Deer rut starting to peak in CSRA - good for hunters, bad for drivers

Mid to late October is when most deer rut in the CSRA. Take extra precautions while driving.
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Firearms season opens up this weekend for deer hunters in Georgia. This is a special time of year for deer hunters in the CSRA since it also coincides with when deer begin to rut in our area.

Charlie Killmaster, a state deer biologist for Georgia Department of Natural Resources, added, “it’s the kind of free for all that hunters look for. That time of year bucks throw caution to the wind and are solely focused on those females”. This time of year when deer begin to breed is referred to as the rut. Less daylight triggers hormones in does and the chase is on.

Killmaster says focusing on does near food sources is where you’ll find big bucks this time of year.

“More open habitat, clear cuts, edges of fields, those are going to be the prime areas this time of year,” added Killmaster.

Deer are crepuscular, which means they’re most active at dawn and dusk, but during the rut you may see them moving more during the day. While this time of year is great for deer hunters, it is a very dangerous time to be on the road.

Killmaster said, “it’s crucially important for drivers to know that this mid to latter half of October is very critical. You got to be very vigilant in watching the road and making sure deer aren’t crossing in front of you”. DNR determines peak rut times around the state by when the most deer related accidents occur. With one thing on their mind, less caution is taken crossing roads.

Killmaster added, “you see a deer cross. you think the danger has passed, but it’s that second deer, that buck chasing the doe that often gets hit”.

Remember if you’re heading to the woods this weekend, stay safe and wear your fluorescent orange. You need at least 500 square inches on you in the state of Georgia. This year Georgia DNR requires all harvests to be reported within 24 hours through Georgia Game Check. This is an update to previous years that allowed you 72 hours.

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