I thought it would be nice to start a thread detailing what other hunters in PA are seeing as far as rut activity goes. Maybe would help others who have limited time in the woods decide when they would get out. Plus, it's just plain old fun to talk about the uptick in activity as it leads us into the second half of the season.
My observations to date: I have somewhere around 35 hours on stand so far this year. Early season was incredibly warm and deer activity was spotty at best. I still made it out and sat through the heat, and seeing a few doe made it worth while. Up until the middle of last week, I was seeing very little sign (rubs, scrapes, etc...) I have 8 cameras out and have had them out for a couple months now. Deer activity was peaking in early september and has greatly reduced since them. Late last week, i finally got to see some horns. 8pt moved through without ever giving me a shot opportunity. Attempted to grunt him back with nothing more than a turn of the head from him. I proceeded to watch him go and make 2 new scrapes. Since then, this area has exploded with scrapes. a night of spotting this past sunday revealed another 8 point in the area. Another area revealed two bucks fighting. This was definitely more than a sparring match, but by no means were they going at each other to kill. This cold front that came through late last week has definitely prompted the deer to move. The "Hunter's" moon is also providing plenty of light for the deer to be moving at night. Yesterday, for whatever reason, we saw temperature rise to about 67 degrees, which coupled with the full moon, seem to keep the deer at bay until well after sunset. Today brings in another cold front which is suppose to usher in some really nice cool weather later this week. While the rut is not yet upon us, i do believe the bucks are waking from their food enduced slumbers and starting to cruise. It will only get better as long as the weather holds.
I will try to keep you posted on any sign/activity I continue to see from the field. I look forward to hearing what you all are seeing too. Best of luck and happy hunting.