We’ve got advice on how to use a cold front to bag a buck, read on for the scoop.
If you’ve been in the deer hunting game for more than a few years, you’ve probably heard a few hunting buddies extolling the virtues of cold fronts or getting excited about a 10 or 15 degree temperature drop on its way to your area. There are a few reasons for this: first of all, if your area is one that generally gets warm autumnal weather patterns, a cold front can mean a nice relief and a more comfortable day in the field. And if you are more comfortable out there, spending hours in the woods while lugging around your stuff and wearing heavy camouflage, then you can bet the deer are going to be more comfortable out there as well.
Indeed, a day or two after a major temperature drop is often the best time in the season to score the major buck you’ve been looking for. The colder weather will result in more activity from all deer, but especially from mature bucks. Since male deer often sleep for long hours in warmer weather, a cold front can be the perfect thing to flush them out of their bedding areas and send them wandering the woods.
Part of the reason for this behavior is the temperature: in the fall, bucks already have their thick winter coats, and as you know from your own heavy camouflage, exerting too much energy with all of that insulation can be tough on warm days. Another reason is food. Colder deer are generally burning more energy in an effort to stay warm, which means that those deer are also hungry more frequently. As a result, a buck who usually heads to his favorite food source at midnight, after you’re gone, may brave the field in the early evening during cold fronts, (hopefully) giving you a perfect shot at his broadside.
Point is, whether the bucks are looking for food, water, or does, cold weather makes them more active and adventurous. In other words, if you aren’t the kind of hunter who is comfortable with hunting bedding areas, then a cold front may just be your best chance all season of getting a golden kill.
So how can you take advantage of the cold front so that you don’t go home empty-handed?
Keep in mind that, in changing a deer’s activity levels, cold weather also alters their movement patterns and times significantly. While your summer tracking time may have told you that the herd you are hunting moves most often in the early morning and the late evening, a cold front essentially means that all bets are off. In short, if you can be in the stand all day, do it.
You will be able to survey the entire range of activity and will hopefully not miss any golden opportunities. Your deer might be moving in the late morning now, or the early evening, or even in the middle of the afternoon, so don’t blow your shot by not being there to take it.
Also make sure you are playing the food sources to their optimal potential. As was mentioned earlier, cold deer generally eat more, which means your food plot will be seeing more activity than normal. If your usual treestand is nowhere near the food, you need to reevaluate and find a better position (probably permanently, but at least for the duration of the cold temperature).