Season hasn’t even started in some states, but we’re already dreaming about, and predicting, the 2016 season.
Many indicators are directed to predicting deer season, so here, we’re compiling the major philosophies and ideologies of 2016 whitetail season predictions. Using weather, moon phases, and past years’ data, this deer season prediction is top to bottom.
Get ready to mark up your calendar!
Early Season Predictions
Warm temperatures and high precipitation have been a common theme across the midwest. This could be good news for food plots and clover patches, but record high temperatures in August and September could decrease deer daylight activities and, ultimately, success. If that trend continues, harvest numbers will be lower than in previous years.
The first cold snap will result in multiple mature bucks harvested across the midwest. If you have plenty of intel on a whitetail in the early season, go for the kill. But don’t burn out your stands and spots in the midst of the excitement.
Big deer will be shot in early season by those hunters who know the deers’ habits and have plenty of intel.
Ultimately, for peak success:
- Hunt clover plots
- Hunt low-pressure areas
- Focus on quality sits, not the quantity, in early season
Using the Moon Phase to Predict the Rut
The first indicator we will be reviewing is the phase of the moon. There are many advocates of this method, and firm believers use it as a tool to predict deer movement and rut cycles. However, as with anything else, there are also plenty of skeptics. Putting biases aside, this is what we can expect using the moon phase to predict the rut.
Dr. James Kroll, Professor Emeritus of Forest Wildlife Management, believes that the full moon is correlated with the peak whitetail rut. According to his observations, the peak of the rut occurs in the three to five days that follow the full moon.
Taking that into account, the “Rutting Moon” 2016 is November 14th. This would mean that peak rut would fall around November 17 – 19th. This is much later than last year’s rutting moon, so if you plan on taking the first week of November off to hunt, it might be too early this year.
But is this late rutting moon such a bad thing? Maybe not. Last early November had higher temperatures than normal, which was thought to decrease rut activity. With an additional two weeks of cool-off time, the rut might be more intense than last year.
Using this data, we can draw some solid conclusions.
Now, this chart is a little intimidating to break down and not the easiest to digest. Here’s what we can essentially expect:
- Chasing behaviors will kick off around November 8th
- Peak rut should fall between November 17-19th
- More foot traffic with cooler temperatures
Late Season Predictions
The colder and harsher winter often causes deer to be more desperate for food. So, if you’ve planted food plots, this would be the perfect scenario.
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts the winter every year, and for the Midwest and great lake states, it’s supposed to be extremely cold and snowy this year. Although winter officially starts December 21, Unofficial Networks made it clear that late November and December will be colder than average.
So, our late season predictions are similar to early season predictions. In short, hunt over food sources, and be well concealed for long, chilly sits.
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