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Ask The Biologist: The Best Days to Hunt

Back To "Ask The Biologist?"QUESTION: What seems to be the best predicted hunting days in the southeast Georgia this year? I get the Buckmasters magazine, and the days listed are, I think, nationwide. Please help. — Vicki, Sylvania, Ga.

Ask The Biologist
Photo by Tim H. Martin

ANSWER: The editors got your question to me late, but as there is still some of the best hunting days ahead for Georgia, I’ll try to help.

I’m assuming that by “best” hunting days, you mean peak of rut. If so, as I mentioned to Tyson from Alabama in a question earlier this year, I’m reluctant to make predictions for localized areas. Besides, Buckmasters and I are currently working on a project for the 2011 season that, when complete, will provide detailed rut dates for most states, and regions within those states. However, I will make an exception, just this one last time.

You did not specify exactly where in southeast Georgia you intend to hunt, and it does make a difference. Peak rut for the belt of southeastern coastal counties, including Camden, Glynn, McIntosh, Liberty, Bryan and Chatham, is Oct. 14. In roughly 11 counties just to the west, peak rut is late October.

I see that you are from Sylvania, in Screven County, which is part of a larger belt running from east-central Georgia, south to Lowndes County, where peak rut is in early November. Other parts of the state have peaks that run into early January.

Having said all that, peak rut doesn’t necessarily mean the best hunting days. Some folks prefer the early season, when bucks are still on very regular feeding patterns. Others prefer the early stages of the rut, when bucks are traveling far and wide searching for the first hot does. Still others pick their days based on specific weather patterns, barometric pressure or other environmental conditions, which are impossible to predict in advance. Beyond that, I would offer the advice of my good friend Mike Jordan, who says the best time to be in the woods is when the season is open.

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