If there is (was) a rut, its not happening in our woods in Necedah. We have hundreds of pictures of does/fawns in our three turnip food plots mostly at night. Pictures stop around midnight, 1:00. Many bucks - some big - started hitting the food plots with scrapes in mid-October until just after Halloween. They too showed up at night. We've seen that activity dwindle in the last two weekends.
My son and I saw a few bucks on their feet in the last several weekends, all walking by - not close to the stands. When we grunted at them, they tucked tail and ran. Not wind, not sight lines, just had no intentions of competing with any other buck (or so we think) for whatever reasons.
160 acres to our east, two bow hunters, never take a doe. 40 across the street north, no one hunts. 120 acres to the NE, a man and his girlfriend, maybe one doe in the 5 years they've owned that section. The 120 to our SE, they just gun hunt and shoot anything that moves. We think we have too many does in the area. Bucks don't chase and seek because free poon-tang is everywhere, for the taking. At least that's my conclusion.
We also think the does and bucks disappear from cameras in the middle of the night and must bed in the swamp/dogwoods to our south (not our property). We've hunted that south property line but bucks can get in/out from anywhere along our 1/4 mile line or the east or even up from the south side of the road. We see rubs, but not a ton and it's hard hunting that section.
We've moved all 4 ladder stands at least 3 times this fall, trying to get into better spots. But bucks on their feet during the day have been rare sightings. This has been a hard year for my son and I; we've hunted extremely hard, but seeing fewer and fewer deer as the daylight kept getting shorter. Definately no seeking and chasing going on inside our 120 acres. I'm stumped.
One day my ship will come in!! My luck, I'll be at the airport.