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What is the Best Time of Day to Hunt

What is the Best Time of Day to Hunt

The next time you are planning a hunting trip, not only do you have to consider packing all the essentials, but you have to consider the time of day that you will be hunting. Although there are tons of wildlife in the woods, that does not mean they will always be around when you are. In fact, it is important to be aware of the time of day certain animals sleep, and when they are out and about so that you know when to look for them. If you are still stuck deciding on the perfect time to hunt, keep reading to help make your decision easier.

What is the Best Time of Day to Hunt

Early Risers

Getting out there early, just as the sun is rising, means there will be plenty of sunlight shining down through the sky, giving a good view of any animals nearby. The early morning hours from 5 am to 11 am, provide a great window of opportunity for hunters. During this time deer are usually moving to and from bedding areas and if you discover a populated path, you will be in luck during the morning hours. Owning a pair of hunting binoculars will also help. Keep in mind that if the previous night was dark and not a lot of light in the sky, many deer will be out in the morning to find food which works out in the hunter’s favor.

Another reason why the morning proves to be one of the best times to hunt is that it does not take up the hunter’s entire day. Going out early in the morning means you can be back home to spend time with your family or attend your child’s evening sports game. Moreover, if you are traveling a far distance to hunt then leaving early gives you enough time to get back before midnight (hopefully with a trophy!).

What is the Best Time of Day to Hunt

Afternoon Hunts

There is also benefit to hunting in the afternoon. Many animals wake up from their slumbers and head out to nearby acorn trees, ponds, and berry bushes to feed before nighttime. This is also the time when hunters usually encounter deer, bear, and other large game. In the summertime, however, hot afternoon hunts may not reap the results hunters wish. Deer are not huge fans of hot temperatures so they may retreat to hiding in shady areas that are not in a hunter’s view.

Does Weather Play a Factor?

As stated above, deer do not enjoy hot temperatures and will likely hide in the shade. This means that hunters do not only have to consider the time of day, but also the weather. Many hunters have reported that deer seem to enjoy cooler and wetter temperatures. This means that if the morning is drizzly or cool and the afternoon hot, the morning may offer a more successful hunt.

What is the Best Time of Day to Hunt

The Cons

The morning and afternoon times have plenty of pros, but there are several cons hunters should be aware of. The pitch-black periods during the night means there is not much movement or sounds in the forest. During the morning hours, animals are quite sensitive to noise, like hunters moving through trees or footsteps on the ground. What happens when an animal hears footsteps or movement in the early hours is that they retreat to a bedding area and you have now lost your target. Additionally, heading out early in the morning means you may have to use the bathroom more, which means animals may pick up on the urine smell that you leave behind in the bushes.

The afternoon means the sun is starting to set and soon darkness will kick in, making it extremely hard to have a good view of animals lurking around. When it starts to get dark, hunters may also have a challenging time recovering their kill or seeing out of their hunting binoculars. There is clearly an advantage to heading out early in terms of having a better view. For hunters, as the nighttime nears so does dinner time, and this means the feeling of hunger sets in which makes functioning trickier! If you have traveled a long distance, you will more than likely have to stop to eat and rehydrate which ends up taking you more time to get home.

Hunters all have their own personal preference about which time is best to hunt. If you are just starting out or are a seasoned hunter starting to not have much luck out in the bush, then speak to some fellow hunters online or in the area about which times of day they seem to have the most success.

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