For more than 20 years, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has conducted deer health checks across the state to establish quite a database.
The staff collects certain biological information from deer kills by hunters in cooperative clubs and on WMAs, including data on the estimated conception dates of harvested does. This provides valuable information that points to the average breeding date of deer in specific locations. The MDWFP used the information to create a chart of average breeding dates in different areas of the state.
During the data-collection process, wildlife managers discovered that the timing of breeding — and therefore the timing of the rut — varied greatly across the state and even inside a single region. The average breeding dates varied by as much as eight weeks between the coastal plains in Southeast Mississippi and the Delta region in the Northeast.
Studies show that rutting activity, the kind that gets deer out of seclusion and out in front of hunters, peaks about two weeks before the mean breeding date. Knowing the peak breeding times in the area you hunt allows you to focus on the time frame a week or two earlier, which is especially helpful if planning an extended hunting trip or knowing when to take days off from work.
The map can be found at mdwfp.com by following links to Deer Hunting.