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Deer During the Day

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Mencius, Dec 14, 2012.

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  1. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    I have, almost exclusively up until a few weeks ago, hunted deer from a tree stand. Typically the stands I hunt look over the edge of a field that is planted in whatever the farmer plants that year. I have also been in some stands in the woods that look over little food plots and the like. I have hunted most different times of the day but found probably 85% of the deer I see come out late in the day, just before dark, and the rest come out first thing in the morning.

    My question is, what are deer doing from, say, 2 hours after sunrise to about 2 hours before sunset? I know they are not wandering around the fields where I hunt at least. Are they bedding down or just meandering through the woods?

    THe main reason I am asking is because I just recently started walking through the woods hunting deer. I have only been a couple times, and really like it. Each time I have been so far I have started right at sunrise and went for up to 4.5 hours. I have not bagged any yet, but have had a shot I passed on.

    I guess I just want to know what do you think I would come across if I went during the middle of the day. My main reason for asking is because I am not going to have a chance to go out until probably early afternoon this weekend and was wondering if that would be a waste of time. I will probably try it no matter what, but just wanted to see what the consensus was.
     
  2. wyohome

    wyohome Member

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    Finding bedding areas, and ambushing from above has proven effective for me.
     
  3. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Don`t cut your day short. If you have nothing else to do..stay out.
    Deer season comes but once a year so keep after it. You can`t learn a thing back at the house. The more you go,the more you see. Hopefully.
    Remember,it`s called hunting for a reason.........
     
  4. gspn

    gspn Member

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    You cant kill them from your couch...stay out there!

    I have seen LOTS of deer...many big bucks too...in the middle of the day. They will get up and move around every few hours. Sometimes it will be in the woods...sometimes theyll come to the fields...just stay put there and you will find them.

    I killed a big ol mature 9 point one day as he tried to sneak across a choke point on a field at HIGH NOON! He was only going to be on that field for 20 seconds given his direction and speed...just stay out there and keep alert.
     
  5. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    It depends on the time of year. During the rut, they're out looking to get some action. Shot my deer this year still hunting just before 1 PM. Pretty sure he was out looking for some tail cause there was no chance that he didn't hear us moving. Based on where we were though he possibly thought we were a doe at his scrape.

    I know that back home (NW FL, S AL) during the day they're usually moving between areas or foraging well back off the beaten path.

    ETA: My buddy growing up used to kill a goodly number of large deer by finding a busy trail back in the bottoms and climbing waaaaay up a tree 50-75 yards away and sitting and reading a book all day listening for movement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    They usually bed down in hollows during the day, hidden, and camoflaged by brush, trees, etc. Like someone else said if you can set up near where they bed down, remain still, and hidden you can bag one during broad daylight. You're right, being diurnal their movement patterns do cycle during the day, mainly around dawn and dusk. I know guys that only hunt during those times, but I think they are missing out on some good opportunities, especially if you do your scouting prior to deer season and know where they roam, what trails they use, and where they bed down.
     
  7. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Early in the season the deer follow the feed cycles (solunar) pretty much. Catching them heading back to a bedding area about 30-60 minutes after the feed time is the most productive method for me. When the cold fronts start to come through, they load up on groceries prior to the front. After it clears out is the worst day to hunt .. clear skies, crisp cold NW wind is when they generally lay up for a day or so and only feed very close to the bedding area. During the rut all bets are off. Bucks are traveling looking for hot does and can be anywhere, anytime.
     
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Some of the bigger deer are killed mid-day. My largest was taken at 1PM. Killed my bear at 4PM, 2 hours before sundown.

    After a while the smarter, older deer start to pattern hunters and learn to move when fewer hunters are in the woods. Which means mid-day.

    I too see more deer early and late, but see more big ones in between.

    I hunt a lot of public land. Much of the time a 2+ hour drive. I used to get up at 3 AM and try to be in the woods at sunup and hunt till about 10-11 AM Since I also had to drive back home I rarely hunted after lunch so I was spending more time driving than hunting.

    I started sleeping later, and getting in the woods at 9-10 AM and hunting till 4 PM or so. Got more time in hunting and a lot more sleep.
     
  9. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    As I am disabled, I hate to get going in the morning. Still up &out by 8am. I have found that the deer are out all day! If you are already out why go back in? Even in storms! I have. done some of my best hunting during storms. The noise of the storm let's you walk &stalk. It beats watching someone else bring in that big buck!
     
  10. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    Yup... they like to sleep through the middle of the day.... but old bucks still gotta get outta bed every couple hours to go pee. Most y'all should already know this. :p
     
  11. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Well, during a typical day in the Sonoran desert, the (Coues) whitetails are bedded down on the sunny side of a ridgeline, under a scrub oak or mountain laurel or something shady, where they can see for a long way.

    Makes still hunting and sneaking up on a decent buck quite a challenge!
     
  12. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    I have shot a lot of deer at 11:00 am and 3PM. shot two bucks at 3:00 pm this season.
    They will eat all night til about 9:30 or so but you will catch them moving 10-11:00 am. the trick is to find their travel corridors. My buddy found a pinch point and the action didnt even turn on til 9:00 am, it was a natural funnel between crops and bedding area. I do know that the guys that are able to stay on stand all day are the ones that get the best deer. deer bed down on the edge of the cut crop fields and open areas and watch everything durring daylight. They see you coming and going, sometimes you can make them forget you climbed into your tree stand 90 minutes before dark but the guys that have been there all day will always have the edge.
     
  13. Cocked & Locked
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    Cocked & Locked Member

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    Good Point! :scrutiny:
     
  14. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Deer have become nocturnal basically from hunting pressure. Humans are their dominate predator and the only one that cannot see in the dark. That is why in areas where they are hunted, they are most active during darkness and low light periods. That does not mean they are completely inactive during daylight hours. In areas where there is little hunting or no hunting pressure, deer can be just as active during the day as during darkness. Even in areas of heavy pressure they will get up and move in the middle of the day, to relieve themselves, reposition themselves because of changes in wind direction/weather or to get closer to their evening feeding location. But they do not move as fast or as far. It may only be a matter of a few yards or less. Other factors such as the rut will make even the wariest deer move at anytime of the day.....buck or doe. This is why the rut is considered the best time to be in the woods. Other factors such as extreme weather either in the near future or just past, will also drive deer out to feed during the middle of the day. Sometimes a full moon all night will have deer moving in the middle of the day. As will fog or a heavy rain/snowfall....think low light. These are the times when sitting in stand may produce anytime during the day. Other than that, you best chance to kill a deer in the middle of the day, by yourself, is to still hunt. Deer that are bedded down are harder to spot and stalk, but are easier to get close to without being detected. Deer that are already up outta their beds can easily walk around you without you ever knowing they are there. Deer bedded will many times continue to stay bedded even after detecting you, knowing that most hunters will quickly walk by if they remain still. The secret is to go slow, know the area, either by previous knowledge or easily available terrain maps and be ready. If all you are seeing is tails, you are moving too fast. If you are sweating, you are moving too fast. If you are seeing fresh sign and nuttin else....you are moving too fast.
     
  15. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    What they're doing during the day is a delicate subject.:D
     
  16. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The daytime bed-down is why I've had so much fun in walking-hunting (fairly open country, not thick forest). I walk in areas which are likely bedding areas. Kick bucky out of bed and if he's worth shooting, take him. :)

    Gotta work the wind and understand the country and bucky's general behavior, of course.
     
  17. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    All of the deer I have shot, I have shot around mid day. 11:00-2:00.

    All of them were on the move. None of them were being run by dogs...although 1 of them might have been disturbed by some off in the distance.

    My dad says most of the deer he has shot have been around lunch time.


    Even when I am out hunting something other than deer, I see them moving during the day.


    I think you will more likely see them come out into the fields during dusk and early morning, but I have seen plenty of deer moving through fields in the middle of the day as well.
     
  18. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Member

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    The last two that I got were past 3pm and before 9am.
    However most taken by my friends have been taken between 11am and 3pm.
    So it's unpredictable in my opinion. But stalking has always been more productive than stand hunting where I hunt.
     
  19. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    Something I want to try more often...but our woods are not only crowded, but they are full of dogs. I've tried it some on week days though. No success, but I do like to explore the woods. You can find some interesting stuff back there.
     
  20. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    If you have a chance to take a look at the solunar tables you will see that the hours of peak activity vary. There is routine but it changes a bit from day to day.

    The deer I took this year was feeding in a cottonwood stand at 3:30 along with several other deer.
     
  21. Win73

    Win73 Member

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    I shot this one at 2:30 last Tuesday. It had rained that morning. It was still overcast and misting rain when I shot it.

    1.jpg
     
  22. Cocked & Locked
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    Cocked & Locked Member

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  23. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    My biggest and for that fact several of the mature bucks I've killed over the years have between the hours of 10:AM and 2: PM.
     
  24. heeler

    heeler Member

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    I agree with Sav .250.
    Stay out all day and by all means bring a lunch with you.
    Last week while out hunting I took a drive around the 4,000 acre ranch I hunt and around 1:30 p.m. I saw all manner of deer up and feeding.

    Win73,great signature line.
    I had just about forgot about old Luke's sage advice.
     
  25. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    Most of the deer I've killed have been between 9am and 11am while still hunting (walking).
     
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