I believe it's dependent on your area, the buck to doe ratio, food sources, and overall deer population. Down here, I actually see fewer bucks during the rut, but the ones I do see, tend to be bigger and older. Of course since my season opens Aug. 15th, I've usually killed a nice buck before the middle of Sept., when I can start killing does. Since I plant food plots, use corn for bait, and also hunt with dogs in the swamps, it's hard to compare what goes on down here with parts of the country that have different rules, and totally different types of terrain. Luckily, I don't have any limits on the number of bucks I can kill during the season, so I'm not as concerned with what many might consider the optimum time. Also, I pretty much deer hunt every single day from the opener to the last day which is Jan. 1st. Using trail cameras allows me to identify the animals I want to kill, and helps me pattern their movement so I can set up at the right time and place to achieve my hit list.
NRA LM, NAHC LM, Buckmasters LM, The Second Amendment Foundation, GOA, NAGR, Palmetto Gun Rights, QDMA, DU, NWTF, ASAdisabled sportsmens' alliance, EDH, and Proud SC redneck REBEL for life.