Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
mbone1327
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:45 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Unread postby mbone1327 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:33 pm

I think it's all relative... how close to food/bedding are you. I've bumped a good amount of deer in the morning, but I've also bumped a good amount of deer in the afternoon. Sometimes I hunt the morning because it's the only time I can, but I prefer evenings... I can sneak in better during the afternoons and if i do bump a deer I can see where it went. I like hunting mornings in areas I know well.


User avatar
Drenalin
500 Club
Posts: 1093
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:47 am
Location: America
Status: Offline

Re: Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Unread postby Drenalin » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:50 am

I've started walking in right at legal shooting light a lot more, which is 30 minutes before legal sunrise here. Even when I was going in an hour or more before legal shooting light, it seemed like I didn't get good activity until at least 30 minutes past sunrise. Going in with a little bit of gray light gives me the potential to shoot something that I bump, and allows me to be more certain of my setup (visibility related to terrain and viability of shooting lanes). I think there are scenarios for both strategies.
User avatar
<DK>
500 Club
Posts: 3963
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:02 am
Status: Offline

Re: Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Unread postby <DK> » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:53 am

PK_ wrote:Situational.

Low deer density vs high density. Shooting any deer or targeting a mature buck. Early season, rut, late season. Surrounding hunting pressure, where will the deer be hour before shooting light vs right at shooting light and where are you walking/setting up in relation. Are you good at slipping In quiet or are you a tanglefoot.

If you are learning it is best to play it safe, be in early and see how it plays out. You bump deer well before daylight you give them time to calm down maybe filter back thru or new deer coming thru right at daylight. You bump deer right at daylight they are gone at least for a while and now you are burning daylight waiting for something else to come thru, not a bug deal in high density areas especially during rut, very big deal in low density areas...


Nailed it
User avatar
G-Patt
Posts: 315
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:45 pm
Location: Ohio
Status: Offline

Re: Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Unread postby G-Patt » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:12 am

Jdw wrote:Until a few years ago I was in the woods between 2.5 hours and 30 minutes before light.
This thread has me thinking back about past hunts and just how many 3+ year old bucks I’ve had encounters within the first 30 minutes of daylight.
I’ve passed 1 or 2 three year olds and I missed a good 3-4 year old in the first 30 minutes after daylight.
I’ve had more success mid morning, around noon, early afternoon and evening than I have had in the first 30 minutes of hunting.
I think a big part of that is my access and tipping my target off in the dark.
I have often had spots that I had so much confidence in that I couldn’t wait for it to get light but for the most part I’ve not been able to catch one within the first 30 minutes of the day.
How often have you guys had a good one in your lap right after daylight? And is there anything you would be willing to share that led to the hunt and setup coming together?
I had a good success this year seeing quality deer between first 30 minutes up to 10:30. The criteria I worked with was using creek/ditch access points to the head of the ditch or opposite side of the ditch of where I expected travel (trails with active scrapes) and creek crossings. This is close to bedding or travel from oaks to bedding (I hunt big woods Public only). I would pre-scout the morning before of where I found fresh sign and observe; then pick a spot for the next morning's hunt. I killed a nice nanny and buck on the ground this year doing this. The pre-rut and rut were hopping in the morning. Why creeks in the morning? In the woods I hunt, this is the best way for me to access an area without getting tangled in briar and it's impossible to get lost or turned around. It isn't the quietest access either because you will make noise, but it's the easiest and fastest. I've bumped deer too making noise, but I had no issues being in deer when it became light.
On my deathbed, I will receive total consciousness. So I have that going for me, which is nice!
Rich M
500 Club
Posts: 3168
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:29 pm
Location: Sunny Florida
Status: Offline

Re: Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Unread postby Rich M » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:27 am

If the deer is traveling from say a field 2 miles away, and you beat him to the X, he doesn't know you are there. If you walk in at first light, you'll probably bump him.
Jdw
500 Club
Posts: 708
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:00 am
Location: SE Ohio
Status: Offline

Re: Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Unread postby Jdw » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:31 am

G-Patt wrote:
Jdw wrote:Until a few years ago I was in the woods between 2.5 hours and 30 minutes before light.
This thread has me thinking back about past hunts and just how many 3+ year old bucks I’ve had encounters within the first 30 minutes of daylight.
I’ve passed 1 or 2 three year olds and I missed a good 3-4 year old in the first 30 minutes after daylight.
I’ve had more success mid morning, around noon, early afternoon and evening than I have had in the first 30 minutes of hunting.
I think a big part of that is my access and tipping my target off in the dark.
I have often had spots that I had so much confidence in that I couldn’t wait for it to get light but for the most part I’ve not been able to catch one within the first 30 minutes of the day.
How often have you guys had a good one in your lap right after daylight? And is there anything you would be willing to share that led to the hunt and setup coming together?
I had a good success this year seeing quality deer between first 30 minutes up to 10:30. The criteria I worked with was using creek/ditch access points to the head of the ditch or opposite side of the ditch of where I expected travel (trails with active scrapes) and creek crossings. This is close to bedding or travel from oaks to bedding (I hunt big woods Public only). I would pre-scout the morning before of where I found fresh sign and observe; then pick a spot for the next morning's hunt. I killed a nice nanny and buck on the ground this year doing this. The pre-rut and rut were hopping in the morning. Why creeks in the morning? In the woods I hunt, this is the best way for me to access an area without getting tangled in briar and it's impossible to get lost or turned around. It isn't the quietest access either because you will make noise, but it's the easiest and fastest. I've bumped deer too making noise, but I had no issues being in deer when it became light.


Congrats on the successful hunts on the ground, those are addicting.

I like using ditches and drains for access also. Another plus to ditch access is the thermals are usually falling into the ditch for the first hour or two before they switch.

I have not had trouble getting on deer, But I have found the % of opportunity at mature bucks has been low in the first 30 minutes of the day. 8:30-10:00 has been better for me than first light.
User avatar
G-Patt
Posts: 315
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:45 pm
Location: Ohio
Status: Offline

Re: Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Unread postby G-Patt » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:35 am

Jdw wrote:
G-Patt wrote:
Jdw wrote:Until a few years ago I was in the woods between 2.5 hours and 30 minutes before light.
This thread has me thinking back about past hunts and just how many 3+ year old bucks I’ve had encounters within the first 30 minutes of daylight.
I’ve passed 1 or 2 three year olds and I missed a good 3-4 year old in the first 30 minutes after daylight.
I’ve had more success mid morning, around noon, early afternoon and evening than I have had in the first 30 minutes of hunting.
I think a big part of that is my access and tipping my target off in the dark.
I have often had spots that I had so much confidence in that I couldn’t wait for it to get light but for the most part I’ve not been able to catch one within the first 30 minutes of the day.
How often have you guys had a good one in your lap right after daylight? And is there anything you would be willing to share that led to the hunt and setup coming together?
I had a good success this year seeing quality deer between first 30 minutes up to 10:30. The criteria I worked with was using creek/ditch access points to the head of the ditch or opposite side of the ditch of where I expected travel (trails with active scrapes) and creek crossings. This is close to bedding or travel from oaks to bedding (I hunt big woods Public only). I would pre-scout the morning before of where I found fresh sign and observe; then pick a spot for the next morning's hunt. I killed a nice nanny and buck on the ground this year doing this. The pre-rut and rut were hopping in the morning. Why creeks in the morning? In the woods I hunt, this is the best way for me to access an area without getting tangled in briar and it's impossible to get lost or turned around. It isn't the quietest access either because you will make noise, but it's the easiest and fastest. I've bumped deer too making noise, but I had no issues being in deer when it became light.


Congrats on the successful hunts on the ground, those are addicting.

I like using ditches and drains for access also. Another plus to ditch access is the thermals are usually falling into the ditch for the first hour or two before they switch.

I have not had trouble getting on deer, But I have found the % of opportunity at mature bucks has been low in the first 30 minutes of the day. 8:30-10:00 has been better for me than first light.
Thanks! You're 100% right about the thermals. However, I found the thermals would switch later in the morning with sun or partial sun around 10:30 (sometimes later if there was cloud cover) before I would make my way out. Of course this was in big canopy woods and a creek with running water, which I think did a better job carrying my scent downstream and keeping my scent from rising. If there was cloud cover, the thermals wouldn't switch as late as 11:15. Milkweed is your friend for sure hunting creeks.
On my deathbed, I will receive total consciousness. So I have that going for me, which is nice!
dan
Site Owner
Posts: 39167
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:11 am
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HuntingBeast/?ref=bookmarks
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Whats the Big Deal with Darkness?

Unread postby dan » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:22 am

having hunted mature bucks near beddimg for decades, Ive come to realize that they tend to get back to bedding just before daylight, and are often very close by at sunrise... if your hunting funnels waiting for cruisers... thats different... but runnimh in to set up on deer while they are where you want yo set up jas mever worked well for me...


  • Advertisement

Return to “Deer Hunting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: brancher147, Jrdeerhuntr, Mike, moarcher88 and 21 guests