Five Best Times to Hunt
by Train Hunt Eat
This is an interesting question that I get asked on an “almost” daily basis. What is the best time to hunt? If you ask 100 people, you will get similar answer. The three most common answers are, early morning, evening, when the weather front moves in. There really is no wrong answer. The answer a lot of times are these three scenarios. However, lets investigate this deeper.
In my opinion, Realtree has one of the better articles associated with The Best Time to Hunt in the Article 10 Best Times to Deer Hunt by Josh HoneyCutt (March, 2019). In this article, I am going to explain the best times to hunt based on my personal experience and research.
Five Best Times to Hunt
- Hunt When You Can – For me, this is the #1, numero uno, or any other way to say, the most important. The best time to hunt is to hunt when you can. I live a busy life, besides being the owner of Train Hunt Eat, parent or three, husband, I work out every day, try to eat right. As a matter of fact, I am a daddy uber, line cook, executive, business owner, etc. Does that make me special, no. What that does make me is a person with limited time. So, for me, the best time to hunt is when I can. That maybe three hours before a soccer game or during an extended lunch break, etc. It maybe during a major weather event, it really does not matter when the best time to hunt is, the best time to hunt is the time that I am blessed to be in the woods.
- When a Front Move through – Deer are survivors, they are animals. There two jobs in this world that they were given were to survive and breed. It is that simple. To survive, deer or any animal will need the nourishment to get then through the next day. Put your animal hat on or put yourself in a survival scenario with a major weather front coming through. You are going to seek and fill that tummy with food right before the weather front as you have no real sense of how long or how bad it will be. You are also going to break pattern right after the front to refuel. Therefore, that 12 to 24 hours before a front begins to move in and when the front or storm subsides will be optimal time for animal survival and a great time….if you can…be in the woods.
- Minor Weather Events – According to HonetCutt (March 2019), “Non-front-related weather events, such as pop-up showers and storms, will encourage deer to move as well. If these minor weather events occur within the first or last few hours of daylight, it seems to have an even bigger effect on whitetails (n.p.).” Based on my personal experience, I have always found that within one hour of a light rain, snow, or wind event, deer will be on their feet foraging for food. Putting my biologist hat on, I have no real reason other than this is when I have been in the stand as seen some success.
- Early Morning and/or Late Evening – Lets go back to the survival scenario. Animals are on the earth to survive and breed/thrive. To survive, an animal will need to use their senses to the best of their ability. Deer and deer species have an advantage in the early dawn and late dusk time periods. This is the time when deer see the bests. Therefore, there is no surprise that deer will be feeding and moving in the morning and evening when their eyes have been adapted for optimal operation.
- Opening Day – This is subjective to hunting pressure. If you are hunting public land, deer or animal activity will switch from normal patterns to a nocturnal pattern based on hunting pressure. If you hunt an area that will have a decent amount of pressure, get out their EARLY on opening day.
We can factor in all the scenarios to make our hunts more successful or to increase our chances of encountering that once in a lifetime encounter. However, a hunter still needs to put the time and effort in to fine tune their craft to make sure they can execute the most ethical shot. We are stewards to the land and advocates of the animals that we hunt. Make the best of your hunt and conduct yourself in a professional way.