First of all, nice deer Snagfinder! Was out a couple of times over the weekend. I had 2 bucks grunting at each other a week ago, one was a smaller 8 and the other...I never saw, but his grunt was much lower. I forgot the grunt tube, I would have given anything to have it at that time. Didn't think I would need it as previous years at this time, the bucks were very quiet and unresponsive to grunting. Walking in the woods I am seeing some pretty good scrape lines and rubs showing up. Again, comparing it to the last 2 or 3 years, the rut is almost 2 weeks ahead of where it has been. The last couple of years I got the most daylight buck pics in the middle of November. This afternoon I saw a nice buck tending to a doe in the middle of an alfalfa field at 1:00 PM. Again, the last couple of years, those sightings were rare this early. It is leading me to believe the rut is starting early this year. Even though I read that it was going to be a later rut, what I am seeing in the woods is not supporting that info. I haven't been able to get out bow hunting as much because of other obligations and honestly, it wasn't bothering me too bad based on the last couple of years dismal results of buck sightings during the bow season. However, this year it's starting to look different. Earlier daytime sightings, lots of rubs and scrapes showing up earlier than normal. I can't get to the stand before sunup at all next week, so I wasn't going to take anytime off of work, but honestly, with the way things are progressing, even being in the stand by 8:00 am might lead to success with the signs I am starting to see. Last weekend I saw most of the deer after 9:00 am.
One more thing to note, normally during the youth season I know of 1, maybe 2 kids that score on bucks. This year, I know 6 youngsters that got bucks to hit the dirt, some dandies too. I also know of 2 that missed very nice, mature bucks. Take it for what it's worth, but now seems like the time to be in the woods.