Best Hours to Hunt Bucks (Mature Bucks)
Hundreds of hours of research has been done tracking the movement of mature bucks even with radio collars and GPS data, and the results show that regardless of the weather or moon phase most of a Mature Buck’s movement occurs at dawn & dusk hours. Experts also say Mature Bucks spend 50% of their time bedded down, and 90-95% of their time in their core areas (core areas average 60-85 acres). This sounds hard to believe, but they did the research, and you can read more about here this website link http://www.qdma.com/articles/10-things-we-know-about-mature-buck-movements If you can discover where a mature buck is bedding, you could scout around the area for a deer trail or funnel leading to or from the bedding area and attempt to cut him off in the late morning or late afternoon hours. I got a nice 8 point buck once at 11am right from his bedding area on a small hill-side. He showed up at 10:30 and his bedding area was on a hill-side that had a lot of small rubs, it was overlooking a well traveled area for does. My biggest buck ever was a 14 pointer that i tagged during the end of the rut on November 21st. This was the last Saturday before gun season. I spotted this same buck 1 week earlier 80 yards from where i got him. This buck was coming down a well used deer trail, looking for does? or going to his temporary bedding area? All season long i only sighted does coming down this trail, until this monster buck show up. If you can stay close to the does undetected you will see the bucks. I believe bucks have tempory bedding areas during the rut and return to their core areas after the rut. During the rut i have jumped or spooked a few mature bucks from their tempory beds and never seen them again that season. Scouting or searching for deer at the wrong time of the year can really hurt your chances for a mature buck, be careful where you go, and try not to educate them, or push them off your property.
According to my personal hunting data chart below, (44%) or 19 of my bucks were taken between 6-9am, and (42%) or 18 were taken between 4-7 pm. these are the dawn & dusk hours of the 4 month hunting season. My chart below is data from all size bucks from spikes to Mature Bucks.
During the peak of the rut or breeding season in November you can throw all advice out the window, since bucks at this time of the year could show up anywhere at anytime.
Best Hours to Hunt all Deer (Bucks & Does)
Nothing beats Real Life experience stats, to find out the Very Best Hours to hunt all Deer, see my hourly hunting data chart below. This data is from 125 deer harvested over 33 years from 1981-2013
As you can see below (40%) or 50 deer were taken in the first 3 hours of daylight, and (46%) or 57 deer were taken in the last 3 hours of daylight, remember it gets dark at 7 pm in the early season and 5 pm in the last season, so that’s why the last 3 hours of daylight are 3-8 pm . From my personal experience the Very Best 2 hours to hunt deer is the first hour of daylight and last hour of daylight, these are truly the two “Golden Hours” to hunt.
B.B. on this chart stands for Button Bucks, i try to avoid these at all cost now, but i have mistaken them for does when hunting in the late season when all deer very look close to the same size.
Note: If you are an inexperienced or first time hunter, its best to stick to the morning time hunts, because it gives you all day to track or find your deer. It’s not fun looking for a deer after dark and getting out of the woods is more difficult in the dark. I personally prefer morning hunts over afternoon hunts for these very same reasons.
Good Luck, and i hope this information is helpful in planning what time you go deer hunting.
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