We’ve received at least four reports in the last few days that the rut is beginning to ramp up–in Florida. Not only are fresh rubs and scrapes popping up, but we’re getting word of bachelor groups of bucks breaking up and lone mature bucks running with does. Bring it on. Southern Florida bucks are hard horned and ready to rumble.

Roughly 95% of the whitetail deer in America breed sometime between October and January (with mid-November being the peak). However, southern Florida deer have their own way of doing things.

They get an early (or maybe it’s a really late) start on things, and for good reason. A doe bred in mid-July to mid-August will drop her fawns in late February to early March, which is probably the best time to be a fawn in southern Florida. Things are just greening up, which boosts doe nutrition and fawn mortality, the biting bugs and mosquitoes aren’t bad and the torrential rains and accompanying flooding is some months off. And that’s what fawn drop timing is all about–staying alive. Mother Nature has a way of getting it right.

Florida hunters helped to get things right, too. Working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, bowhunters in Zone A (the southernmost quarter of the state) helped gain approval for an August 3, rut-concurrent, opening day. They’ll be the guys with the bug suits, head nets, belt full of Thermacells and water bottles. And they’ll be the ones loving every minute of it. It might not be the best weather to hunt in, but it sure beats standing around and watching the rut play out.