Trying to figure out the absolute best days to hunt? Take a look at all these factors and try to line them up accordingly.
There is a ton of information you have to put together in order to hunt the best days possible. I like to call the best days “high-value sits.” They are few and far between, but when you can line everything up, the hunt is one to remember.
Weather is the number-one predictor of deer movement. It will trump everything else I talk about from here on, and that’s why I have it listed first. What you want with weather involves a couple different things. First off, any type of cold front is going to be a preferred day for deer movement. If the temperature is below the yearly average, or there is a significant drop in temperature from one day to the next, that can be a great day to be in the stand.
The next most important factor with weather is the wind. The best days to hunt are when there’s moderate wind speed. I find that deer don’t move as much when there is zero wind, and when there is a great amount of it. Days when the wind is somewhere between 8-15mph are optimal. Another thing to look for when deciphering the wind is wind direction. Look at the forecast, and if there is a string of consistent wind directions, the day that it changes can be a great day to be in the woods.
For instance, if there are three days in a row with a North wind, and then it switches to a South wind, that day when it switches will more than likely produce better deer movement, if the temperature’s good.
Day of the Week
Believe it or not, the day of the week can have an effect on deer movement, especially if you hunt on public land. Think about it for a second: when do most people hunt? The weekends. On the weekends, there’s more hunter pressure, which leads to less deer movement. If you can slip out for a night or two during the week, those sits can be very productive.
Ultimately, weather and hunter pressure will be the foremost dictators of deer movement. But if you’re looking to add up even more factors, these couple things are worth paying attention to.
Barometric Pressure: It is widely considered by many that a high-pressure system (which is an aspect of weather) gets deer on their feet. If you can find a day during the fall when the barometer is rising, and above 30.0 Hg, that could lead to a great sit.
Moon: The moon has been debated as long as hunting has been around. There are many theories out there regarding the moon, but one that I think is worth paying attention to is the “red moon.” That is when the moon is overhead or underfoot at the time of the day that correlates with natural feeding times for deer. The theory is that deer will be on their feet earlier on these days, and that is something worth paying attention to.
Time of the Year: The time of the year can have a major effect on deer movement. If you are planning a week of vacation, the reason most people do it during November is the rut. They’re right to do that; it is the time of the year you ought to see the most deer, regardless of everything else.
If you’ve been asking yourself lately when the best time to hunt is, or when you should take that sick day to hit the woods, take a look at these factors, and try to line up as many variables in your favor as possible. That’s the game we play with deer, stacking the odds in your favor and hoping they turn out as we want!