Jim, the answer may differ based on the different areas. In some northern areas, deer and elk tend to rut earlier by a few weeks than they do in southern regions. Here in Colorado, the rut will usually get hot and heavy around the 2nd or 3rd week of September.
Hiker is dead on for peak rut in Colorado. It varies by latitude, like whitetail. I'm not for sure, but I believe Montana and Canada are a few weeks earlier (at most) than Colorado and New Mexico or Arizona can be a few weeks later.
Any forum members want to comment on their region?
I learned this the hard way last year. If you're hunting in an area with lots of bear activity, it's a great idea to stash your food and water up in a tree. I like to wrap everything in a tarp and tie it between two trees. Don't just tie it up in one tree but tie it in between two trees at least 15 feet in the air. I thought I had my backpacking camp's food supply stashed pretty well last year. I returned to camp during the first weekend of archery to find all my food destroyed. Make sure...