View Full Version : Rut dates

08-28-2011, 11:12 PM
The WMA I drew for the general gun quota (1st nine days), and where I plan on spending the majority of the general gun season, is Richloam. It is located in FOUR different counties, and according to the rut dates listed on FWC, http://myfwc.com/media/1360457/Rut_map_20APR11.pdf, I am left wondering WTF? The three counties with peak conception dates are Pasco=7 February, Sumpter=17 February, and Lake=23 September. The fourth county, Hernando, has no date listed but if an average of the three counties adjacent to it is used (Pasco=7 Feb, Sumpter=17 Feb, and Citrus's two dates of 13 Oct and 23 Oct, leave me with an educated wild *** guess that Hernando's date would be on or about December 15th. (Stay with me here!).
Now if I average those four dates , Pasco=7 Feb, Sumpter=17 Feb, Lake=23 September, and Hernando's supposed 15 December, assuming I knew how to average such dates, which I don't but I suppose I could use the Julian calender if I gave a hoot enough to do so, I have no friggin' clue when the rut may be in Richloam. I can only hope that it is somewhere during the general gun season for Richloam, November 19th-January 15th, but since neither my wife now my boss are very cool about time in the woods, again I ask, WTF?

08-28-2011, 11:29 PM
It's at the end of gun season....January I believe. The season should actually go longer than it does..

Skunk Ape
08-29-2011, 07:11 AM
It's also in 2 different zones. I live 10 miles west of Richloam and the most rutting activity I have noticed is around Halloween,I have seen hard horned bucks 5 miles east of me in March and new fawns all summer long.You better be able to deal with dog hunters,the place is full of them. That being said I have killed bucks in there still hunting around Christmas,and my friends have killed them thru the season. Don't be afraid to climb out of your stand if you here dogs looping,cut them off and see what they're running,may be a buck.There's a lot of good bucks in there that get shot,some of them surprise me. Also the place is slap full of hogs if they interest you. Only problem I have with it is the amount of people that hunt it after the first 9. It gets crazy in there and I won't set a foot in it on a weekend. Good luck.

08-29-2011, 07:23 AM
the last couple of weeks of the season for sure !!

08-29-2011, 08:47 AM
Those are not county wide rut dates. They are specific to test sites. The defining line for the major shift in rut times is kind of odd. In Green Swamp and the southern most of Richloam are definately at the end of January to mid February, as are all of eastern Pasco and southeast Hernando. Western Hernando is in October. Western and central Sumter County and western and southern Lake county is also in early to mid-February. Western Pasco (west side of Starkey and to the coast) is usually around November. Citrus has October ruts on the east side and late September/ early October ruts on the west side. The Withlacoochee River clearly devides those deer herds. The September date you see in Lake County is actually Seminole Forest and that changes annually from as early as late September to as late as late October or early November, depending on the weather and water levels in the area.

Deer as so connected to water and tempuratures in FL that it drastically affects their breeding cycle. Learning what the herd does in any given area takes lots of time and observance in the field.

Skunk Ape
08-29-2011, 02:36 PM
If every rut date was marked on that map you would not even see the map,only black.

08-29-2011, 03:46 PM
All it takes is one hot doe.

08-29-2011, 05:29 PM
Anytime after Christmas, but usually in January and February. It's loaded with dog hunters, but there are ways to avoid them. Between the rut activity and the dog hunters, the deer stay on the move a lot. Your best bet is to hunt the edges or bury yourself way back in a block or cypress head.

08-29-2011, 06:42 PM
Thanks all, great information. I knew the info at FWC was limited for some reason but it was all they were offering. I thought maybe seasonal and lunar influences played a big part but wasn't sure in what way or when. Also thought that it kind of progressed from south to north.
Skunk Ape, I only have three interests in hogs- breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it is good to hear that they are plentiful.
Huntmstr, the western Hernando in October timeframe, does that coincide with ML there 10/22-10/24?
Duckbill68, and Skunk Ape, thanks for the warning about the dogs, am trying to find some out of the way places.