If you guys have not seen it already, the September issue of Deer & Deer Hunting featured Charles Alsheimer's 2012 Rut Forecast. We have been talking a good bit about the moon here lately and Charlie uses the "rutting moon" to base his rut predictions each year. What he terms the rutting moon is the second full moon after the autumn equinox, which occurred on September 22nd this year and this was the first time since 2004 that the equinox has happened in September. So that places the rutting moon for 2012 on October 29th, making it only the 4th time since 1995 that we have had the "kickoff to the rut" occur in October.
Mr. Alsheimer's predictions for the 2012 season are as follows:
Seeking - October 29th through November 5th
Chasing - November 2nd through November 9th
Breeding - November 9th through November 16th
Alsheimer put his finger on the "sweet spot" being November 3rd through the 12th this year and the sweet spot is that time when deer activity is the best it will be all year. The thing I find most important based on the past few ruts is that he considers this year's rut to be a synchronized rut. By having a synchronized rut, it will be an intense rut with peak breeding taking place before the 15th or 16th. My observations over the past few seasons have been that we are not experiencing the stereotypical "peak rut" type of activity and it has really killed the rut hunting in my area. Couple that with warmer weather and a full moon, and forget it being a great rut to hunt.
The first new moon after the rutting moon will fall on November 13th and it always occurs during peak breeding. Like we have been discussing in the moon thread, the moon will rise and set with sun that day, remaining overhead all day, meaning it could very well be the best day of the season if the weather cooperates.
So as we inch closer to this magical time of the year, let's keep tabs on what we are seeing here in this thread. And for the time being, I would be interested to hear from those of you that pay attention to Charlie's predictions and how they have proven themselves, or not, over the years.