Our full blown wide open rut starts to happen about Christmas. My best weeks have always been after the holidays, about 5Jan on. Too many guys in the woods during holidays.
Bucks can be seen chasing all Jan long. My best 3 deer have all been taken in Jan. Last year, we had a hard and fast rut about the second week of Jan. I saw more deer and more bucks in two days (13 and 15 Jan) than I saw all season. Missed one with a rifle (how did THAT happen) and had a dandy (110-120pts + P&Y) close with a grunt call, but no shot with a bow.
Lord help me, I love it so.