One of the most misunderstood aspects of the deer and deer hunting world is the relationship between the rut and the weather.
For example, how many times have we heard this? It's getting cold already and I'm starting to signs of an early rut. And the famous, it's too warm this year so the deer wont be rutting. I hate to be the one to tell you, but these are complete B.S.
If Mother Nature based the success of a species reproduction on the weather we wouldn't have any deer. Some years there is snow on the ground and some years you're in a T-shirt. The weather is inconsistent and by no means the trigger for mating amongst whitetail deer.
Hold on to your hats folks but this is the reality of it. Rain, snow, warm, cold, it doesn't matter. The rut happens the SAME TIME EVERY YEAR. It is an anatomical/biological matter, not a weather triggering matter. The number one trigger of the rut is the amount of daylight hours. Which is consistent every year, in turn, securing a prosperous future for the whitetail population. When the daylight hours are reduced to the right amount of absorbed light, the does begin to release pheromones.
These pheromones are what the bucks are desperately searching for. They indicate what state of reproduction the does are in. Thus telling an eager buck when a doe is in heat and accepting. The reason for the false theories is the affect the weather actually does have on the rut.
The weather does play a role on how much buck sign and daylight movement we see during the rut. This is why people say when its warm there is no rut and when its cold its a crazy and early rut. It's pretty simple. When the weather is cold, 45 degrees and lower, you see more buck sign. They do not burn near as many calories when it's cooler versus when it's unseasonably warm. This gives them "more energy" to make more rubs and scraps. If daylight temps are down they are more comfortable to move in the daylight. When its warm they save their energy for night movement when its cooler. So, when its cold you see more sign and daylight movement and when its warm you don't. Bucks don't like running around like mad men and making tons of rubs and scrapes when its "hot" out. They save the calories for when it's cooler. When it's colder they have the calories to burn.
Make sense? There are no earlier starting ruts and no later starting ruts. It always happens the same time EVERY YEAR. The weather dictates how much sign you see and how much daylight activity you see during the rut, not when it starts.
I hope this clears a few debates up for some folks. Now you can set them straight about the relationship between weather and the rut. Keep them arrows in the air!