The RUT \u2013 a unanimous term that sparks excitement, anxiety, and giddiness amongst the deer hunting community.\u00a0 It\u2019s the equivalent of Christmas, the 4th of July, and Thanksgiving all rolled into an unbelievable 3-week period during the fall.\u00a0 Quite plainly, as hunters, it\u2019s what we live for.Hunting magazines dedicate entire issues to it, the Outdoor Channel runs nonstop footage of it, and social media is swarmed with it. THE RUT is a deer hunter\u2019s cocaine, when we\u2019re not hunting it, we\u2019re consuming it, discussing it, daydreaming of it, and waiting for it.\u00a0 It\u2019s the time when we feel good about every hunt and every hour we are on stand.Without further ado, here are the 2016 Rut Predictions for Every Theory!2016 Rut Predictions Based on the MoonIf you\u2019re a hunter you\u2019ve probably discussed and likely debated the moons effect on the whitetail rut.\u00a0 If you believe the moon rules the rut, then plan on using your vacation days later this fall.\u00a0 Charlie Alsheimer and Wayne Laroche have been sharing their rut predictions with us as the past couple of years, and if you pay attention to their rutting moon theory, it\u2019s pretty easy to plan out \u201cthe best rut hunting dates\u201d for years to come.\u00a0 \u201cHow?\u201d you might ask.\u00a0 The answer is simple, the moon rotates through the same lunar phase cycle over and over \u2013 every 29.5 days (from new moon to new moon).\u00a0 Thus, we know when each full moon, or more specifically each rutting moon will land for years to come.Future Rutting Moon Dates 2016 \u2013 November 14th \u2013 Late \u2013 Trickle Rut2017 \u2013 November 4th \u2013 Synchronized \u2013 Intense Rut2018 \u2013 October 24th \u2013 Early \u2013 Average Rut2019 \u2013 November 12th \u2013 Late \u2013 Trickle Rut2020 \u2013 October 31st \u2013 Synchronized \u2013 Intense RutThe closer the second full moon after the autumn equinox (the rutting moon) falls to November 1, the more intense the rut should be.\u00a0 Looking ahead, 2017 and 2020 should provide an exciting few weeks of rut hunting.\u00a0 This year the rutting moon falls on November 14th and they are calling for a \u201ctrickle\u201d rut with better activity occurring in late-November, similar to 2013 when the rutting moon fell on November 17th.\u00a0 The seeking phase is predicted to begin around November 7th, the chasing phase to begin around November 14th, and the tending\/breeding phase to begin around November 21st.\u00a0 Since the rutting moon falls later in November, hunters should expect a slower, and more drawn out rut according to Alsheimer and Laroche with the peak breeding set to occur around Thanksgiving.BEST DATES TO HUNT THE RUT: November 14th – November 21st\u00a0 Rut Predictions Based on BiologyIf you believe what science has to say, then this year\u2019s rut will be the same as last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.\u00a0 The reason is simple \u2013 the rut is controlled by photoperiod (amount of daylight).\u00a0 Several studies have been published in Canada and the U.S. showing that the rut (peak breeding dates) occurs at the same time every year.In the study they used fetuses of car-killed does to back-date the day of conception.\u00a0 Remarkably, the center of breeding activity fell during the same 4-day period eight out of nine years the study was conducted.\u00a0 This logic tells us we should be looking at the peak breading dates in our region from previous seasons.\u00a0 Chances are does will again come into estrous during the exact same time this year and for years to come.\u00a0 In the Midwest, peak breeding center typically occurs on or around November 15th.One key thing to remember is that you don\u2019t necessarily want to target the peak of breeding for your \u201cRUT-cation\u201d, as this is when bucks will most likely tending does, thus moving less.\u00a0 Instead, target the ten days leading up to the peak, as this is when most bucks will on their feet cruising for does in estrus.BEST DATES TO HUNT THE RUT: November 7th – November 14thRut Predictions Based on the Farmer\u2019s AlmanacIf you\u2019re a firm believer in what the Farmer\u2019s Almanac has to say, then you\u2019ll want to be hunting October 28th \u2013 November 3rd as a major cold front is set to blanket much of the country.\u00a0 The Farmer\u2019s Almanac makes generic predictions on a 3-day basis for every region of the United States.\u00a0 The 2016 forecast for the Midwest reads, \u201cOctober 28th \u2013 31st: Stormy Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, some wet snow could mix in.\u00a0 November 1st- 3rd: Fair and unseasonably cold.\u201dCombining a major cold front with testosterone boosted bucks should equal some phenomenal deer hunting!\u00a0 Of course, these are long term predictions made a year in advance, so take out of it what you please.\u00a0 Regardless, major cold fronts are no joke when it comes to hunting.\u00a0 You can expect increased deer movement whenever they hit during the season \u2013 September through January.\u00a0 However, if you need to be selective on which fronts to sit, target any major cold fronts that fall between October 20th and November 20th. Sitting both ends of the front should provide some exciting hunting with mature bucks on their feet.BEST DATES TO HUNT THE RUT: October 28th– November 3rdRut Hunting Based on Historical Cold FrontsWhile the Farmers\u2019 Almanac uses an algorithm to predict the future weather patterns, we looked at historical data to see if there were any patterns as to when cold fronts occur.\u00a0 If you believe cold snaps are what get deer on their feet, then recent weather patterns say the second weekend of November is going be a buck marathon.In a previous article, Spencer looked at daily temperatures from the last five years for areas in Nebraska and Kentucky, choosing these two states because they span the heart of whitetail country.\u00a0 He recorded all cold snaps for the month of November, marking down days where the average temp and lowest temp were more than 5 degrees lower than the day before. This subtle change only occurs about three to six times a month.Incredibly though, a cold snap in Nebraska has fallen on every November 11th for the last four years. Cold snaps were also recorded for the same area on the 6th or 7th for four of the last five years.Kentucky also has some consistencies. The 5th-7th, 12th-14th and 23rd-25th seem to be reliable for major drops in temperature, with each range experiencing cold snaps in four of the last five years.BEST DATES TO HUNT THE RUT: November 5th-7th, 11th– 14th (Any cold front predicted in November)Rut Hunting in the SouthUnfortunately, in the South, the rut doesn\u2019t always follow the same pattern as the North.\u00a0 As QDMA explains:\u201cIn southern regions, breeding dates aren\u2019t as cut-and-dry. The photoperiod change is less dramatic, the climate is less severe, and there is less need to breed \u201con time.\u201d Published reports show peak breeding in October in east Texas, December in Arkansas, January in Mississippi and Alabama, February in the Florida panhandle, and October in southeast Georgia. All of these regions share a similar photoperiod, so there are clearly some other factors involved. This means photoperiod controls the approximate season of breeding (fall or winter), but the deer herd\u2019s genetics likely influence the exact timing of breeding.\u201dRead the Full Article Here: What Triggers the Whitetail RutBEST DATES TO HUNT THE RUT: Ask your local wildlife biologistPeak Breeding Vs. Rutty ActivityAs hunters we often find ourselves in discussions with camp members, hunting buddies, and friends from other states wondering if the rut is \u201cON\u201d or \u201cOFF\u201d.\u00a0 What we\u2019re typically talking about here is the activity, not the actual breeding phase.\u00a0 The key difference is the breeding doesn\u2019t change much year to year, but the deer activity and movement we see does.Deer movement during the rut can change dramatically from season to season, which is why some years the rut seems hot and heavy with a frenzy of activity, and other years it seems slow and drawn out.\u00a0 The main factors that dictate movement include weather conditions, buck-to-doe ratio, moon phase or position, hunting pressure, acorns, and crop harvest to name a few. The ever changing conditions of these factors are largely to blame for the \u201cdifferent\u201d types of rut we experience as hunters.My final advice is to hunt hard and smart during the first two weeks of November, while keying in on the days just before and after a cold front.