Daylight action is really ramping up now.
We’re at the end of October. Halloween is here, and some of the best deer hunting of the year arrives with it. Observing the region at a glance, daylight activity has really increased the past couple days, thanks in part to the nearing rut and lower temperatures. Rubbing and scraping activity are nearing their peak, which will top out in the next week or so. While most of the actual breeding activity still won’t occur for another week or two, a few older does are entering estrus now.
HeadHunters TV’s Nate Hosie recently hunted Kansas and Missouri. “As hunters, we know October can be hit or miss,” Hosie said. “In my opinion, the biggest factor is the weather. We caught a few cold fronts, and on several hunts, saw some heavy chasing, which kind of took us by surprise. However, those first couple cold fronts of fall can be special. We were fortunate to punch some tags thanks to some great farms, hard work, and a little bit of help from the good Lord.”
In southeastern Iowa, Midwest Whitetail’s Josh Sparks says they are right on the cusp of things breaking loose. “Crop fields are being harvested and the deer activity has ramped up significantly,” he said. “New bucks are showing up weekly, and scrapes have been on fire the last few days. Younger bucks have begun nudging does around. It’s a great time to target a local mature buck trying to find that first hot doe. Still seeing deer on acorns, but green fields and freshly picked grain fields have become hot spots.”
Down to Illinois, Winchester’s Nathan Robinson says mature deer are still on bed-to-feed patterns, but they’re getting restless. “Last weekend, it was a bed-to-feed pattern,” he said. Even so, he didn’t see a lot of obvious rubs and scrapes, either. But the daylight activity is picking up. He’s really optimistic about this week. It’s going to be cold and high pressure. Plus, it’s the end of October and beginning of November. That helps.
Realtree Pro Staffer Tim Andrus is in south-central South Dakota at the Bolton Ranch. He started hunting on Tuesday and had a great sit. He saw a young 10, and then a stud. “A true stomper 150-class came in and worked a cedar tree at about 35 yards, but with too thick of brush for a shot,” Andrus said. “He slowly worked off. Gave him a couple light grunts, but no response. He trotted off to the combined corn to harass three does that just ignored him. Then, the weather turned to windy with fog, misting rain, and 32 degrees.”
Overall, November is knocking on the door. And the best cold front of the year arrives with it. So, be in a tree this week and weekend. The big bucks are about to roam.