COLD WEATHER, is it really best for bucks and deer activity???
Maybe it's just me and the south eastern area in which I deer hunt BUT, I personally have found temperatures between 40-60 (above freezing) with a slight to heavy overcast and cool mild breeze to be the best hunting conditions. I like it when your beath is visible in the early morning with a slight frost. I have killed more bucks and seen more deer activity in general under these conditions compared to freezing cold temperatures. I have found that when it is freezing cold especially in the mornings, you tend to see more deer AFTER the sun has come out and it begins to warm up around 10-11am........ Your thoughts???
That's a great question, and one which you'll discover the answer to over time if you keep good notes here in your journal and record weather/temperature and activity levels. I've had better luck on colder mornings myself. But I do tend to leave my stand earlier too. I think the sleeping in and hitting it later theory may have some merit. I've just never been able to sleep in when I know I get to go hunting the next morning!
It depends on what you mean when you say, "best"........
For starters, I`ve never seen good hunting when the temps are at 60 degrees, it`s simply too warm for the deer to move comfortably in their winter hides, and they`ll lay up until it`s much cooler, typically, after dark. Many mistakenly believe cooler weather kick-starts the rut because they see more daytime deer movement when it`s colder, but the cold has nothing to do with the rut, simply the amount of movement when hunters are on stand.
I believe you`re correct, in that, depending on many other factors, you MAY be more deer movement later in the morning on extremely cold mornings, but nothing is etched in stone in regards to hunting white-tails. My preferrence is to be on stand as soon as legal hunting times allow and tough it out. My hunting buddy and I regularily sit all day on hunts, and if not all day, at least until noon on the morning hunts, with only a short lunch break then back on stand until the end of legal shooting hours to finish off the evening. Yes, it`s difficult, but we hunt hard because the season will be gone so quickly.
There are many different situations you`ll encounter throughout each season, and as has been said, you should keep a detailed journal to help you see trends as the seasons pass. I`ve been guilty of not doing that, and am trying to get better at keeping much better hunting logs with all the detail I can think of.
Bottom line for me is, I`m on stand whenever possible, even if my notes tell me it`s not likely a hot period, because I`ve found that white-tails may do anything, at anytime, and I want to be there to be a part of it.
A buddy of mine will not go out until 10 AM on chilly mornings (40 and under), and he has 3 nice 8 pointers to show for it. 10 AM is usually when every one that did get out early are starting to get cold and start moving toward camp for coffee and a sandwich, it gets the deer moving more during that time of day. I've taken to getting out alittle bit later then everyone else and sitting longer, until everyone else is back at camp and get to see a few deer no one else has, but they have pushed around
I to am in the stand at first light, but I sweat so heavily that I can't stay on stand like others, I tend to get out about 9AM and take a still hunting walk, I'll usually take a sandwich along and eat it while walking, Then get back into the stand (or another one) and wait it out till noonish. Grab a bite to eat and back in the stand by 2ish to hunt the evening. I spend alot of the gun seaon in the woods, just not always in the same stand I started the day in. Ya gotta do what ever it takes to be in the woods when the time is right.
One more thought on this topic, I have also noticed MANY MANY times, I end up leaving my stand too early on cold weather mornings. I sit there and hunt the extreme cold until about 10 then get hungry and wanna leave. It is THEN that I notice all the deer moving during my drive home between 10am-12 (lunch time) This season, I'm using a whole new strategy and sleeping in on the cold mornings and hunting from about 9am to 1pm (we'll see what happens)
deer up here in ther north wood after they get there winter coat on, feel most comfortable at about 40 to 45 degrees. now thats what some scientist that dedicated his life to white tail research said. Its about the equivelent of 70 for us humans. now when it gets below 20 degrees ( include wind chill ) deer start to get a little cold them selves. so they dont want to move as much but still will till aronud 10 degrees. Now I to during high deer ativity days like the rut and gun hunt will see around ten and around one see deer movement. as well as the dusk hours. i think its all the hunters that are hungry that are moveing the deer. they leave and spook the deer. and us hunters that are smart stay in the tree and shoot the deer. let me know how the easy hours work for you. also watch the foot ball shcedual of the favorite team of the area. its amasing how deer move 30 mins before a packer game lol. as far as cold, deer move later the colder it gets at some points i wont even go out till 10 11 o clock if its too cold.