I know this isn’t a revolutionary idea and if you pay much attention to hunting literature or magazines you’ve heard it before too. But it’s worth repeating. If you want to harvest a mature buck during the rut, one of the most important things you can do is hunt all day. Don’t fall prey to the allure of hot food, a nap next the the fire and welcome relief from the cold. You’ve got to set your priorities and if your priority is to put the sneak on a big one, you’ve got to put in the time, at the right time. During the rut we all know that deer can move at any time of day and specifically during the midday hours mature bucks seem to move the most. This secondary movement pattern very well could be related to the exodus of hunters from the woods come midday, but you’ll need to buck the trend if you really want to get a chance at a rutting giant. In addition to just regular rutting behavior, cold weather, cloud cover and rain can all increase the amount of midday movement you’ll see.
That being said, what are my tips for hunting all day? I’ve already put in a couple all day sits this year and as many of us know, it’s not easy. But there are supplies you can pack to help make the time more enjoyable. I like to bring a small paperback book to quietly read occasionally, but remember to very frequently look up and scan your surroundings. I also pack a lunch, snacks and a couple drinks. And maybe the most important piece of gear I bring is a good seat cushion. If you’re not comfortable in your stand, you’ll never last 12 or 13 hours.
All that being said, there is no better time to be in the woods than the next couple weeks, so pack some supplies, get comfortable and stay on stand all day. It might be tough, but if you’re dedicated to this mission, you’re reward will be well worth it.