QUESTION: I live in Tennessee and am considering leasing hunting property in Alabama. I have heard the rut in Alabama is in January, is that for the whole state or does it start earlier in North Alabama and later in southern portion of the state? - Shane J.
ANSWER: I recently completed an extensive review of rut dates for the U.S. and Canada that appeared in the August issue of Buckmasters. You can also read it online by clicking here. According to Alabama deer studies project leader Chris Cook, peak breeding dates in Alabama are highly variable. "The majority of the state has peak breeding ranging from Christmas into the first week of February," he says. "In general, deer in the northern half of the state will breed from Christmas until mid January, while deer in the southern half typically breed from mid-January to the first week of February." Sandwiched between these is the Black Belt region and it's famed mid-January rut. "We also have some areas with late November breeding and others with early to mid-December breeding," he adds. Cook hopes to have a breeding chronology map of the state available in the next few years.