The chase is coming in very strong right now in my area of south western PA. We had a very cold week here and some snow flying for a few days and I got out last Saturday on some new ground with 2 of my best hunting buddies. I saw a total of 21 deer from sunrise until 9:30 when we had to pack up the stands and take care of some chores for my friend's mother who is going through a nasty divorce. I watched young bucks chasing young does all morning, in a group of 5 with 2 of them being small males. Quite entertaining. I had plenty of doe within range but I've held back waiting for a mature swamp donkey to come through close enough. Amazing how much more cautious a 2 1/2 yr old is than a yearling. I found some saplings ranging from 1 inch to 3 inches in diameter rubbed pretty hard, the best of them having a pile of shavings under them. Also saw a handful of scrapes that were hit pretty hard which surprised me because one was actually worn about 4 inches deep and roughly 30 inches wide.
I have never hunted during pre or heavy rut before as this is my first archery season, and boy do i know now what Ive been missing. I havent ever had this much fun and had the opportunity to see over 12 deer a day while hunting stationary. This mountain we are hunting is private property for 220 acres and full of mature deer. I have no desire to rifle hunt anymore after enjoying days without so many gunshots it sounds like the Civil war, no deer limping past with a knee obliterated by a poor shot, and my favorite part... NO deer drives busting underneath of me.