Look for rubs and scrapes on the edges of these areas.Some scrapes may still be fairly faint in the earlier parts of the pre-rut.
These signs are left by bucks to let the does know that he is nearby and will be ready to give them some lovin' when they are ready..that he'll be back soon.Best Communication Tactics: As testosterone levels in bucks are high at this time, they're more likely to pick a fight, or check out and challenge other sparing bucks to show their dominance.Rattling works best in areas with higher buck to doe ratios.In areas with low buck to doe ratios rattling should be used sparingly or not at all because bucks typically don't need to fight to find hot does.Important Notes: Scrapes that were being checked frequently just a week or two ago are starting to be ignored and become less relevant, as bucks are starting to pursue does that are coming into estrous.The theory is based on the fact that measurments taken of fetal fawns have consistently and accurately shown that breeding occured just around the middle of November.
So whether or not you believe that daytime activity, or observable rutting behavior is at it's peak in mid-November, there's a good deal of data to show that's the time when successful breeding occurs most often.
Mature bucks will still follow heavier cover between doe areas (creek bottoms, ditches, strips of thick cover).
Look for one of these areas with fresh tracks to find the big boys.
As most hunters will agree, there is no better time to hunt deer than just before or during "the rut".
What some hunters don't fully understand though, is that the rut has several phases - each of which can be more successfully hunted the better you understand them.
Moon phase theorists predict an intense, "syncrhonized" rut this year - meaning that doe estrogen levels peak, buck testosterone levels peak and the rutting moon all occur near November 1st.