© By Othmar Vohringer
In the third week of September I observed something very strange that I have never seen before. While scouting a new area I discovered fresh and re-freshened scrapes. Usually scraping activity does not start around here until the first to second week of October. Did the deer know something I didn’t?
When on October first the weather changed drastically overnight from a mild Indian summer to subzero temperatures and the first snowfall occurred I thought that this early cold snap might have something to do with the early scraping activity and may have triggered a false rut.
But then reports came in from as far south as Tennessee and Florida where hunters too observed scraping activity. I even got some reports from hunters that have seen bucks chasing does in the first week of October. Now I could understand that the cold front we had up here in the southern interior of British Columbia may have deer fooled into early rutting activity, but in the south of America where the temperatures are still in the mid and upper 50’s?
I am still puzzled about this early rutting activity and asked some deer biologists if they had any idea what could have happened but thy are not sure either.
If that keeps up I may have to hunt the rut in mid October. Wouldn’t that be crazy? For me the bigger question is. If the deer are indeed beginning to breed that early they also will give early birth when weather conditions are not favorable to raise offspring. Indeed there might be still snow on the ground in many areas of North America. This in turn could lead to heavy fawn mortality. Whatever it is I sure don’t like it.
I would like to know what you guys observed in your hunting area and what your opinion is on this very unusual phenomenon.
Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Founding Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit
Tags: Deer Rut, Early Rut, Unusual Deer Behavior