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Deer Activity – Moon, Rut or Weather?

Posted by 
November 8, 2012
Published in News & Tips > Hunting > Deer
4381   Comment
expert

I just shot a doe three hours before writing this. I saw her and a yearling buck. They were feeding on acorns. It’s October 25th and I’ve been hunting with three other guys for three days. None of us have seen a mature buck. I think it’s easy to explain why. The temperature each day has peaked at 80+ degrees.

I’m sure there will be some that will say deer are breeding late due to the drought, etc. However, that’s not the case. Years ago several researchers and I compared 1,000’s of conception dates collected from does harvested during the late season. The data was collected over several years and represented several states.

The strongest factor that predicted when the rut occurred was when it took place the previous year – not the phase, declination, etc., of the moon or any weather pattern. Timing of deer breeding is based primarily on genetics – not day to day factors.

Timing of breeding and daytime deer activity are not necessarily related. Several of my buddies have arrowed some whopper bucks during the past week in the western states – where the temperatures have dropped below normal. I was hunting at The Kentucky Proving Grounds early this week where the temperatures have been above normal. Even though the deer herd at The Kentucky Proving Grounds is a well managed deer herd, even healthy deer remain inactive during days with high temperatures.Hunters In The Woods With Deer

From 20+ years of keeping records, there’s a strong trend that once deer start putting on fat along with their winter coat they simply don’t like moving during daylight, especially when the temperatures are above normal during daylight hours – no matter the date on the calendar.

I hunt when I can, but I expect more success when the daytime temperature is 10-20% below normal. I watch the weather forecast much more than moon phases or the state of the rut. The daytime temperatures are predicted to drop 30 degrees the next couple of days. I’ll let you know next week if the big bucks begin moving during daylight after the temperatures drop!

Growing (and hunting) Deer together,

From GrowingDeer.tv
Grant Woods

Tagged under Read 4381 times Last modified on July 29, 2013
Dr. Grant Woods
expert

Home: Republic, Missouri
Family: Tracy (wife), Raleigh & Rae (daughters)
Hobbies: Deer & turkey hunting, improving habitat, fishing
Rifle/Bow Preference: Whatever season is open!

Hunting Stuff

Years Been Hunting: I started rabbit hunting and trapping at 7, 45 years ago
Prefessional Affiliations:
The Wildlife Society, Archery Trade Association, Quality Deer Management Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Missouri Trappers Association, National Rifle Association
Hunting Strength:
Being a research biologist that specializes in white-tailed deer, I've been able to use my knowledge of deer behavior to help pattern mature bucks on a consistent basis.
Favorite Technique:
 Pattern a mature buck and then place a stand/blind or spot and stalk and end up at the same place as the buck without the buck knowing I'm present
Favorite Game to Hunt:
White-tailed deer & wild turkey
Favorite Hunting Gear: Nikon binoculars. Seeing game before they see me has been one of my best techniquesFavorite Places to Hunt: Missouri, Kansas and Texas
Favorite Places to Hunt:
My farm near Branson, MO. My favorite state to hunt besides MO is KS.
Favorite Season to Hunt:
Early turkey season and the pre-rut
Favorite Time to Hunt: Deer tend to be most active just before a substantial change in the weather — I really enjoy hunting food sources just before a major front.
Favorite Way to Hunt:
Favorite Gear:  

Career Highlights

Biggest Kill: 169" whitetail & several large wild boars
Greatest Hunting Achievement: 11 year old Kansas whitetail buck with a recurve bow after a long spot and stalk — shot at 7 yards
Favorite Hunting Moment: Watching my daughters take their first deer & turkeys

Dr. Grant Woods is a wildlife biologist specializing in deer management and research. He schooled at Missouri State University, University of Georgia, and received his Ph.D. from Clemson University. His success at conducting wildlife research, educating hunters about advanced hunting and management techniques, and designing site-specific management plans to improve deer herd quality is well known throughout the whitetail world. He is passionate about wildlife management and hunting and shares his knowledge with others via a weekly show on the web at GrowingDeer.tv and through events at Bass Pro stores as part of the RedHead Pro Hunting Team

 

Dr. Grant Woods is a wildlife biologist specializing in deer management and research. He schooled at Missouri State University, University of Georgia, and received his Ph.D. from Clemson University. His success at conducting wildlife research, educating hunters about advanced hunting and management techniques, and designing site-specific management plans to improve deer herd quality is well known throughout the whitetail world. He is passionate about wildlife management and hunting and shares his knowledge with others via a weekly show on the web at GrowingDeer.tv and through events at Bass Pro stores as part of the RedHead Pro Hunting Team

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