Of course exam week falls during what is probably the one of the better parts of the rut here in the Midwest. I won’t be able to hunt all week until Friday afternoon and it’s supposed to rain all day. Go figure. Hopefully I can get it done Saturday or Sunday. Gun season starts this weekend however and I imagine public land will be a nightmare after that. I have one private piece I can go to here so I may check it out some more after that point. We’ll see.
I hunted on Friday and it was 9º F when I got into the stand. It didn’t get above 20ºF before I left the stand at noon. I had action in the early morning around 7am. A couple small bucks came through chasing does but it died after that. I’ve heard some people suggest that bitter cold days during the rut don’t always see the best activity. That would make sense to me. I’m sure there’s sort of a “Goldilocks” temperature range (relative to where you live) that deer prefer to run around in during this time of year. It was a bit warmer the next day and I imagine deer movement could have been really good but I was unable to hunt due to some other responsibilities. It’s still November for a while and it’s still the rut for a while. I still have high hopes.
This week should stay fairly consistent at least into Friday. There aren’t going to be any major pattern changes during the next 4-5 days, which will keep the weather generally the same for most areas (temperature-wise). If we take a look at the NAM model we can see that the colors don’t really move around a whole lot:
Wednesday and Thursday could be a bit warmer for the central plains as some Gulf air makes its way north. A week front will also push through the central US on Thursday but it won’t bring any significant cool downs.
After this week another, bigger front will move in from Canada and bring cooler temperatures for most of the country. The southern part of the country will feel the greatest impact of this. Here’s a look at what that should look like:
Southern states could see temperature drops up to 20 degrees in some areas. The midwest will also see another period of bitter cold with this front similar to this past weekend.
Personally during this time of year I focus less on the cold fronts and more on just days that aren’t “warm.” In Wisconsin if it’s 40º or less during this time of year I feel good about the weather. From there you just need to play the wind. You need to think about what normal is in your neck of the woods this time of year and make decisions based on that. If it’s above normal then movement may not be the best, if it’s well below normal then that may not make for great deer movement either. At the end of the day you should hunt as much as you can during the rut regardless of temperature. You just need to judge HOW you’re going to hunt based on temperature. Don’t think they’ll be moving much? Hunt bedding areas. Think they’ll be moving a ton? Hunt bedding exit/entry trails, travel routes/funnels.
The midwest is going to be wet into Friday and Saturday. Parts of the eastern US and east coast will also see some showers and thunderstorms as the front moves through on Saturday and Sunday. Here’s what the precip totals will look like for the next several days:
Hunting in the rain can produce some good hunting but when it’s pouring I think the deer tend to stay bedded down more. Right after the rain or right after heavy precipitation of any kind is usually extremely good for this reason. After being bedded down for a while they get up and stretch their legs and run around, etc. It’s a bit too cold for me to sit in the soaking rain for hours at this point in the year. If you can manage it though it can definitely be productive in the right circumstances.
2.5 more weeks in the magical month of November. It’s going by too fast as it does every year.