't seen another hunter yet this year...haven't seen a buck chasing a doe(during archery season) since Halloween Day two years ago! The areas I'm hunting have deer, they just aren't interested in each other right now.
 

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Unfortunately, I have to agree, at least for this year. Maybe the storm hitting when it did had some affect on the rut. It may have had the does grouped up tighter, so the bucks were wherever they were?
I hunted quite a bit up state and down here(5d)', saw signs they WERE around and have cam pics from the same areas, but saw little while on stand during the hot time.
 

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yeah.. i've had NO chasing, no cruising, nothing in my area (that i've seen) bucks are making rubs and scrapes, but when I got spotlighting at night, see 10 does all out feeding, you'd think they'd be a buck out there harrassing them. Heck, Wampire saw a huge 8pt last evening, never missed a step when wamp hit the gruny tube, then doe bleat, then more grunts... Buck showed no interest... like the rut didn't even start yet...
 

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Find a hot doe and you'll find the mature bucks; all the bucks in the area will be around her. If she beds, they bed beside her (lock down). This happens every year like clockwork. Other years when you saw more rutting activity you just happened to be in the right place at the right time, along with that estrous doe. It's happening out there right now because it's mid November. How's my season going? I haven't seen a deer in the last 22 hours on stand,
but that has nothing to do with the rut. I've spent too much time on an oak ridge full of acorns. Doe bedding areas is where it's at, you just have to be there alot.
 

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Most of the chasing i've seen is by young bucks, the big boys must be nocturnal. If seen only 2 big guys and both were within 15 minutes and daylight. I am sole hunter on this property and most of the surrounding properties and farms don't allow hunting. I just believe deer are becoming more & more nocturnal.
 

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My experiences....Private ground is managed better. Generally, everyone isn't tromping around scattering the smaller deer population to the four winds. So I don't public land hunt anymore. (I don't "public" much of anything anymore). Where I am, this year the rut is delayed. By Nov. 5th last couple years, they were running mad during the day, in open fields. This year seems to also be hampered by lockdown with more doe and less buck....therefore the buck have shorter distances to travel to reach the next hot doe.

I'm betting on the second rut....It should be HOT.
Over Christmas break I saw bucks running the last of the hot doe like crazy.
 
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