Got Nighttime Deer Movement?October 21st, 2016 by Matt Dye
During this portion of the season many folks experience limited daylight deer movement. It can be frustrating to see hit listers on camera only during the cover of darkness. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How do I hunt these deer?”
There isn’t a clear cut answer that will result in harvesting a nocturnal buck. Below are the techniques we use when hunting nocturnal bucks.
One of the first things we do is cut the distance. We have designated sanctuaries at The Proving Grounds. Much of the bedding occurs within these areas throughout a season. When a mature buck has a nocturnal pattern we start to back track his movements. By using terrain features and known deer trails the preferred bedding areas can be located. Once we’ve pinpointed travel routes to and from the bedding area, we hang a Summit. By cutting the distance close to the bedding area the odds drastically increase.
Next, we sit and wait for the right weather. Cold fronts generally get deer up and moving earlier than usual. This is the time to slip into this stand and hunt, hopefully catching the nocturnal buck on his feet during daylight hours.
Another option, simply wait. If a buck is traveling through an area that is unapproachable then wait! Knowing when to hunt is often just as important as knowing when not to hunt. As the rut nears bucks will begin to travel more. Research out of Pennsylvania has shown bucks travel nearly three times as much during November as they do in October. With that being said, that same nocturnal buck will become more visible during daylight hours. To put the odds in your favor, it’s best to locate a heavily used pinch point in the area. Now you are in the best location to observe the increase in deer activity. Waiting until conditions are favorable is often the quickest way to success.
Remember, pressuring deer only makes them more nocturnal.
If trail cameras are lighting up after the sun has set, there is still hope! Depending on the buck’s core area and travel routes these hunting strategies can keep you in the game. Don’t give up on a nocturnal buck, there is a time and place when that deer will become harvestable.