Today while perusing the local grocery store, I made my weekly pilgrimage to the magazine rack. I’m always on the prowl for the newest issue of Deer & Deer Hunting, North American Whitetail or one of the other great hunting publications that grace the shelves. Well I came upon an interesting article on hunting early season whitetails by Bill Winke in Petersen’s Bowhunting (if my memory serves me correctly). And in this article, Bill made an interesting point that I wanted to share with you. Here’s what he said, in regards to how he uses his trailcams in the early season.

“You need to know what bucks are nocturnal, which ones are mostly nocturnal and which ones often travel by day. Obviously, the daytime travelers are the ones we want to see. Don’t be duped into thinking you can hunt an area where a strictly nocturnal buck is living and somehow he will move during daylight just to oblige you. I have fallen for that temptation too many times. I won’t let it happen again. All I did in those cases was needlessly over-hunt the buck’s core area at a time when he was not vulnerable. The risk of educating him was much higher than the possible reward of shooting him.

My goal now is to keep looking at photos while waiting for that buck to start moving during the day. In the mean-time, I am hunting other bucks elsewhere – bucks that have personalities that cause them to move more during the day.” – Bill Winke

So like I said. Very interesting thought, and one that I hadn’t really considered myself. I think it makes plenty of sense, but it also makes me ask a few questions as well. For instance, if I only get trailcam pics of a buck at night, could this possibly be more because of my camera placement and not really his tendency of moving in day or night? The average Joe probably can only afford to put out a few cameras on a property, so does this limit your ability to make a quality judgement of whether this buck is nocturnal or not? I definitely think Bill brings up a good point, but I imagine you need to take it with a grain of salt and not make a rash judgement call on a buck’s nocturnalness or not, based on one trailcam pic or location. But that being said, I’m definitely going to keep this in mind come October.

What are your guys’ thoughts on this? Do you think you should wait to move in on a buck until he shows daytime movement on trailcam? Or are you missing out on a chance to fill your tag by waiting?