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When is the Best time to Hunt Deer in the Fall?

Posted by Scot Mills on Sep 24, 2018 7:52:48 AM

    

Ten point buck white tail deer laying in open grass field

Cool, crisp mornings, warm afternoons, and long shadows can only mean one thing: Time to hunt! 

However, you likely only have a few precious vacation days to bag your buck, which makes maximizing your potential for success a top priority. This is why you need to know what season and time of day is best to hunt. 

And, of course, having the proper equipment (polarized sunglasses, anyone?) is of key importance.

To help you in both categories, here is what you need to know about the best time of day and season to hunt deer, and where to get the best affordable sunglasses for your adventure. 

Why Fall is Best

Of course, even if deer hunting did happen in the warmer months, it just wouldn't be the same. There would be no crisp mornings sipping coffee around the campfire, and who would want to eat a lean critter that hasn't had time to fatten up for the winter?

And, this is why even if we could hunt deer year-round, we would probably still wait for fall, when the fawns are grown, the racks are full, and the meat is at its tastiest. 

What Time of Day is Best?

When it comes to which time of day is best to hunt, you need to understand the daily habits and patterns of deer. However, these patterns change throughout the season, which is why you also need to consider whether you prefer hunting in the early, mid, or late season. 

So far as daily patterns, these usually involve eating habits. For instance, deer are primarily nocturnal, which means they begin foraging for food in the late afternoon/early evening. And, while they tend to be reckless and unwary when migrating to where there's food (something we can all relate to...), once they begin grazing, their guard goes up, and your ability to stalk them goes down.  

Likewise, when they are winding down in the early morning (usually from around 6-10 am), they tend to be more lethargic and unwary as they prepare to go to sleep. 

Midday can also find them strolling out for a "midnight" snack. Their least active time tends to be between around 1:30-3:30 pm, so skip that part of the day!

However, patterns and habits change throughout the season, which is why you also need to consider what part of the hunting season - early, mid or late - is best for your success:

  • Early - Early in the fall, deer have not yet become aware of anything other than ripening grasses and seeds to fatten up on. This is when their behavior is most predictable, and concentrating your hunting time to the early evening or early-to-mid morning should increase your luck. 
  • Mid - By around mid-season, bucks go into rut. And, much like testosterone fueled teenagers, their ability to make decisions isn't at its best during this period, making them unwary of anything other than eligible lady deer--including hunters. Unfortunately, this is also the most popular time to hunt, so be ready for crowds!
  • Late - As the season winds down, bucks may still be under the influence of love hormones, though food is also becoming scarce. Feeding territories are likely to expand with availability, although there are also fewer hunters out late in the season. This means you not only have the woods to yourself, but there is a higher probability that deer will let their guard down. Remember too that it is colder at this time, so morning-to-afternoon hunting will keep you in the warmest part of the day. Plus, hot toddies around the campfire are better at this time of year!

Finally

Bagging a buck means understanding the feeding and travel habits of deer, and by understanding when is the best time of day and season to hunt, you can vastly improve your odds of filling your freezer this fall. 

A good pair of Pugs affordable sunglasses is essential for your time in the woods, since without them, game is harder to spot and glare can hinder your ability to draw a bead on a prize buck. However, the best affordable sunglasses don't need to be the most expensive or least-stylish - we've got the perfect pair for you and your hunt. 

So get ready to bag your buck - your Pugs adventure awaits!

Topics: Hunting