As we advance toward the “pre-rut” stage of the hunting season, one of the most important factors to pay attention to (as it is at most times of year), is the forecast. Changes in weather at this time can really get deer action moving and that’s exactly what our guest post today from Chase Burns focuses on, as he explores the long-range forecast and what it could mean for hunters in the weeks to come. One thing to note, the forecast Chase speaks to is relevant to those of us in the Midwest, but be sure to take a look at your own local forecast and see if you can apply some of his insights to whatever weather is on the way in your neck of the woods! – MK
By Chase Burns
Weather forecasts change constantly as the predictions draw nearer to present, but as a die-hard whitetail hunter, I can’t help but keep a watchful eye on what meteorologists are saying this time of year. Like most of you, I’ve had my fingers and toes crossed for a major cold front to roll through in the last 10 days of October, to put gas on the proverbial fire of mature buck movement. Doesn’t look like we’ll be so lucky this year, with most of the forecasts in the midwest calling for warmer than average temps. But holy smokes, take a look at Halloween weekend! If you are a bowhunter, in the central midwest and you have anything else on your calendar that weekend, first of all – get your head checked. What are you doing making plans the first weekend of November that don’t revolve around hunting?!? And, secondly, CANCEL THEM. Let there be no excuses. Honey-dos be damned. That will be the time to hit those super high-traffic pinches and remote honey hole stands that you’ve been saving for ‘when the getting’s good’. Don’t miss it!
Research has shown that mature buck movements are actually significantly higher during the pre-rut, than they are during the rut. Additionally, studies have indicated that daytime buck activity increases substantially on days when the high temperature falls to between 10-18% below the historical average temp for that date. Couple that with the ‘spunk’ it puts in any animal’s step, when there is a sudden drop in temps from the preceding days or week, that weekend could be the best shot you have all season at putting an arrow through a mature whitetail.
In addition, there will be a couple mini-fronts moving through that should offer slightly better than average deer movement, and I’m not saying they shouldn’t be hunted, so don’t freak out. I mean, it’s late October – you’ve been waiting all year to be 20 feet up, with a bow in-hand. You’re entitled to spend more than a few days this season in the woods hoping for success. Watch for notable drops in barometric pressure to signal a small front moving through, if the temps are still holding steadily above average. Good cloud cover usually accompanies those conditions, which helps hold cooler temps from the night a little later into the morning. The morning of Tuesday, October 28th should be pretty good. And, if you have a good rain suit, or if the showers miss your area on Halloween Day (Friday the 31st), you better gear up for an exciting sit.
So, the stage is set for Halloween weekend. Get your honey-dos hammered out in the next week and half, and tell the wife that she and the kids will have to go discount pumpkin shopping without you on Saturday the 1st. Seriously, unless you’re having a baby that weekend, the woods are calling, and you must answer!
Like I said, forecasts are always changing as fronts sometimes inexplicably slow, or stall out. So, it should go without mention that we’ll have to keep that watchful eye on the updated predictions and adjust accordingly. But, if you’re like me and always have a full schedule, you need to start making plans based on the best info we have and, presently, that’s saying that this could be the best Halloween weekend we’ve seen in years.
– Chase Burns
(FYI: You can enjoy another great article from Chase in eBook #1 of our Rules of the Rut 2.0 package!)
Want more information on how weather can affect your hunting in the weeks to come? Check out the following articles/blog posts/podcasts from Wired To Hunt!