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Click to enlargeHow to Know When Bucks Move

The Worst Days to Hunt

EDITOR’S NOTE: You have no way of knowing what day you’ll see a buck of a lifetime during deer season. But you can pinpoint which days to hunt to increase your odds of sighting one. By hunting on the days when deer tend to move the most actively, you’ll have more deer sightings and a greater chance of taking that buck you’ve wanted all season.

Click to enlargeSome days you’ll do better not to hunt. As Bo Pitman, the lodge Manager at White Oak Plantation in Tuskegee, Alabama, reports, “From the research we’ve done, we’ve learned foggy mornings make the worst weather for hunting for two reasons. Since deer can’t see very well in the fog, they really don’t like to move under these conditions when they feel defenseless. We also have few deer sightings on foggy mornings because the hunters can’t see well either. “In dense fog, you may not spot a deer passing within 20 to 30 yards in front of you. If you can’t see the buck, you surely can’t take him.” If these two reasons don’t convince you to stay out of the woods on foggy mornings, consider the scent factor. When the air feels heavy and fog lies close to the ground, your scent also will hold close to the earth instead of rising as it will on a cool morning. If you have a stand in a tree, your human odor comes down the tree and mushrooms out along the Click to enlargeground in the area you want to hunt. Any deer coming through the region where you hunt has a better chance of smelling you on a foggy day than at any other time, except when the wind blows your odor straight to him.

“After the fog clears, we usually have a fair amount of deer sightings in the afternoon,” Pitman says. “But the temperature determines how many deer we’ll see in the afternoons after we’ve had fog in the morning. Usually cool-morning temperatures create fog. If those cool temperatures continue through the afternoon, we’ll have more deer sightings then than if the weather warms up in the afternoon. Even if we have cool weather in the afternoon, we still won’t have a large number of deer sightings after a morning fog.” Pitman says pouring rain creates the next worst day to hunt. The deer bed down and don’t want to move. Generally you won’t see deer move in a heavy rainfall. Although you may bag a buck on a rainy day, you have fewer chances of seeing deer under these weather conditions.” Pitman also has learned even a little light rain will retard deer movement. Although deer will change positions Click to enlargefrequently before and after a rain, they don’t like to move in the rain because it impairs two of their senses. They can’t see movement or hear nearly as well during a rain. Anytime the weather impedes a deer’s senses in any way, they avoid danger by burying up in thick cover and not moving. “Deer also hate wind,” Pitman says. “In a strong, blowing wind, the deer usually will hold in deep hollows or thick cover. A windy day results in as bad hunting conditions as foggy mornings. Deer like to move on bright, clear, sunny days with little or no wind when they can see and hear any movement and smell anything in front of them. Even if you spot a deer on a windy day, he’ll act extremely jittery and nervous. You’ll not have much of a chance of taking a shot.”


Check back each day this week for more about How to Know When Bucks Move

Day 1: The Vietnam Stand Buck
Day 2: Best Days for Bagging a Buck
Day 3: Times to Hunt in the Rain
Day 4: The Worst Days to Hunt
Day 5: The Deer That Move the Most in Bad Weather



Entry 336, Day 4