What's best time of day to hunt during rut? - Deer Hunting Forums

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Old 11-10-2009, 08:54 AM
concort concort is offline
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Default What's best time of day to hunt during rut?

I have been hunting afternoons into the evening in my spot and haven't really been seeing anything. Is it better in the morning or afternoon/evening to hunt rutting deer? What is the more likelihood of seeing some tail (w/horns)? Has anyone noticed a heavier traffic pattern during one time period vs another?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

PS - Hunting deep woods, top of small mountain.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:30 AM
wmi wmi is offline
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Hunt the down wind side of your hill about 1/4 to 1/3 down from the top. Look for any small fingers that may stick out. CAREFUL these will be prime bedding areas so playing the wind and scent control is very important. Find any small trail leading from the finger to feeding areas or other known doe bedding areas. You might be able to get away with bumping him once but twice and game over. Hunt just off the edge of these fingers just far enough not to alert any deer bedding there. Stay just above them with your stand location so not to get caught in the thermos. If you do hunt early get there very early to beat them coming in to bed. If you hunt afternoons be careful not to push in too close. You will know you are in the right area by seeing rubs. Always hunt the down wind side of the hill no matter what sign you have seen. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:27 AM
concort concort is offline
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What do you mean by "Fingers"? I hunt towards the top of the mountain and yes it is the downwide side of this mountain. Wind is coming up over the top (other side of mountain) and passing me and going down the side I am hunting. I am hoping to utilize this wind pattern with my scent wicks. I am also hunting just above a deer run/trail that runs along the side of this mountain although this run is on a flat part. There are rubs near by but not right where I am (which i've found beneficial previously).

Any thoughts on this?

Thx!
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:16 PM
VAEncore VAEncore is offline
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Default Time of Day

I've seen more deer checking scrapes in the morning than in the afternoon. That said, I've seen them throughout the day.

As for thermals in hills, they usually go up in the morning and down in the late afternoon. As a rule of thumb, hunt high early and low late.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:18 PM
wmi wmi is offline
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Fingers = Points. If you have a point that has a small gut off of one side that has a more gentle slope hunt there. Very important about the 1/4 to 1/3 down from highest elevation. This area will be your thermo tunnel that bucks use to their advantage. If you pay attention this is where your larger rubs will be. (Older Deer)

Last edited by wmi; 11-10-2009 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:58 PM
MDbowhunter MDbowhunter is offline
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Here in Maryland the morning around 7 and 4pm is the best time I have been seeing bucks wondering almost every day around 2 pm
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:32 AM
jschulz jschulz is offline
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Here in Indiana the bucks are chasing in the middle of the day right now. I'm seeing more bucks between 10 & 3 right now than any other time of day.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:57 AM
deerless deerless is offline
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Mostly been seeing animals in the morning.Before 8oclock the past couple times out. Have not seen anything in the afternoon or during the day. Does not mean they are not moving though.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:07 AM
Hunting Man Hunting Man is offline
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When the rut is in full swing the place to be is in your stand all day. With that said, I don't know why but I've killed 90% of my bucks in the morning so I really like mornings. You have about 7 peak rut days followed by a secondary rut in about 30 days. It will not be as evident but it does happen. Very good advice by WMI on mountain/hill hunting. In the mornings the cold air takes your scent down and as the day warms your scent is carried up with warming air currents. Make sure you use all the good scent elimination products every day and if you work up a sweat going in to your stand carry some of your clothing and slow your walk to slow down the sweat. Once on stand spray everything again. Set your stand so that the sun doesn't blind you. Depending on the wind your scent could be hitting the ground right around you which is why you need to locate the bucks travel route and set up taking into account all the factors.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:31 PM
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Predator Predator is offline
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I like to plan on spending the entire day in the stand when the rut is in full swing. The deer can show up at any time and I want to be there when they do.
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