Quite simply there is no real best time to hunt deer. What do you think? Is that answer to your deer hunting question, good enough? Let us guess, your saying, WTH! Are you kidding me? or Ugh, what kind of answer is that! Well, hold on here. Give us a few more seconds to help explain. The best answer to the question: What is the Best Time to Hunt Deer, is just not a simple question to answer. There are just way too many factors that come into play when thinking about deer hunting, and the best time to hunt deer - it's just not a simple hunting question to answer.

Things to Consider When Hunting Deer...

Location, Location, Location

Whitetails are found all over the United States. They are most abundant in the Midwest and Southeast, and they can be found in the Rocky Mountain states, as well. If you want to increase your chances of tagging one, or better yet; dropping a trophy deer, it is important to know where they are located in your state.

Its best if you can network with other deer hunters, hang out at your local sporting goods store, or join some deer hunting groups on social media sites to learn more about where the best concentration of deer are located in your given hunting area.

Moon Phase and Tidal Calendar (AKA - Solunar Theory)

The "Solunar Theory" was something that John Alden Knight created in 1926. Wikipedia says this about Solunar Theory, ". . .Solunar tables are tables that fishermen and hunters use to determine the best days of the month and times of the day for catching fish and hunting game."

The fact that the movement of animals is affected by the position and fullness of the moon is a widely accepted and adopted theory by today’s hunters and even scientists. So, by making use of solunar theory apps for your mobile phone, hardcopy books, or paper solunar theory journals can greatly transform your deer hunting game. 

Solunar Theory - When To Hunt Deer

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Seasonality, It’s The Time of the Year

The activity of whitetail deer changes with the seasons and the time of the day. The earlier it is in the deer hunting season, the less likely you are to see much deer movement as there is very little competition for food and other natural resources.

However, what many deer hunters call the "peak-week." Also, formally known as, “The Rut,” is oftentimes one of the best times for deer hunters to bag a trophy buck. The deer activity for both bucks and does increases drastically. Which makes deer activity the highest in the latter part of the fall or during firearms gun deer season, when there is high competition between mature bucks for does coming into estrus for the whitetail deer breeding season.

Watch the Clock - Time of Day

The most active times for whitetail deer occur in the early morning hours and late afternoon. These times of day are most often when the deer are moving from feeding areas to the bedding area and from bedding areas to feeding areas where they'll remain and move frequently throughout the night.

These hunting times are when deer hunters can expect to see the most deer movement in your hunting area. The wind will play a large role in the direction that deer move. If the wind is blowing out of your favor, then you can expect that deer will be moving more toward the wind than away from it.  So, as a rule of thumb, you'll always want to deer hunt with the wind in your face.

Hot or Cold, The Temperature Matters

Temperature and other weather conditions can have a huge impact on the movement of deer. Whitetail Deer generally prefer to move during colder weather and past studies on deer movement have shown that warmer temps seem to greatly affect deer movement in a negative manner, causing them to move a lot less.

So, using this knowledge many hunters make the best of hunting the times of day when the deer are most likely to be active. The deer tend to be most active at dawn and dusk, when the sun is sitting low in the sky, thus providing a cooler environment for the deer to actively move about.

Cold Temperatures Deer Hunting

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Don't Pressure Me - Atmospheric Pressure, also known as "Barometric Pressure"

Some hunters believe that barometric pressure has effects on deer movement, while others yet believe that the entire theory is junk science or old wives’ tales.

Whichever stand you take on the issue. Science has proven that "Barometric Pressure" has a definite effect on both human beings and beasts alike.

Studies have shown that whitetail deer are very sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and the resulting atmospheric conditions. These studies have proven that deer will sleep, eat and move according to the movement of the barometer.

For example - A high, stable barometer is good for deer hunting. The reason for this is simple. If the barometric pressure is falling, generally heavy winds pursue, and the possibility of a storm is brewing. These types of weather conditions strongly inhibit the movement of deer.

Such weather conditions as high winds or stormy weather stifle deer movement for obvious reasons. Plus, the deer that do decide to move during these weather conditions quite often become very nervous, which makes them very hard to hunt due to their quick movements and overall extra cautious behavior.

Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

One of the main factors to take into consideration when choosing the best hunting times is the overall general weather conditions. Whitetail deer are smart, like humans (well, some humans). :') They (the deer) will seek shelter during harsh weather conditions and will also seek out feeding when there is little or no present danger presented by the weather. So, if the weathercaster is forecasting a hunting day of Cloudy with a Chance of Rain. That might just be a good day to hit your favorite deer hunting spot.

Blow Me Away - Hunt the Wind

Hunting is a lot like a game of chess. It requires you to have the right equipment and know the right times to hunt. But, let us not forget about the wind. The wind can be an enemy to deer and hunters depending on which one is using the wind in their favor.

Deer have noses that are extremely sensitive, and they know every smell in the woods. As a matter of fact, a whitetail deer can smell your presence from a mile away if the wind is blowing in their direction.

There are estimates that the whitetail deer's ability to smell is about 10,000 times stronger than a human's.

So, do not forget when determining the best hunting times, and the best hunting locations it's very important to evaluate the wind's strength and direction prior to heading out into the woods.

Deer Hunting In The Wind

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Key Points to Remember

During the rut, deer become active at all hours of the day, so it's hard to follow the rules we've discussed here-in. However, the vast majority of what we have talked about is still true and good to follow. But, during the rut you must take note that some of these rules just go out the window, per say.

A deer's body is finely tuned to the weather and its conditions. They have a remarkable sense of when severe weather is coming. So, a key takeaway is during the days prior to a severe storm, deer will feed and move more actively. If you live in a deer hunting region that sees frequent storms in the fall, keep these weather patterns in mind as they might broaden the peak times or cause an influx of deer movement in and around your hunting locations.

Hunters can experience deer hunting success by taking a day or two off of work. As the prime times for deer movement are sunrise and sunset. And since these times align perfectly before and after a normal workday, makes those times the best time to hunt deer. So, a day off of work in exchange for a day of deer hunting is the perfect excuse to call into work for a sick day.

Most hunters are accustomed to hunting the weekends. So, if you can afford to take a day off of work to deer hunt or your work schedule permits it; you can always try your hand at hitting the deer woods at the peak times of early in the morning before sunrise, or later in the evening prior to sunset during the weekdays.

This is when most other hunters are stuck at their daily jobs. Thus, allowing you the freedom of hunting the times of day when the deer are not used to experiencing much hunting pressure. Which gives you an added advantage over other hunters and a better chance of dropping a trophy buck.

In Conclusion

Whatever you decide is the best time to deer hunt is totally up to you and your hunting schedule. The main thing to remember is to just make sure to get out there in the deer woods and enjoy the hunting season before the hunting season is over.

Now sit back, pour yourself a hot cup of coffee, and drop us a comment below about what is the Best Time to Hunt Deer? What deer hunting times have worked best for you? Let us know in the comments.

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