By Mark Kenyon
It’s here … Or is it?
Like clockwork every year, the dates in October reach double digits and talk of the “October Lull” begins. This popularized concept, while familiar to many, is disputed by plenty of folks as well. Believers claim that big bucks move less or are at least significantly less visible and harder to kill for a few weeks during the middle of October. The other side claims that deer are moving just as much, people seeing the “lull” just don’t know where to see them. The debate rages on year after year, and still today the back and forth continues with no clear winner.
We’re never all going to agree on the “Lull”, but I think there is something for each of us to learn by hearing from all different sides on this topic. That said, today we’ve got 25 different opinions on the October Lull.
Last week I polled the Wired To Hunt Facebook fans on whether they believed the “October Lull” was fact or fiction, and so today I’ve included 23 of our reader opinions, as well as my own and Bill Winke’s (of Midwest Whitetail), who recently shared his thoughts in his weekly email newsletter. Enjoy, good luck over the coming days and weeks in October, and hunt smart!
And finally, please add your opinion to this list by explaining your thoughts on the “October Lull” in the comments section!
Mark Kenyon: I believe in the October Lull, sort of. I don’t necessarily believe that deer are moving less by default, but I I think that changing patterns and increased hunter pressure can reduce sightings for many hunters. That said, if you can minimize pressure and know how to adjust to mid-October patterns, many times you can avoid this kind of decreased action. Want more advice on how to hunt this time of year? Check out my in-depth post on the topic, called “4 Big Buck Killing Tips To Make The October Lull Less Dull”
Bill Winke: “I listen to biologists; usually they are right, but I am not so sure they have this October Lull figured out. I have had two different biologists tell me there is no proven October Lull. They say that their GPS studies show that bucks are on their feet just as many hours each day in early October as they are in September. I am starting to wonder about that. It seems that every year when the calendar flips to October, my bucks pull a Houdini act and disappear. Sure, they are still around somewhere and maybe they are moving in daylight, but it is sure not out in the open. It is often called the October Lull, and I for one, believe it exists. I think we are in it. I have seen this happen too many years to believe otherwise. The bucks I was so excited about hunting have either vanished completely from my trail cameras or are moving only in the blackest hours of night.” (For more from Bill, visit MidwestWhitetail.com)
Wired To Hunt Facebook Page Responses to “The October Lull … Fact or Fiction?”
Jeff Sturgis: “Mostly caused by hunting pressure, so really depends on how you personally hunt. That’s why the October lull starts in September, when states have an early bow opener and in October when states open their season in Oct.” (For more from Jeff, visit WhitetailHabitatSolutions.com)
Andrew Black: “Deer only need to move a few feet from their beds to eat in October because the Acorns are their number one choice. Deer are lazy like us they will take a meal / low risk day if they can. Therefore find the acorns and beds. The lull exists only because people have trouble patterning the new food source.”
Ryan Reidsma: “Fiction. All pressure related. Saw seven deer tonight from 6pm to dark. All milling in the acorns. This was also a piece that has not been hunted yet this season”
Jake Huff: “Fiction. People just don’t know how to hunt in October.”
Ryan Buntrock: “Depends on how you define it, but I say fiction. There might not be as much movement or as deer being as patternable as summer/early fall, but they move if conditions are right.”
Dan Schepers: “Overhunted stands and more people in the woods = lull in my opinion.”
Scot Leasman: “Fact jack. We went from seeing 6 or 7 deer to none.”
Dylan Way: “100% fact. .. Pressure related? Lol no! Our land has no pressure at all and every year at this time there is a lull. It’s a fact. I’m not saying you can’t see deer. You just have to hunt right. But they definitely move less and differently.”
Alex McDevitt: Fiction, deer live in the woods 24/7, 365. Go find them, change up your strategy. They obviously don’t pattern the same as early season or the rut. Hunting isn’t easy, or every one would do it.”
Jody Bangart: “Self induced in most cases”
Jeremy Corey: “Fiction…its a change summer patterns. Have to adjust to a new feed pattern in early and mid Oct..pre rut in late Oct. Feed patterns especially can change fast..in a matter of days
Derc Albrecht: “The weather is a huge factor, October is very unpredictable. Cold Octobers are great, warm Octobers are a “lull.””
Tyler Travis: “I guess when I say fact, I mean that it is fact for me. The land I hunt is pine trees and bean/corn fields, therefore no acorns. When the deer leave to find the acorns, we are better off just staying away and waiting for the chase phase to start, rather than stink up the woods and not see many deer.”
Dana Dutoi: “FACT FACT FACT”
Daniel Johnson: “Fiction. The food sources change almost weekly during the month of October. A hot stand can dry up from one week to the next. Hunt smart, hunt the wind, and follow the deer with your climber. Just my two cents.”
Chris Pung: “Faction!!! If there is a good cold front they’ll get up on their feet.”
Ryan Hamerlinck: “Fact!”
Scotty Goodwin: “Many factors, but I feel it’s a matter of just putting hours on a stand you have with as many elements as you know a deer needs or has to use. It may take hours, days, or weeks, if your disciplined enough to hunt it right, they always pay off … Crops change patterns, so do deer, but there is always that sweet spot on any piece of ground.”
Jim Stickles: Both! It doesn’t matter if it’s real or not, people are going to believe what they are going to believe and sometimes no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, there’s no changing their minds.”
Darren Meyer: “Fiction. It’s a pattern change from summer to fall. If you do your homework you can still score bigtime.”
Dan “Dallas Forth Worth” Johnson: “FICTION! !!!!!!!!!”
Peter Lynch: “I create the October lull in one spot… Then move and see a big boy! For most, real. For bed hunters, not real.”
Joe Hardesty: “Fiction. Find the preferred food, find the deer.”
Now let us know your opinion on the “Lull” in the comments!