Why deer hunting during the Rut

Most states I know have deer season pretty close to and during the rut. Why? A few decades ago we had few deer and may not have wanted to kill as many. Now we have way too many. What was the justification to having the hunt during the rut back then and why hasn’t it changed with the dramaticly huge populations of deer now.

I recognize there are special seasons around the rut, but the primary and centrally important season has always been during the rut in early Nov.

One google found site suggested the rut was when more deer are moving and hunters are more likely to make more kills during this time. Sounds good now, but why then was this the season when deer weren’t so plentiful.

Deer season was set by hunters facing a limited timeframe in which to hunt - They chose the best time of year to hunt.

The rut does cause the deer to roam a bit more - making the season ideal. It’s also when the racks are at their peak growth so better trophies.

Populations vary. There was an announcement that the deer harvest was down 30% this year in Wisconsin. Apparently some people want the population estimators in the DNR fired. The thing they don’t consider is there has been an increased deer harvest for years, and some of it for CWD which has now ceased. The goals seem to have worked in reducing the population density. The 30% decrease this year is measured against a years they wanted more deer gone. It’s not measured against a year when we had lower deer population density and no extended season. The weather also was bad for hunting deer as it wasn’t cold encouraging them to move about.

Personally I think many deer died because of the vast flooding we had last year. I know large areas of wildlife refuges around here were under water for months and stinking cesspools the rest of the year.

During rut means the females don’t have a fetus or fawn at hunting time either.

It’s the antlers!

EDIT: Well, that’s what I’ve always assumed, anyways.

Buck deer get stupid during the rut. They do move around more and stop to sleep and rest much less. Foilage is changing and begining to fall. So hunting is easier. A late change in the weather works against good hunting conditions because leaves remain on the trees longer.

Also, hunting is partly to cull the herd and reduce winter die-off. The Fall rut seems a logical time for that. You wouldn’t want to have the hunt in the spring when the deer are under weight from a hard winter, some have died off and the females are pregnant or nursing fawns.

I always assumed it was just sort of process of elimination. If you do it during summer, you have a lot more recreational hikers and campers and such wandering through the woods increasing the chance of an accidental shooting, if you wait till the dead of winter its a lot less fun hunting when its twenty below, and in spring all the dear are scrawny and under-fed (and in states with a lot of snow, the woods are a muddy mess from the snow melt).

So fall it is.

Agreed, the fawns are pretty much ready to take care of themselves which ensures the population continues. The bucks are too horny and are searching for does to mate with to pay attention to hunters in the woods.