Whitetail movement Influencers

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DaveT1963
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:41 am

Another little tidbit for those interested. Fall food sources will not do a damn thing for antler growth. But it may help with winter survival in some regions thus more body mass retained through winter which means that if there is adequate spring summer food, they antler growth can be better that year.

But here is something most never even think about. For non-ag areas, the availability of high carb/protein food sources like ACORNS and mast can have a dramatic effect in the RUT activity. Deer are not like any other living organism, more energy taken in equates to more energy available for output. I have long noticed, and research will back up, that while overall buck movement during high acorn years is down (as in they don't have to travel as far) it is also the years I see much more rutting activity in general. More energy available. i.e. the deer have adequate calories for increased rutting activity.

Food absolutely has an influence on deer movement - often in more ways than we think.


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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:56 am

Dave again I don't know if I am talking bout the same thing you are or not. But when I hear whitetail movement influencers, I am under the impression we are talking about what conditions make and encourage a cagey whitetail to move in daylight. For me food is not one of them. Sure food might give u a direction of travel when a buck does move but I don't think it influences him to move in daylight. I also don't wait around for months on in for certain weather conditions. But I need 1 of the 3 things I listed (or witness a buck moving in daylight) to move in and feel good about it. If I get more than one of them combined with a first time sit it's as high odds as I can get. To me that's a movement influence that benefits a hunter. While food is important and shows direction of travel, it's just not something I get excited about when I come across and think today is the day.
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DaveT1963
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:14 am

Boogieman1 wrote:Dave again I don't know if I am talking bout the same thing you are or not. But when I hear whitetail movement influencers, I am under the impression we are talking about what conditions make and encourage a cagey whitetail to move in daylight. For me food is not one of them. Sure food might give u a direction of travel when a buck does move but I don't think it influences him to move in daylight. I also don't wait around for months on in for certain weather conditions. But I need 1 of the 3 things I listed (or witness a buck moving in daylight) to move in and feel good about it. If I get more than one of them combined with a first time sit it's as high odds as I can get. To me that's a movement influence that benefits a hunter. While food is important and shows direction of travel, it's just not something I get excited about when I come across and think today is the day.


Did my best to give examples and explain it. OP was really for all the newer folks anyways. So much info and so many want to go down the weather, moon, temp, wind, etc... stuff before they get the basics.

When I say influence a deer to move - think MOTIVATES a deer to move. Weather/moon/barometer does not motivate a deer, it might trigger him to do it but there is a deeper motivation. FOOD (and I'll include WATER here) can motivate a deer to move 365 days a year. We all know the RUT can motivate bucks to move three months out of the year. And PRESSURE (which directly relates to his need for security) can trump any reason and affect deer movement. Can't make it any more simpler than that. if folks would start there and stay on top of what is happening in those three areas, it will produce far more results then thinking about barometer, moon, rain, etc. will. Too many sit back and wait for the "right conditions" and lose track of what is motivating both the does and bucks at any particular time. A buck is killable any day of the year - they don't disappear and despite what some think, they don't stop eating, breeding, drinking and surviving during weather events even during daylight - they just may not move as far to do so based off danger/pressure or availability of food/water in their core area. The question is do we pay attention and hunt them where they are killable.

Ill have to agree to disagree with you about food. There are times in late Oct I run across a persimmon patch and find it tore up with doe sign - I get excited because i know what motivates the buck in late Oct - DOES. The same for honey locust late in season, it I find an isolated patch close to bedding, or I check on one i know about, and it is showing hot sign I am hunting right then.

Folks can wait for the stars to align if they want. I am going after target bucks based on what I am seeing related to food, security and rut activity.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby fenderbender62 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:49 pm

In my opinion, #1 is and will be hunting pressure.

I hunt in Eastern Va where starting in mid-November they turn the dogs loose and let the buckshot fly. I dont care what the moon is, what the weather is like, how much food is around, or how many does are in heat. The deer dont move until after dark, including any and all rut activity. AND they are back and bedded well before the sun comes up in the thickest, wettest, most briar infested area that a dog wont even attempt to navigate. It's literally their only means of survival. Kinda sad actually

All due to hunting pressure...#1
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby headgear » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:33 pm

Boogieman1 wrote:Dave again I don't know if I am talking bout the same thing you are or not. But when I hear whitetail movement influencers, I am under the impression we are talking about what conditions make and encourage a cagey whitetail to move in daylight. For me food is not one of them. Sure food might give u a direction of travel when a buck does move but I don't think it influences him to move in daylight. I also don't wait around for months on in for certain weather conditions. But I need 1 of the 3 things I listed (or witness a buck moving in daylight) to move in and feel good about it. If I get more than one of them combined with a first time sit it's as high odds as I can get. To me that's a movement influence that benefits a hunter. While food is important and shows direction of travel, it's just not something I get excited about when I come across and think today is the day.



Kind of see where you are coming from, food is no doubt an underlying motivator but probably doesn't affect any early or daytime movement. Maybe in some cases where you have a hot and short lived food source like apples maybe some deer will move a touch earlier but in a full hunting season those motivations might be more rare than the norm. Pressure, weather, moon and the grand daddy of them all sex play a bigger role in early movement influencers.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:36 am

headgear wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:Dave again I don't know if I am talking bout the same thing you are or not. But when I hear whitetail movement influencers, I am under the impression we are talking about what conditions make and encourage a cagey whitetail to move in daylight. For me food is not one of them. Sure food might give u a direction of travel when a buck does move but I don't think it influences him to move in daylight. I also don't wait around for months on in for certain weather conditions. But I need 1 of the 3 things I listed (or witness a buck moving in daylight) to move in and feel good about it. If I get more than one of them combined with a first time sit it's as high odds as I can get. To me that's a movement influence that benefits a hunter. While food is important and shows direction of travel, it's just not something I get excited about when I come across and think today is the day.



Kind of see where you are coming from, food is no doubt an underlying motivator but probably doesn't affect any early or daytime movement. Maybe in some cases where you have a hot and short lived food source like apples maybe some deer will move a touch earlier but in a full hunting seasonthose motivations might be more rare than the norm. Pressure, weather, moon and the grand daddy of them all sex play a bigger role in early movement influencers.


kind of what I said - food is #1 for nine months out of the year (for a buck), Oct-Dec not so much, Sex trumps it then. But the very "Grand Daddy" motivator is Does which are 100% focused on 2 things during deer season - survival and EATING.

BTW pressure does not MOTIVATE deer to move; it deters them or alters when they move and how far they will move. Weather and moon are nothing but opinions not really substantiated with most studies or kill threads/stats. Some buy into it, others don't. It's a little funny how a few that think food is not a motivator and yet the same crowd says early and late season (which are definitely bed to food patterns) are the best time to pattern and kill a mature buck (which are also opinions not substantiated in kill threads or stats). I cannot recall how many bucks I have killed chompin' down on acorns or locust pods right at high noon (a factor driven by their desire to eat and PRESSURE) not weather, moon or other silliness.

OK time for me to go "waste my time" for a few days as rut isn't in full swing, food doesn't matter and the moon is OH/UF at noon - no reason for any of you all to replicate my silliness, good UFC fight and football to keep you occupied.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby Huntress13 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:09 am

I really have to agree with DaveT. Could those other things partially motivate them one way or another? Maybe. Maybe there is even proof. But if you focus on the main things, food/water/security/breeding, those are certain movement influencers.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:08 am

IMO pressure both deters and motivates movement. All depends on how u apply it. Have someone step on his tail and he is gonna move.

But I kinda went left field on this entire thread. When I initially read it I was under the impression that we knew the deer was bedded here, the hot food here and what motivates movement.

Wasn't what Dave was getting at. Food is a player in every situation there is. From where they bed, breed and everything inbetween. Doesn't mean they will make it there in daylight but to be consistently successful u better dang sure have some food source knowledge even if u don't hunt anywhere close to it.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:11 am

Boogieman1 wrote:IMO pressure both deters and motivates movement. All depends on how u apply it. Have someone step on his tail and he is gonna move.

But I kinda went left field on this entire thread. When I initially read it I was under the impression that we knew the deer was bedded here, the hot food here and what motivates movement.

Wasn't what Dave was getting at. Food is a player in every situation there is. From where they bed, breed and everything inbetween. Doesn't mean they will make it there in daylight but to be consistently successful u better dang sure have some food source knowledge even if u don't hunt anywhere close to it.



Dude that doesn't motivate him, that causes a reaction :) If pressure is bad it will actually motivate him to stay in his bed - until a stronger motivation comes along like hunger, thrist or LOVE :)

But yes I was focusing on the basics of hunting bucks. There is just too much talk about suspected theories on this or that making bucks mover earlier and later. I doubt a buck is sitting in his bed with a full stomach, looks at his watch and says crap, moon is overhead better go eat, or wind stopped blowing time to rut. All those things can hypothetically stimulate movement, but there has to be an underlying motivation - and then pressure has to be factored in.

A buck that does not eat will isn't going to have a lot of energy for the rut - they loose tremendous body weight as it is over the course of a few months. Contrary to popular believe, while it may not be his primary concern, bucks still eat during the rut.
Last edited by DaveT1963 on Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby SaddleMaster » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:13 am

I understand what you're getting at...it's more important to focus on the basics than something like moon phase. I was even going to comment on that thread that all them deer are out eating in the afternoon because they're all hungry not because the moon phase. But I also think that weather is like hunting pressure in that it enhances or suppresses the motivation. The weather affects the animal and its environment too much for it not to be considered. The wind direction can determine where that movement occurs (bedding location, side hill cruising, downwind of doe bedding, etc.). Heavy precipitation or high temps may determine when movement occurs. Some areas are too difficult to slip into on calm evenings with crunchy leaves, so I may save that spot for a windy afternoon. I just don't think you can ignore weather in your hunting strategy.

Dan killed a buck over a scrape after a heavy rain. The motivation was sex, but the when and where was determined by the weather.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:22 am

SaddleMaster wrote:I understand what you're getting at...it's more important to focus on the basics than something like moon phase. I was even going to comment on that thread that all them deer are out eating in the afternoon because they're all hungry not because the moon phase. But I also think that weather is like hunting pressure in that it enhances or suppresses the motivation. The weather affects the animal and its environment too much for it not to be considered. The wind direction can determine where that movement occurs (bedding location, side hill cruising, downwind of doe bedding, etc.). Heavy precipitation or high temps may determine when movement occurs. Some areas are too difficult to slip into on calm evenings with crunchy leaves, so I may save that spot for a windy afternoon. I just don't think you can ignore weather in your hunting strategy.

Dan killed a buck over a scrape after a heavy rain. The motivation was sex, but the when and where was determined by the weather.


exactly, thought I used that example. it isn't the fact that a rain shower passed as much as he wants to ensure his scrape is ready for the does. Anything can augment a buck's movement - but there really are only a few things that will motivate him to move. people should worry about figuring out what is currently motivating him and how rather then trying to align some hypothetical maybe factors.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby kripp53 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:28 am

Another thing to think about is the difference between "affect" and "effect". What outside influences will determine a bucks movement or how will the buck react to these outside influences.

If food is #1, you should be hunting a buck somewhere from his bedding to the food source. If you set up on a trail that doesn't lead to a food source you will never see the buck. So if a certain weather pattern will make the buck get up earlier and be more daylight active, setting up on the none food trail will not help you out at all, you still need to hunt the food trail.

In that fact I agree that Dave is correct. All thing being equal food is #1, after that we can discuss what makes the buck move during daylight more (i.e. moon phase, weather, pressure). Again, if it's hot out he might get a drink first, or if its during the rut he will be focused on breeding.

There is a reason that majority of trail cameras are near a crop field, food plot or bait pile. Deer like to eat. Now how you kill the buck could be dependent on what outside influences have an affect on the buck and how that buck will be effected by those outside influences ;)
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby Bman409 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:29 am

Lockdown wrote:
DaveT1963 wrote:Some folks read into what I said. I did not say you shouldn't consider weather when planning a hunt, nor did I say than in extremes it doesn't have any effect. I listed the three primary factors. Sex drive can trump food and every other factor to include weather. Food, for most of the year will trump sex and all other factors. Pressure can Trump any of them at times. Weather, moon, sun, etc.... will NOT trump the other three, the best they can do is augment or actuate them.


First of all I always enjoy your posts and value your input. Valid points!

I don’t disagree, at all, with the three factors you listed. I do think that temperature deserves honorable mention. In general it’s minimal, but I don’t know how many times we’ve had a dang heat wave during rut and movement turns off. I’ve sat on stand in November in a t-shirt before. Those hunts *never seem to pan out. I wouldn’t want to run around in a winter coat when it’s 75 degrees either.

It’s no different than a winter storm late season. 25 degree temp drop and below zero temps it’s common to see all deer on their feet 30-60 minutes earlier than days prior.

That said, we have to look at the big picture when we swear by something. If I swear by the moon and I save all my best spots (or rut vacation) for the best condition during prime moon phase, I’m going to have most of my success during that time. If I never hunt when there’s no moon I’ll never have success when there’s no moon.

If I swear by days with high wind, and save my very best spots for high wind days, I will have more success on high wind days.

You are spot on with your statement of big bucks dying every day of the year. Hot, cold, high/low pressure, full moon no moon, windy or calm. If our tactics are sound we have a fighting chance.



Temperature is undeniably going to be a factor, if for no other reason than it plays in to the energy requirements of the deer (food)

The lower the temperature, the more energy the deer needs to expend to stay warm. This means it needs to both conserve energy (less movement in extreme temps) and consume more food

that's why in very cold weather the deer are going to be bedded in the nearest cover closest to their best food source. And they're going to be herded up.. There is going to be a ton of them in that small location.

Outside that location, you're not going to see deer.. but inside that "radius" you're going to see activity all day as the deer are going to be frequently feeding in order to sustain their high energy needs. Any other activities are going to be curtailed to keep energy expediture lower.

Pressure of course, trumps everything. They're going to run if their life is threatened.
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:31 am

Bman409 wrote:
Lockdown wrote:
DaveT1963 wrote:Some folks read into what I said. I did not say you shouldn't consider weather when planning a hunt,nor did I say than in extremes it doesn't have any effect. I listed the three primary factors. Sex drive can trump food and every other factor to include weather. Food, for most of the year will trump sex and all other factors. Pressure can Trump any of them at times. Weather, moon, sun, etc.... will NOT trump the other three, the best they can do is augment or actuate them.


First of all I always enjoy your posts and value your input. Valid points!

I don’t disagree, at all, with the three factors you listed. I do think that temperature deserves honorable mention. In general it’s minimal, but I don’t know how many times we’ve had a dang heat wave during rut and movement turns off. I’ve sat on stand in November in a t-shirt before. Those hunts *never seem to pan out. I wouldn’t want to run around in a winter coat when it’s 75 degrees either.

It’s no different than a winter storm late season. 25 degree temp drop and below zero temps it’s common to see all deer on their feet 30-60 minutes earlier than days prior.

That said, we have to look at the big picture when we swear by something. If I swear by the moon and I save all my best spots (or rut vacation) for the best condition during prime moon phase, I’m going to have most of my success during that time. If I never hunt when there’s no moon I’ll never have success when there’s no moon.

If I swear by days with high wind, and save my very best spots for high wind days, I will have more success on high wind days.

You are spot on with your statement of big bucks dying every day of the year. Hot, cold, high/low pressure, full moon no moon, windy or calm. If our tactics are sound we have a fighting chance.



Temperature is undeniably going to be a factor, if for no other reason than it plays in to the energy requirements of the deer (food)

The lower the temperature, the more energy the deer needs to expend to stay warm. This means it needs to both conserve energy (less movement in extreme temps) and consume more food

that's why in very cold weather the deer are going to be bedded in the nearest cover closest to their best food source. And they're going to be herded up.. There is going to be a ton of them in that small location.

Outside that location, you're not going to see deer.. but inside that "radius" you're going to see activity all day as the deer are going to be frequently feeding in order to sustain their high energy needs. Any other activities are going to be curtailed to keep energy expediture lower.

Pressure of course, trumps everything. They're going to run if their life is threatened.


Agree - that's what I said in original post
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Re: Whitetail movement Influencers

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:44 am

Here's the bottom line why I started the OP (and I think there's been some good discussion?) Most people need to spend more time figuring out what the buck is currently being influenced by and where. If you don't know what and where he is eating, if you don't know where that local doe group he is checking on, where he is watering and certainly where he is taking a nap at - aligning everything else will do you absolutely no good outside LUCK.

IMO spending far too much time trying to determine when a cold front comes through, where the moon is located or what phase it is in, etc., when we aren't even sure what the buck is eating, where he is currently sleeping, or where his girlfriends are hanging. We have a spot picked out from previous scouting waiting for conditions to be perfect not knowing if he will even be there. A more sound approach IMO, is hunting him where he is currently at and focused on, regardless of environmental factors. He is somewhere during daylight, sleeping, eating and thinking about Love (Oct-Dec), that's for sure.


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