THE BEST DAY OF THE SEASON
Over the years, November 7th has proven to be the best single day of the entire bow season. Yes, some years the weather is warm and the action is slow, but on average, given normal weather patterns, this is the killing day. It pays to be in your best stand, hunting your biggest buck on that day.
That was the case again last year. Our team killed a number of really nice bucks on November 7 and encountered many others.
The number one question I get from deer hunters is related to this very subject. Everyone wants to know when to schedule their vacation each year. They think that because the moon is full on a certain date that they need to change their schedule. I have never seen the moon affect that best rut dates.
Breeding is dictated by the length of daylight. As a result, it triggers at the same time each year. Missouri’s game department recently did a study where they back-tested conception dates from numerous fetuses that they measured – taken from does that hunters shot during the late season.
They did this over a three year period. In the end, they determined that peak breeding over those three years was November 15, plus or minus a day. The moon had no affect on the timing.
You don’t want to hunt when the maximum number of does are in estrous because many of the bucks will be off the market as they attend to these does. The best time to hunt is during the week that starts roughly ten days before the peak of breeding.
In the northern 2/3 of the U.S. and into Canada, the best week is roughly November 3 through November 10. The period from November 5 through the 12th can also be very good. It really depends on weather – cooler temps are preferred.
However, regardless of the exact dates, you will notice that November 7 is right smack in the middle of those best weeks.
When you plan your rut hunting vacation, be sure to keep these dates in mind.