North Carolina Sportsman
firemedicProfile Photo
Deer Hunting in Eastern North Carolina


I am just really starting to deer hunt this year. I have read and talked with many hunters regarding the rut. I am looking for any info that fellow hunters can give. I went out spotlighting tonight. Something I thought was unusual was that there was plenty of does running around, but on saw one small buck. I have been told that the rut it going on now. If this is so shouldn't I have seen more buck chasing does. Would appreciate any information
November 15, 2008 at 9:32pm
woodish163Profile Photo
Posted November 15, 2008 at 10:54pm

I noticed you are listed in eastern NC. Most of the guys who are talking about seeing bucks chasing does are in the central and northwestern regions. The rut in the east usually occurs in mid to late October. October 18-24 was about when most of the chasing went on in the east at least where I was hunting in Brunswick County. This may be the reason you are seeing lots of does and few bucks. The eastern season should have a second rut in the comming weeks but there are also alot of does in the east. My recomendation is to harvest some does when you see them. Usually if a does has young ones,or is with multiple does there will usually not be a buck chasing her. If a lone doe comes in, wait and see what happens...hope this helps.

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Viperx4Profile Photo
Posted November 16, 2008 at 8:06am
Watch for the 2nd week of December!

Woodish is right. I'm in the southeastern section (Sampson County). The rut occurs earlier here than most people realize however the 2nd rut occurs around the Full moon in December which occurs December 12th. Good Luck. P.S. I find most big bucks shy away from spotlights.

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Profile Photo
Posted November 17, 2008 at 5:33pm

I hunt in Pitt County, and have been seeing the bucks chasing does since about the first week in November, I hunted Thursday and had a huge six pt walk by with two does, and about 30 minutes later had 3 does come by with a small 3 pt. Then not long after that had a single doe come by with nothing following. The single doe is just a myth. From my experience, u usually won't start seeing the heart of the rut until the 1st of November. It has been that way as long as I can remember. U will normally start to see scrapes around the begining of gun season, mid october. The bucks normally start to really get aggressive around the end of October. Just my experience, it really all depends on where you are located, and the weather.

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ChrisSuttonProfile Photo
Posted November 17, 2008 at 11:34pm
The bucks in the south east

most of the bigger bucks i have encountered in the south east ( pender county) dont chase the does as hard as the other smaller bucks. the bigger ones ussually tend to not run as hard for a doe and would rather wait for an easier doe to come along....this is where good management comes in...we try and keep the doe ratio down as much as possible to make the bigger bucks move more...we do this by taking youths hunting late in the season to harvest does....they are thrilled and it helps promote good hunting while further increasing your chances of a monster buck the next year

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SprtHntrNFshrProfile Photo
Posted November 18, 2008 at 11:46am

The weather has very little if anything to do with the rut. Moon phases affect the rut more than the weather, but do not dictate the beginning of rut. Doe come into estrous...Not all at the same time, that is why you have about a 2-3 week window to catch the rut. Then, 28 days later, doe that did not breed have another estrous cycle. Hence the December rut around the second week of December. You'll begin to see new rubs and scrapes that bucks check which is pre-rut activity and then continues through the rut. The rut does not happen at the same time everywhere. In the eastern part of the state generally the best week is the first week of November...This year it seemed to be the last week of October. By now, the doe are no longer in estrous, or are about done. Hope this helps!!!

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Hillbilly65Profile Photo
Posted November 24, 2008 at 5:18pm

The best advice that I can give is to get out there and learn. I don't mean that in a bad way but more to say be careful of which advice you listen to. Not that any of the previous comments were wrong. Some of the best bucks are taken after the rut when the big ones are tired and holed up in thick areas. That is when the hunting begins. You have to find them and not just sit in a treestand.

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