Spencer Neuharth of Rut Fresh provides a whitetail rut update for South Dakota.
Location: eastern South Dakota
Rut stage: pre pre-rut
Current buck movement: 7/10
Projected buck movement: 8/10
The story of this fall so far has been rain. Normally we don't associate precipitation with affecting deer movement, but this season has been an exception. Some parts of the state have had record breaking totals, and deer hunters have taken notice.
There are three main ways all the rain has played a roll in deer hunting. It's raised river levels and made some places nearly impassable, which will alter fall patterns. It's also left a lot of standing water in places with oak trees, causing acorns to get fungus and rot. Most notable, though, is that the sloppy fields will slow down harvest. It once looked like crops would be out by now, but it seems like we'll have standing corn and beans into November.
I've seen a lot of bucks out of their beds early in the evening this week, but they're not moving very much. I expect that to change next week as those bucks will get up just as early, but will become even more visible as they check for does.