Best Hunting Times for Whitetail Deer

Best times for whitetail deer hunting?

When it comes to deer hunting, there is never a bad time to be outdoors and in the woods. Being an avid deer hunter, I always get asked two questions by other hunters: “What the best deer hunting times?,” and “How often do you deer hunt all day long?” Although I thoroughly enjoy deer hunting, I have to admit that I do not typically hunt throughout the day, at least for the most part. However, on occasion I have toughed it out with great results.

In general, I think the best time to be out deer hunting is in the morning even though I’ve had good success in the evenings as well. In fact, I’ve had better success in the evenings lately, having harvested 3 of my last 4 bucks during the last hour of daylight. But this is a matter of opinion. Both are great deer hunting times because deer are crepuscular, meaning they move mostly during the early morning and late evening.

Some days though I will hunt all day, but not necessarily sit in a stand, or at least the same stand, all day. On these days, I start in a stand overlooking a feeder, then by late morning after peak feeding time I will still-hunt bedding areas or set up over rub-lines and scrapes. As mid-day approaches I will move and set up over watering holes when its warm, but then back to a stand and/or feeder by mid-afternoon until dark.

Knowing the best deer hunting time for your area comes with experience. Different properties hunt differently because deer may use some lands for feeding, some for bedding, and some just as travel corridors to other areas. Learn the lay of the land and really identify why deer are using your area. If you can figure this out, then you can pattern animals and focus your deer hunting efforts to be the most productive.

Also, watch deer and determine when the rut occurs in your area. It is generally about the same time each year. If ever their was a best deer hunting time, the rut is it. On the days I have hunkered down in stands all day long, it was during the rut. Bucks will keep after does all day long and keep them moving. Just prior to the rut, you can also rattle, use deer decoys, and become quite vocal in an attempt to lure in a big, gnarly buck.

In essence, there is no bad time to be out deer hunting. However, certain times will pay bigger dividends. You’re best bet is knowing the pattern of the deer on your property, for feeding, traveling, and rutting, and then hunting those times.

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