The 2023 Georgia Rut Map

Mapping the historical peak of breeding and mature buck chasing across the state of Georgia.

GON Staff | September 27, 2023

When’s the rut?

That has to be one of the most common questions we get at GON. The short answer is always, “It depends…”

For one, the rut varies widely in our state. In southeast Georgia, bucks are chasing does as early as the first of October, while in the mountains or southwest Georgia, deer hunters probably haven’t seen a pre-rut scrape. The genetic background of the Georgia deer that were imported and stocked from other states is a factor.

Then there are local factors, like the quality of an area’s deer herd. A tract with way too many does and too few bucks probably won’t see much chasing by a dominant buck—he’s laid up in the planted pines with a hot doe. Whether you see rutting action or not, you can be assured there was a rut.

Does got bred, guaranteed.

For hunters, the “peak of the rut” is when mature bucks are chasing. But peak buck movement can occur 10 days to two weeks before the peak of actual breeding. GON’s Rut Map is a blend of conception dates and when mature bucks are actually chasing.

The historical peak rutting times shown on GON’s Rut Map aren’t exact and precise for every tract of land—but over the years we’ve been told more often than not that it’s pretty dang spot on.

Being in the woods when a mature buck is tearing up the woods chasing does—that’s a magic day. It can spark a lifelong memory, even if a hunter doesn’t pull the trigger. If the trigger is pulled, it might just be a hunter’s best shot of the season at an otherwise unkillable mature buck.

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