5 Signs the Rut Is Here

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Are You Seeing Any Rutting Activity?

It’s that magical time of the year. The rut. It has finally arrived. Or has it? Sometimes it can be hard to tell when the deer are rutting. But there are many signs and clues that can give it away. Here are a few of them.

Click here for more deer hunting articles and videos.

Check us out on Facebook.

Rut Sign Goes Cold

Image 1 of 5

1 | Rut Sign Goes Cold

Bucks have been laying down sign pretty hard since the third and fourth weeks of October. Have scrapes and rub lines suddenly gone cold? That could mean that bucks have abandoned their pre-rut patterns and are now actively searching for does.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Critterbiz

Image 1 of 5

You’re Seeing More Bucks Than Does

Image 2 of 5

2 | You’re Seeing More Bucks Than Does

Most of the time, you’ll see more does than bucks. That’s just how it works. But once the rut arrives, that should flip-flop. It isn’t uncommon to see two or three bucks for every doe during the heart of the rut. Why? Most does are trying to avoid bucks, and those that aren’t, well, they’re already with one.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Jim Cumming

Image 2 of 5

A Sudden Increase in Car Collisions

Image 3 of 5

3 | A Sudden Increase in Car Collisions

It might sound elementary, but more car collisions mean the rut is heating up. If you start seeing and hearing of a sudden increase in accidents, that could be a good indicator the rut has arrived.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Critterbiz

Image 3 of 5

Mature Bucks Seen Chasing Does in Daylight

Image 4 of 5

4 | Mature Bucks Seen Chasing Does in Daylight

Younger bucks (1½ to 3½), especially yearlings, will chase does at just about any point in the season. However, mature bucks (4½-plus) know to hold back until the time is rut. But once you start seeing those big boys bumping does, it’s time.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/John Hafner

Image 4 of 5

Fawns Are Alone

Image 5 of 5

5 | Fawns Are Alone

Fawns without mothers are great indicators the rut is happening. Bucks will temporarily cut out fawns from their mothers while breeding takes place. Fawns will likely remain close by, but won’t be right with does. Once breeding is complete, fawns will return to the does. So if you see a lot of young deer on their own, get ready. A big buck could stroll by at any time.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Tom Reichner

Image 5 of 5