The whitetail rut is easily my favorite time of year. It can be one of the easiest, as well as one of the hardest times to kill a whitetail buck. Typically, if the deer were on any sort of pattern leading up to the rut, they will go completely away from that when the time to chase does comes along. When this happens, the best times to see your shooter bucks can be any time, and at any place. Here’s my take on my favorite times to hunt whitetails.
Daylight Movement During The Rut
In a study performed by Texas Parks and Wildlife, it was discovered that the peak movement times by whitetail bucks were between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., as well as between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
So what this tells us is that if you’re heading in early to go grab some breakfast, odds are you are leaving at one of the best times to see that buck up and on his feet. There are certainly other factors that come into play, like moon phases, cold fronts, etc.
Another thing to consider is that if your deer aren’t showing up on camera, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Depending on what stages of the rut the deer are in, they could very well be laying just a few hundred yards from that camera at any point in time. When this is the case, some would argue that’s one of the best times to hunt whitetails, as they shrink their area when they lock down.
The Best Time Is All The Time
Personally, I have seen as much if not more buck movement mid-day as any other time. If the deer are locked down, that late morning to early afternoon movement could be the only time your buck gets up the entire day.
I know it gets cold and boring, but if you wear enough layers, and pack plenty of snacks, an all-day sit is in your best interest. Some of the best hunting comes after everyone else has gotten down, and drove back to the house. You’d be surprised how many deer you will see moving at those times that the other hunters are stomping through the woods to get back to the truck.
Long story short, if you want to increase your odds of laying eyes on a shooter buck, spend more time in the woods. I can’t guarantee that you’re going to shoot more big bucks if you sit all day, but you darn sure will have better chances of it.
The best times to kill a whitetail deer can always vary, so give the all-day sits a try. See if you don’t find yourself catching big bucks on the move when you’d normally be eating breakfast or lunch back at the cabin.
To read more about the TPW study, see: https://www.petersenshunting.com/editorial/daylight-deer-movement-during-rut-/378659