As everyone has stated , the rut can change from year to year due to several factors. While I live in Ohio I hunt PA, Michigan, and Ohio. All three states had late ruts this year. PA was a couple of weeks late. I know that a lot of cloudy days in early October can trigger the rut early as well as cold temperatures. I admit I don't know much about drought as a factor. In years of low deer numbers, bucks having trouble finding does will advertise more, scrapes, in-order to locate does. The reverse is also true, that high doe numbers mean that bucks are busy servicing them and don't need to make calling cards. One thing for sure the rut will happen at some point. As we learn more about the nature of things a lot of the old thoughts are being relearned. I think this year we saw some new and different hunting senerio's. That's why they call it hunting and not getting. This current weater will be hard on the bucks as the late rut has them lean with no fat build up facing deep snow conditions.