Data Driven State-by-State Rut Predictions for 2018

AJ Gall

A rut activity prediction based on actual hunter data? Say it ain’t so!  With plenty of Rut Predictions out there for every theory, we’re excited to share with you one that’s backed by actual hunter data in our third annual “Data-Driven State-by-State Rut Predictions”.  Once again, Legendary Whitetails has teamed up with the Quiver Hunting App to provide a groundbreaking analysis as to when you should really be hunting the rut in your area.  Using data from 2017 that was logged in the App by hunters across the country, we can accurately display the peak deer activity levels for each state.

If you believe the rut occurs at the same time every year (just take a peek at the QDMA data), this data should be gold, as peak activity should correlate with the timing of the rut!  It’s no surprise that November is “THE MONTH” around the country, but the weekly differences on a state-by-state basis are intriguing.  Check out the results below and download the Quiver Hunting App for free so you can hunt smarter and help contribute to the aggregate data pool for years to come.

What is Quiver?

The Quiver Hunting App was built for the whitetail hunting fanatic who wants to improve their chances in the deer woods. This hunting app allows you to track your deer and turkey hunts with a few taps of your finger – similar to a hunting journal, only much easier to do from the stand. The app also provides and logs hunting specific weather data that helps you make better decisions on when and where to hunt.  Check out the Quiver Hunting App to learn more.

Quiver Hunting App

The Study

In order to provide an accurate display of peak regional activity, the Quiver team researched the 2017 hunting logs. From there, we worked to find the peak deer activity levels from each state (reported by hunters), which were determined by measuring the “average # of deer seen per hunt”.  Since many of us hunters take an extended vacation to hunt the rut, we took it a bit further and determined the best overall 7-day period to hunt.


(It’s important to note that all of the data is reported in aggregate. No individual hunter data or locations are shared. The Quiver team does not share any individual hunting data.)

The Great Plains

2018 State by State Rut Predictions

Best Days to Hunt the Rut:

North Dakota: November 14 – 20

South DakotaNovember 3- 9

Nebraska: November 7 – 13

Kansas: November 21 – 27

Oklahoma: October 21 – 27

The Great Lakes

2018 State by State Rut Predictions

Best Days to Hunt the Rut:

Minnesota: November 6 – 12

Wisconsin: October 29 – November 4

Michigan: November 12 – 18 

The Heartland

2018 State by State Rut Predictions

Best Days to Hunt the Rut:

Iowa: November 11 – 17

Missouri: November 6 – 12

Illinois: November 6 – 12

Indiana: November 8 – 14

The East

2018 State by State Rut Predictions

Best Days to Hunt the Rut:

Ohio: November 5 – 11

Kentucky: November 8 – 14

Tennessee: November 10 – 16

West Virginia: November 8 – 14

Virginia: November 14 – 20

North Carolina: November 12 – 18

The Northeast

2018 State by State Rut Predictions

Best Days to Hunt the Rut:

Pennsylvania: November 9 – 15

New York: November 7 – 13

Maryland: November 8 – 14

New Jersey: November 18 – 24

Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware: Data sets are too thin to make assumptions


2018 State by State Rut Predictions

Best Days to Hunt the Rut:

Arkansas: November 8 – 14

Louisiana: November  20 – 26

Mississippi: November 19 – 25

Alabama: December 26 – January 1

Georgia: October 30 – November 5

South Carolina: November 28 – December 4

Florida: November 13 – 19

The Lone Star State

2018 State by State Rut Predictions

Best Days to Hunt the Rut:

Texas: December 9 – 16

We’re super excited to continue researching and analyzing trends produced by hunters with the help of the team over at Quiver. As more and more hunters use this mobile hunting log to track their hunts, the more interesting and powerful the insights on deer movement become. With 2015 being the inaugural year of Quiver, it will be interesting to compare these trends moving forward from year to year. Download the app for free today from iTunes and help contribute data on future deer movement trends.

Compare with the 2016 Hunter Data.

About The Author
From Woods to Table

AJ Gall

AJ Gall's prior hunting and wildlife experiences began long ago and make him the perfect contributing deer hunting guru.  As a habitat consultant under Dr. Grant Woods, AJ has worked on properties in 13 different states, amassing over 25,000 acres of quality deer management. He now uses that knowledge to help clients find their dream hunting properties as a licensed real estate agent in Wisconsin.  

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