Choosing the best week to hunt requires some research and leg-work but the reward is worth it.
What is the best week to hunt? It’s the week you can, of course! Hopefully you have some flexibility in your schedule that allows you to plan ahead and chose a week. There are a lot of resources available to research the best weeks, days and times to hunt. Some are based on experience, some are based on science and some are based on predictions.
There are people who think any of these methods use a heavy dose of hocus pocus. However, my 25 years of experience as an outfitter shows a history of truth in these methods if they are evaluated correctly.
We have successfully hunted on days that were predicted to be the worst, and we have hunted on days that were said to be rated the “best” without even seeing an animal. Nearly all of our successes have come on days that were rated at least “above average” for game movement.
Pick the best week to hunt when the odds are most favorable. Use all the information available to you and make an assessment of the best week to hunt based on the overall outlook.
View the slideshow for more tips on choosing the best week to hunt.
The Farmers’ Almanac has provided outdoor, farming and ranch information since the turn of the century. This journal has weather predictions and essay on the best times to be outdoors for the entire year. It is a great reference for hunters.
The weather is a primary factor in hunter success. If you can plan your trip within a few weeks or even days of departure you will have a good chance of getting the weather you are expecting.
Avoid heavy rain and storms if possible, but hunting just before and right after a storm can be a recipe for success.
Also, weather changes that are extreme are good times to focus on. Large swings in temperature, cold fronts and snow will often change the animals’ routine in your favor.
Check Internet forums frequently. Contributors will often post their observations regarding game movement and success. Try to determine the credibility of the source and look for photos to back up what they are saying.
The website HuntStats.com features a calendar that shows the “best times to hunt.” The information is based on observations of whitetail deer. Much of the information is dated to 2007, however the information is regional. From year to year the pre-rut. peak rut and post-rut tend to occur around the same time in a given region. Compare the information to other sources.
Many solunar calendars are available both in print and online. Information includes the moon phase and sunrise and sunset. Sometimes barometric pressure is indicated along with other information.
Taxidermists like Buck n Duck are an excellent resource of information regarding when to hunt. They know when they have historically received the most intake of each species in years past. They also can tell you about current intake and provide an opinion of what time frame may be best. Taxidermists want you to be successful so they can get your business, so they are usually very willing to help by providing good information.
Guides and Outfitters
Guides and outfitters are great sources of information, particularly if you are booking a trip with them. They want you to be successful so they are usually straightforward about the best time to hunt. If they are in an area you want to hunt, you can call to pick their brain about the best times without committing to hunt with them this year.