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Seven Things to Know About Temperature and Deer Activity

September 26, 2011
Seven Things to Know About Temperature and Deer Activity - 0

Fall is my favorite time of year, with the leaves changing color to brilliant yellow and crimson red and those frosty clear mornings that give way to comfortable, 60-degree days.  It never gets old and it never lasts long enough. With fall comes a change of temperature and weather. It’s no secret that this has a big impact on whitetail deer activity.

After years of studying Boone and Crockett harvest data, I've been able to pattern certain trends in temperature and deer activity. Regardless of the region you hunt or time of year, here are some interesting facts about how temperature affects deer activity...

1. If your forecasted temperature is 5 to 10 degrees below your historical average, deer activity will increase by 30 to 55 percent.

2. There are dry temperatures and wet temperatures. Deer prefer humidity between 40 and 50 percent. If it’s 70 degrees out and the humidity is 70 percent, there won’t be much daylight activity even if you’re 5 degrees below average temperature as stated above.


3. Watch your morning and evening temperatures in conjunction with the dew point.  If they’re within 3 degrees or less of each other, records show a harvest increase and activity spikes. 


4. In early season, you will see scrape activity begin or increase on days that have lows in the 40-degree range or less for 3 or more consecutive days.


5. Days after two or more consecutive hard frosts  (27 degrees or lower) will see an increase in feeding and browsing, especially on food plots.


6. Watch your weather forecast temperatures, if you see a quick rise in temperature forecast (10 degrees or more in 24 hours), hunt the PM before the increase, there's a good chance a front is passing and the barometer is rising.


7. Logic tells us that on warm days it's better to hunt cover areas, closer to bedding and water sources.  On Cool days, hunt food sources, transition zones and scrape and rub lines.

I hope some of these tips will help you afield.  Follow temperature forecasts and deer activity predictions for your area on OutdoorLife.com/weather.

Photo: Chauncey Davis

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