For just plain exciting whitetail hunting I would bet on the 8-11 if the weather conditions in your area are conducive to daytime activity. If its nice and crisp look out! For the older bucks however i would lean more towards the 18th on. I do not belive the mature bucks expend a bunch of time chasing much of anything early on preferring instead to breed the first does that come in. it isnt until picking start getting slim that they get out and really start traveling in my experience. Not to say a hot doe cant drag a large buck by you early on but I have observed many times without even realizing what i was seeing that in the early parts of the rut the does actually seek out the older bucks.Not the other way around.
last year in maryland I watched several does move up a creekbottom and head into a tree island of sorts on the edge of a hayfield. Unbenounced to me there was a very large and obviously old buck laid up in it that after the does arrived showed himself briefly. For the next two hours i watched buck after buck follow those does trails up to the point where the tree island started then turn off and head into the field. For the next three days we saw that same buck with never less than four does right there hanging around that island. It became very obvious at that point he chased no does they came to him. However all the while anytime one of those does broke the area the chase was on by the younger bucks and he would stay put. I ate tag soup waiting for him to leave that island ,)