Map of Georgia rut dates by county.

There’s nothing quite like hunting whitetails during the rut. Georgia deer hunters are fortunate in that with a little travel, we can hunt the rut from mid-October through the end of the year — that’s two and a half months of rut hunting action!

To give you an idea of the 2023 rut dates, I’ve included a map below that breaks the peak of breeding into two week intervals. If you’d like more specific dates, check out the table below that narrows it down even further to the best week for each county.

Georgia Rut Map

The map and table were created based on research done by the University of Georgia (UGA) and Georgia DNR wildlife biologists that found a strong correlation between deer-vehicle collisions and rutting activity. By looking at deer-vehicle collision reports across the state, UGA and the Georgia DNR were able to pin down the peak of rutting activity for each county.

Keep in mind, these are just guidelines for Georgia’s peak breeding dates. There will always be does that come into estrus early or late, which can result in a flurry of buck activity outside of these “typical” rut dates. More on that below.

Georgia rut map by county.

2023 Rut Dates by County

October 13-19

Ben Hill, Camden, Candler, Glynn, Jenkins, McIntosh, and Telfair counties.

October 20-26

Atkinson, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Columbia, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Jefferson, Liberty, Long, McDuffie, Richmond, Screven, and Ware counties.

October 27 – November 2

Bacon, Baldwin, Echols, Hart, Jasper, Lanier, Lincoln, Monroe, Putnam, Schley, Taylor, Warren, Washington, and Wilkinson counties.

November 3-9

Appling, Bartow, Barrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Butts, Chattooga, Clayton, Cobb, Crawford, Dekalb, Dodge, Dooly, Elbert, Floyd, Gordon, Greene, Hancock, Haralson, Henry, Houston, Jeff Davis, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, Laurens, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Meriwether, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Peach, Pierce, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Rockdale, Spalding, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Twiggs, Upson, Walker, Walton, Wayne, Wheeler, and Wilkes counties.

November 10-16

Barrow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Clarke, Coweta, Dade, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Gwinnett, Hall, Harris, Heard, Jackson, Madison, Muscogee, Murray, Oconee, Pickens, Sumter, Talbot, Troup, Turner, Whitfield, and Wilcox counties.

November 17-23

Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Dawson, Fannin, Lee, Randolph, Stewart, Tift, Towns, Union, and Worth counties.

November 24-30

Baker, Banks, Calhoun, Dougherty, Habersham, Irwin, Lumpkin, Mitchell, Rabun, Stephens, Terrell, Thomas, Webster, and White counties.

December 1-7


December 8-14

Decatur and Grady counties

December 15-21

Early and Miller counties

December 22-28

Seminole County

What About Weather or the Moon Phase?

You may wonder how we know that these dates will apply to the 2023-2024 Georgia deer season. We know because the whitetail rut occurs the same time every year for any given location. It doesn’t change based on weather factors, moon phase, or anything else. That has been documented in study after study over the years.

What can change from year to year is how much rutting activity you witness where you hunt. Keep in mind that while the dates listed on this page are peak rut activity, there are always outliers that fall outside of that peak. Some does may come into estrus a little earlier and some will come in later.

When you see rutting activity where you hunt will be determined by the timing of does coming into estrus in that specific area. And since there appears to be a genetic aspect to a doe’s estrus timing, you may see that pattern repeated year after year. If the rut dates listed above don’t correlate with when you typically see rut activity, it’s probably because you have a doe or two that are going into estrus outside of the typical date range.

How to Hunt the Georgia Rut

In my mind, there are two keys to taking advantage of the whitetail rut. The first one is to spend as much time in the stand as possible during the peak dates. Bucks are on the feet and moving more than ever during this time, so you never know when a great buck you’ve never seen before may walk into your shooting lane.

The second key is knowing where the does are and using that information when developing a strategy to catch a cruising buck looking for a receptive doe. If you can find some type of funnel on the downwind side of a doe bedding area, then it’s only a matter of time before you get a shot opportunity.

Final Thoughts

There’s no better time to be in a treestand than during the rut, and we have over two months to chase it here in Georgia. I hope you’re taking advantage of that opportunity! Hopefully the Georgia rut map above, along with the table of 2022 Georgia rut dates by county will help you schedule your hunts this year so you can extend the rut-hunting action.

If you disagree with any of the dates listed in this article, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know what county you hunt, and what dates you think best fit the county based on your observations.

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