You must be as quiet as if you think the buck is watching you the entire time. Often you will be able to pinpoint exactly where the deer are, before you even have enough light by which to shoot. But if you begin your hunt for next season after you’ve completed your hunt for this season, you’ll be much more likely to find and take big bucks next year. 14 of the 22 states that allow deer baiting allow it state wide while the remaining 8 only allow the practice in specific parts. How to Hunt When Deer Become Nocturnal Day 1: How to Find a Deer Sanctuary. Deer go nocturnal when exposed to pressure. Q. Hunting over bait is a controversial issue, to say the least. Make sure you follow these tips when the rut arrives for you best chance at bagging a big buck. More nocturnal busting tips are included in the article, Mythbusting Nocturnal Bucks. There are hunters who bait constantly because it’s legal in their area, there are hunters who bait their property when it’s not legal, and there are hunters who just don’t bait. So if you aren’t seeing deer on your land during the daylight and you aren’t getting any pictures of them during the daytime hours, it is fairly safe to say that they just aren’t there. For more advanced whitetail strategies, be sure to checkout our Video Library! By believing that deer are daylight movers instead of nightime walkers, you will have your mindset headed towards the direction of success, before ever stepping foot out of the truck. Deer will check the site more often to see if there's food. The phenomenon of nocturnal deer is so widely accepted, that for several decades countless articles have been written about how to actually successfully hunt a nocturnal buck. Groom, a well-rounded deer hunter, participates in … One behavior change frequently observed with deer baiting is increased nocturnal activity (Charles 1993). The person who is baiting you wants to be able to manipulate a situation, and they need you in a particular state of mind to be able to do so. Day 5: What Hunting Tactics Take Nocturnal Deer, How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows, Day 2: How and When to Hunt a Deer Sanctuary, Day 3: Why Hunt the Feeding Areas for Deer, Day 4: Why Hunt Nocturnal Deer in the Mornings and How to Hunt the High Noon Bucks, Day 5: What Hunting Tactics Take Nocturnal Deer. Mature buck hunting, herd and habitat techniques. Your deer are day feeders. If you’re using a tree stand, either put the tree stand up early in the season or know that you’ll be able to set-up that tree stand silently. I know if you read my articles often you have seen this repeated over and over again, but it is because it is the foundation for every whitetail endeavor of hunting, habitat and herd management. Breeding and Reproduction Blacktail deer rut in November and early December. Given these results, if your goal is to harvest more deer, baiting may actually work against you. Of course the rut can often change this but, for the most part, deer that become nocturnal do so to survive. Photo: Charles Alsheimer I think baiting for whitetails has to stop. “For the most part, I think it makes the deer more nocturnal,” he said. Bagging a deer is the fulfillment of that sport. These are the eight most common mistakes hunters make. And the list goes on with the various creatures that are nocturnal, and deer are not among them. Hunting is the sport. The power is often in your control, to limit the myth of nocturnal deer. Then when I learn that the bucks are becoming nocturnal in certain areas, I know where they must be holed-up. I thought with the rut I would have caught more daytime pics of them. Already have the brush cleared-out along that path ahead of time. Whenever the moon is overhead or underfoot your deer are up and feeding. The short answer to that is “NO”, nocturnal deer do not live on your land. Deer Hunting Baiting Pros and Cons. Many times if the deer are feeding on acorns, you can hear them popping the nuts before you can see them. As mentioned earlier, being conscious of the wind direction is the most-critical ingredient to take a nocturnal buck. Groom, a well-rounded deer hunter, participates in bowhunting, primitive weapon hunting and gun hunting. Their gestation period is 180 to 200 days. Once you have them moving the way you want, you will have better luck of catching a straggler. Create more bedding areas on your property and hunt near them during the day, whenever a moon guide says deer … So far we’ve learned why deer are nocturna,l and where deer are not nocturnal. Deer want to feed in their preferred high quality, high volume destination food source, during the afternoon time slot. Although deer may not cover 100s of yards during their various feedings, you can still expect them to be moving enough to potentially harvest them, if they are there actually on the land. Even quality cover for deer, isn’t quality cover if any deer that would eventually live in that cover, have no food to relate to on a daily basis. It they know that there's always a huge pile of bait waiting for them, they'll wait until dark to hit it. Or, if they are walking through leaves, you can hear them move too. On their feet. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips. If they are traveling through water, you can hear them sloshing. Editor’s Note: Ronnie Groom of Panama City, Florida, has been one of the foremost deer hunters of our day for the past 30 years. Day 4: Why Hunt Nocturnal Deer in the Mornings and How to Hunt the High Noon Bucks “I start baiting a stand seven to 10 days before I plan to hunt it,” he said. Every deer in the woods feeds 5 times in a 24 hour period. When baiting evolves to supplemental feeding, it leads to an increase in deer densities and body condition. To harvest this kind of buck, you must start to hunt when you leave your vehicle and enter the woods. Editor’s Note: Ronnie Groom of Panama City, Florida, has been one of the foremost deer hunters of our day for the past 30 years. The same can be said for each of their 4 other feeding slots as well! Bats are nocturnal, many snakes are nocturnal, racoons and various rodents and even owls aren’t too daylight friendly. Most hunters stop hunting when they fill their tags. Once you climb into your stand before daylight, begin to hunt with your ears, before you hunt with your eyes. Groom was consulted for this article, because he hunts deer in several states – on public and private lands – where the hunting pressure is both heavy and light. Then when hunting season arrives, the hunting pressure is high, and the bucks become nocturnal, I’ll be waiting on them. Day 1: How to Find a Deer Sanctuary Arrange them around the edges and leading slightly into the plot. Editor’s Note: Ronnie Groom of Panama City, Florida, has been one of the foremost deer hunters of our day for the past 30 years. Deer would go nocturnal. The first step is to admitting that nighttime walkers are more fiction than fact. Once you bag your buck and fill your tag for the season, the hunt for next year’s buck starts. They may use baiting to make you angry or to upset you significantly. The number one reason for deer hunting failure during the rut is leaving the stand too early. This rule absolutely cannot be broken. Deer are amazing creatures. John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. In some states, baiting is legal. Still, others allow it but implement strict guidelines on how it … However, if you accept the notion that nocturnal deer rule the landscape, you are setting yourself up for failure before you even leave the truck. Baiting does tend to make the deer more nocturnal. Now. 1. Okay, okay, before you peg me as a purist who thinks all baiters are slobs, hear me out. Baiting is almost always used to elicit an emotion from one person to the other. Here in MI we have a ban on baiting in the lower and IMO the buck hunting is much better. We use to buy truckloads of beets and carrots. Deer will be on their feet and feeding during this time period, outside of major weather events. Day 3: Why Hunt the Feeding Areas for Deer Pressure (messing with cameras and looking for tracks) is the main thing that make deer nocturnal. Since this buck has learned how to dodge the hunters in the woods, he is much smarter than the bucks that die early in the season. And, wear soft clothing so that you can move silently. Establishing at least 60% of your land within contiguous true sanctuary acres (where deer never see you, hear you or smell you) is the first step. Day 2: How and When to Hunt a Deer Sanctuary We’ve looked at how to hunt deer in the mornings, the evenings and the middles of the day, but we haven’t actually discussed the hunting techniques that the sportsmen who want to take these phantom deer must employ. Because deer aren’t nocturnal. 4: Does baiting deer make them nocturnal? Large bait piles encourage nightime feeding. Don’t hunt a region where you believe a phantom buck is hiding, if the wind is not in your face. Bats are nocturnal, many snakes are nocturnal, racoons and various rodents and even owls aren’t too daylight friendly. Small bait piles ... Feed them with spin feeder during summer months. What makes a whitetail so difficult to hunt revolves around its ability disappear, even to the point of appearing nocturnal. They are creatures of mystery, structure and beauty, all rolled into an animal that is one of the most difficult to successfully hunt; in particular when it comes to sending an arrow into a mature buck! Although your ability to hunt and shoot a mature buck will depend on many factors, understand how his stomach rules his anti-nocturnal ways, is key. Also, hunting high quality fewer sit opportunities based on favorable weather conditions and effective stand rotations, will keep your deer herd much easier to predict, pattern and eventually kill, during the daytime hours. Next is Access, Walking to and from the bait site is also very important, spooking a bear off the bait site or out of his bedding areas can make them more timid as well. During daylight. Too, at your stand site, the leaves and limbs should be cleared away ahead of time. Another factor that most sportsmen don’t consider when they’re hunting nocturnal bucks is when the hunt actually begins. Then you will know that you can approach the stand slowly, quietly and deliberately with plenty of time to spare. The question of whether or not to bait whitetails has caused many discussions and arguments. I do think when overdone it results in nocturnal deer and also once you start hunting over bait they really go out of their way to come in down wind, those old does are really hard to fool. This is a time when bucks are off their usual patterns. If so, make sure not to start the tractor until you read my 2nd book,Food Plot Success By Design. To get “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” and “Deer and Fixings” by John E. Phillips, go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the names of the books, and download them to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. A bait pile less than two gallons will only give more room for competition and cause the deer … About 2 mos before season take the feeder down and throw it on the ground. As an example, deer tend to go nocturnal when they discover easy sources of food at bait sites. But, these too could be counterproductive. Then why is it ok to make a food plot to lure them into the open???? You can’t slam doors, cough, spit or talk. Does drop their fawns, typically one or two, in May or June. I spend many hours after I fill my tag hunting for a place to hunt the following season. On a state level, Eyler thinks hunters would kill just as many deer without bait, as they do with it. Deer patterns are influenced by many things natural and unnatural. Unfortunately there is so much baiting going on, it is almost necessary if you want to see deer. Hidden Food Plots (and other deer hotspots) Are your food plots and other great habitat creations … Why? Baiting does not cause deer to go nocturnal, pressure causes deer to go nocturnal. Many times you will run the bucks out of their sanctuaries as you move in to look for them. Post cameras in surrounding areas if possible and see what turns up. On the other hand, the remaining 28 states do not allow deer baiting. “I learned a long time ago that if you start baiting for a longer period of time, the deer go nocturnal, especially the mature bucks. If they aren’t feeding on your land during the afternoon, they are not within some mystical noctural deer pattern, they are simply just feeding somewhere else. And yes, nocturnal deer herds are a myth, in particular when it comes to their 5 daily feeding time slots. However, getting back to deer’s stomach, if you lack both the cover and food to provide 2 daytime snacks and 1 afternoon dinner, then you can expect the deer herd to live somewhere else that does. Are deer truly nocturnal? Hunt days where it sucked the night before. Naturally, it’s the center of many debates across the country. Depending upon the time of year, those influences can change greatly. Baiting is a controversial topic. Go back into the woods without a gun during hunting season when the hunting pressure is high to locate areas that the nocturnal bucks will go to while they are still utilizing these regions. I usually start baiting a couple different spots and use trail cameras at every spot.Only bait and check your cameras in the middle of the day and 2 … In simple terms (I personally need simple) deer feed twice during the day in their bedding areas, once in the afternoon evening in their preferred daily dinnertime destination food source, and twice during the night. Tink's #69 Doe-in-Rut Buck Lure. I have the cam set up on a good food pile of corn and apples adjacent to a field. I've had better luck with the chopped corn rather than whole kernel though. These grasses don’t provide forage, but they’ll grow 6 to 10 feet tall and make bucks feel safe as they approach. Baiting Whitetail Deer. Deer will want to hunker down in the bad weather and wait when they can. In your preparation to hunt this particular deer, besides already pre-determining your stand site, you should know the route you’ll take to that stand. Maybe not on your property, but they are up and feeding, many times near bedding areas. Baiting deer has been made to be something that's perceived as a bad thing. There are several ways that deer appear to be noctural, but regardless of what your neighbors are doing or any other factor, landowners have much more control than they often realize. In others, it isn’t. Then when you sit on the ground, you won’t make any noise. Make sure to review your states rules and regulations as most states have restrictions and guidelines when baiting near water. Deer feed when they are on their feet and moving, as one of the most consumptive browsers of an incredibly diversity of preferred forages. Prior to the opening of the season, I can move into these sanctuary areas I have located at the end of the previous year’s hunting season, set-up stand sites, cut shooting lanes and prepare for a successful hunting season. *Is your land an anti nocturnal deer sanctuary? by Ryan Taylor. As the deer hold tight to these bedding areas a little longer your job is to find when and where they are entering and exiting this area. Unless cold is getting the deer up and moving during daylight hours, baiting can turn deer even more nocturnal than they already are. Hunters either love it or despise it. How to Hunt When Deer Become Nocturnal Day 5: What Hunting Tactics Take Nocturnal Deer. In fact when they feed during that time of the day, I have experienced, serves to set the table for their entire 24 hour clock of daily feeding patterns. Small amounts of bait put out daily. And the list goes on with the various creatures that are nocturnal, and deer are not among them. Under the right conditions, continued baiting of deer can make them become more nocturnal. A study of captive deer in Michigan documented that a majority of feeding at supplemental food sources occurred at night, and daytime feeding was almost nonexistent (Ozoga and … Mature bucks will avoid them, but will come when on the ground. Very cold and/or very rainy nights followed by clear mornings will generally do better. *Is it planting time? Keep in mind that hunting nocturnal deer involves attempting to bag one of the smartest deer in all of the woods. Therefore they learn very little about what the deer are doing when the hunting pressure is high after their hunts are over. Pressure also makes the deer nocturnal.I found with baiting, this works best for me. It surely draws them in - undeniable. But since you’ve already filled your tag, and you’re not going to be able to shoot any more in that region this season, whether or not you spook the bucks doesn’t really matter. When this happens, deer will often hold tight to where they feel safe a little longer than normal. Corn does sometimes make deer nocturnal but when there roaming for food it seems to at least concentrate them a little bit and after that you just have to be lucky and be there when they come in which seems to be right before dark most of the time. Of the 50, 22 states have legalized the use of deer baits either in selected parts or in the entire state. In the past bucks would hit the bait at night and lay down all day when we could bait, now they just need to spend more time on there feet to feed thus more sightings. Then when you stalk to the stand, your clothes won’t brush up against the foliage and make noise. I have shot lots of buck over bait, mostly scrubs but a few god ones. Not staying put. That’s kind of like saying that a black boot becomes blacker. Blacktail deer can live up to ten years in the wild but seldom make it past six years of age. I have the deer cam out and hav been getting a lot of pics of bucks n does, but most of the pics are in the middle of the night and only a few during daylight hours. If you aren’t getting daylight photos of a buck, try moving locations. Also make the approach to your hunting site slow and deliberate. Now we put out a 5 gallon pail of beets, apples, and shelled corn. You might just be pleasantly surprised to see that same “nocturnal” buck moving in daylight. Using bait piles will only encourage more of nighttime feeding. I have always been a fan of hunting during the pre-rut and rut … A. Baiting does not make deer go nocturnal. Allow yourself 30-additional minutes than what you estimate will be required to reach the stand. Trying to kill them outside of that zone is near to impossible, resulting in seemingly nocturnal bucks. 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