From this new book from the Boone and Crockett Club, interesting weather data as reported by thousands of hunters that shot monster bucks for the record book.
–93 percent of those giants were shot on dry days; half the days were sunny, and half were overcast
–the wind was calm, 5 mph or less, on 85 percent of the days when the big bucks were killed
–8 out of 10 of the monsters were shot when the temperature was 50 degrees F or less
My take on the numbers: Regarding the 93 percent that were killed on dry days, I bet if we look deeper inside that data, we’ find a pattern that consisted of dry, high-pressure days after a cool-to-cold weather front, something I’ve blogged about a lot. Those 2-3 days after a front blows through an area are great hunting days.
While calm to low-wind days are definitely best for big bucks, I was surprised at the high 85 percent number, and the 5 mph or less. I’d have thought 10 mph or less maybe.
We all know that the cooler the better for big deer, and this data reaffirms that. However, I do add that during the very best rut days of November–those 2-4 days of the peak when old bucks are on their feet in daylight–hunt all day even if the temperature soars to 70 or more, because a buck’s desire to breed does will override the weather and all other conditions.
Confirms what I’ve always experienced (despite what outdoor writers say, sorry Mike). Deer move better when it’s dry. Fronts with precipitation put them in their bed more often than not, and they get on their feet once it passes.
For years when I was younger I believed what I had read that a light rain helps the deer hunting and you have to be in the woods because a giant might just walk by in a downpour too. After many years of hunting, I can now say that just doesn’t play out that way. Now that I can control my schedule a little more, I stay home when it’s raining, but I want to be in the stand within the hour when it lets up. The idea that you should tough it out through the nastiest conditions is hunting harder, not smarter.
It would be interesting to tie this report on temperatures to another report that would deal with time of year. Is it the temps that drive the big ones off of their caution binge or the does and the need to feed with lower temperatures? Would love to see a comparison….they may be related!
I think the rest of the guys at the lodge thought there was some science,after our third buck came back as they were just leaving the lodge to hunt….LOL…..
Stop rubbing it in Hanback.
certainly not scientific, but interesting. I sure remember the weather–a bit overcast and a little warmer than normal for northern Saskatchewan–the morning I shot my 209″ buck
Having been involved with hunter’s “remembering” weather, temps, winds, etc. when filling out affidavits I have to admit that this is a very unscientific method of recording data. Now, I know that it is data nonetheless, but sometimes hunters have to try and recall all of the pertinent information several weeks, if not months later and we all know what happens to hour human memory skills over time.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to seem like the Grinch here. I think that wet, cold days are awesome days to hunt. Esp. cool, damp days in early November when the barometer is doing the Funky Chicken with the deer and the moon is right. I’m not talking about Monsoon rains, nor am I talking about Hurricane Sandy conditions (Note: If I remember, Hanback, you reported on Sandy bucks a couple years ago???? LOL!)
At any rate, it is always interesting to see such data.
Cool study. I’m kind of surprised of half shot on sunny days. Like you said Mike the colder the better for deer movement, so maybe those days were real cold. I hunt New England states and have seen most of the big mature bucks on cloudy or rainy days with light winds. On those blue bird days all movement seems to be right at day break then turns off.
We don’t have those big ag fields like the Mid West to bring those monsters out in the open. Overcast days around here I think brings bucks from thick cedars,laurels or just brush out to edges of hardwoods,fields for possible shot. They just feel more secure even on warm days.
Agree that when the rut is in full swing you just have to be out all day, It doesn’t matter what the conditions. We found that out in N-Maine this year. We arrived to 40degrees with rain,I mean rain like today when my buddy shot a nice wide 6pts at 8am. That night the rain moved out and we woke to temps in the teens w/flurries when I shot my 12pts 7:30am. Finally the next day still in the teens and overcast my other buddy shot a nice 7pts at 7am. Later in the week we had couple inches of snow temps in the 20s light wind with 3 more buck sighted but no shots for my other two buds.
You have to be in it to win it……HAPPY HUNTING THIS SEASON……