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Stay on Target

Alsheimer Predicts Early Rut

Fri, October 23, 2015

Charles Alsheimer has made a name for himself as an outdoor photographer and journalist.  He has written several books and has been published in most of the major outdoor magazines. 

In my mind, Alsheimer is noted more for his studies on moon phases and whitetail behaviors than anything else.  He has been making predictions about the timing of the rut in relation to the moon for years.  He has many dedicated followers that apparently have noticed his predictions can be effective and accurate.  Personally, I am and have always been on the fence with his predictions.

This year, Alsheimer is predicting a very prominent rut that is also very early.  The dates he gives for the chasing phase are about Halloween to November 8th.  He says it will be “phenomenal” because it is a “synchronized rut”.  He says that buck’s testosterone level will peak around November 1, the doe’s estrous level will peak around November 1, and the full moon is right before that as well.

Mr. Alsheimer’s entire 5 minute and 26 second talk about the 2015 rut is on this attached video.

I am interested to hear the reader’s thoughts.  My personal opinion is that the science is good, and there is something to this.  However, here in Southern Illinois, our weather is fairly warm still during the early rut dates, and I am worried that this will result in most of the chasing going on at night.  One area of skepticism I have is that I cannot imagine that the timing will be the same in Marion, IL as it is in Rockford, IL.  Alsheimer draws a line from Oklahoma City to Charlotte and says these dates are good for everybody north of that line, but I have a hard time swallowing that. 

In my experience, while I think the moon plays a big role, I still think the calendar trumps it.  The week of November 10th has historically always been good to me, and I doubt this year will be any different.  In fact, my biggest three bucks were killed on November 7, November 8 and November 10.  Those are days I hope to be in a stand all day long.  I say all of this, but I must also add that I have tremendous respect for Charles Alsheimer.  He has spent countless hours studying and photographing whitetails, and he is far more knowledgeable than I am.  I guess I am just too stubborn to listen to him completely.


Moon phase, weather, temperatures, etc. probably all play a part in the intensity of the rut.  I’m also in the calendar camp, does come into heat when they do so that fawns have the best chance of survival when they are born.  The days surrounding Veteran’s day seem to always be a good time to be in the timber.

Posted by buckbull on October 23

2nd week of November is always my favorite but now til gun season is always good.

Posted by Andy Meador on October 23

I’m off Halloween to November 15th, but my best days are usually November 1st to 8th in McDonough County.

Posted by phelpsy80 on October 23

A study years ago showed the vast majority of Pope and Young entries from Nov.3 through 12 and that has always been pretty close.  I’d say that is hard data to use anymore as most deer aren’t entered in a record book but doesn’t change the dates.  Many years Nov. 3-6 are good and many Nov. 12-15 it’s hard to say but I am getting texts at an amazing rate from hunters and motorists saying bucks are already chasing does and head down trailing them and that is way early so I’d say he’s ride, good cold snap at Halloween and a dark moon day and you’d better been in the stand for a long morning sit and back out early that afternoon

Posted by Flatlander on October 23

I’ve been hearing a lot of people seeing good bucks in daylight this week and that they’re checking does already

Posted by phelpsy80 on October 23

Somebody better let all those does know that they will not be having the fawns the last week of May this year like normal.

Posted by The Colonel on October 23

He predicts “Halloween to Nov 8th”- No Kidding!!!!!!!!!  whow! safe bet since it’s always then!  Not heat nor wind nor moon phase will stop it, although it may surpress it a bit during daylight.

Posted by walmsley on October 23

just hunt !

Posted by djcrokit on October 23

Same time every year!  This guy has prob made a bunch of money off of the moon.  Wish I would’ve thought of that lol

Posted by Andy Meador on October 24

We need the great Marc Anthony to tell us when the big bucks are on their feet!!

Posted by SpikeBuck on October 25

I’m on vacation from Nov.7 to Nov.13th, as I always am, give or take 3 days, depending on what shift I’m on. It’s my favorite time to be in the woods. Last Sunday the 25th, I saw a nice Buck trailing a Doe hard (oh so just past my comfort zone), I have NEVER witnessed such behavior so early in the season. Last year I hunted six days out of seven during my vacation and NEVER saw a deer, my gut feeling was the rut had already taken place.

Posted by mohican on October 26

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