Those locations that lie just south of the 35th latitude have to rely on past history when it comes to determining which month the rut will be.
The key is to know whether the rut falls in October, November, December or January for any given southern region. Once you know which month the rut occurs for your area identify that month’s full moon because it will be the rut’s starter gun. Once you’ve identified the full moon follow our predictions as to when the seeking, chasing and breeding will occur.
By way of example, this year’s rutting moon for those states north of the 35th latitude (this region of the north always has a November rut) will be the October 26 full moon (2nd full moon after the autumn equinox). This full moon kicks the rut off and the seeking begins.
Then as November arrives the chasing should intensify if the herd is balanced and has mature bucks in the population. So, in the North (35 latitude to 52 latitude) the first 10 days of November should be great. However, for many parts of the south the northern predictions will not work because peak rutting occurs in December and January……
like south Texas and central Alabama.
If a southern region typically has its rut in December (like south
Texas) the rut will key off the 3rd full moon after the autumn equinox, which this year is November 24th. In this example the south Texas rut’s seeking phase will ramp up around Thanksgiving and go hot-to-trot the first week of December. So, once you know an area’s rutting history you can plan on that month’s full moon to kick the rut off.
The key is to understand that the full moon will not be the rut’s peak, only its beginning. Typically the best time to hunt will be anywhere from 3-14 days after the full moon.