I look forward to the first week of November every year for Bowhunting Whitetail.
Why am I sooo excited? Because in my opinion it is the best week or 10 day period for getting multiple shot opportunities at when bowhunting whitetail mature bucks in the midwest.
Why? Because this is the narrow window of time that the mature bucks are ready to breed, but the does are not. It’s called the pre-rut. That means the bucks will be on their feet during daylight hours searching for that first receptive doe, and the best time of day to be in your stand bowhunting whitetail is between 10 am and 2pm.
I believe the pre-rut is better for bowhunting whitetail and getting more cracks at mature bucks than the rut, because during the rut the bucks are locked down with a hot doe and don’t travel as much while they will spend a whole day tending that doe.
Years ago I had a hard time getting myself to sit in a tree from 10am -2pm, but I quickly learned that mature bucks cruise around looking for hot does in the middle of the day and appear to not be as wary or cautious as they are during the morning or evening hunts. I didn’t see as many deer, but I saw more quality bucks while bowhunting whitetail.
There are 2 main reasons that you will see more quality bucks when bowhunting whitetail in the pre-rut.
First, the does are generally bedded down at midday and its easier for bucks to locate them simply by going from bedding area to bedding area to see if any does are hot to trot. This is why I like bowhunting whitetail in travel corridors like fence rows, tree lines, or any strip of thick cover that connects different woodlots, swamps, or standing cornfields where does normally bed down in security.
Younger bucks may walk through an open field during the rut or pre-rut, but but I have noticed while bowhunting whitetail that a mature buck is much more likely to stay in some sort of cover during daylight hours as he travels.
The second reason I think mature bucks cruise more during midday, at this time of year while looking for some action, is that they rarely encounter hunters bowhunting whitetail during the midday. Now I know a lot of hunters are quick to dismiss this idea because they simply do not believe a whitetail is that smart. That is true, until the bucks live through a couple hunting seasons with antlers. If they survive to their 3rd hunting season where there’s even medium hunting pressure, this makes them a whole different animal and they wise up to the patterns of hunters bowhunting whitetails being in woods for a few hours in the morning and evening. While bowhunting whitetail I have noticed a big difference in the way they seem to be more at ease and not as wary while they travel at midday.
So instead of getting up early for bowhunting whitetail like I normally do to hunt in the morning, I’ll sometimes sleep in and head out to my tree around 9am. I know, I know, it just doesn’t seem right to head out into the woods at 9am. But I try bowhunting whitetail everyday during this period and sleeping in once in a while helps me from getting burned out.
I never thought I would ever get “burn out” from bowhunting whitetail too much.
If you don’t already have a stand ready to go in one of these travel corridors, be careful not to spoil a good spot for bowhunting whitetail if you scout and prep a tree at this time of year. Springtime is really when you should be doing all of that.
Well, I’m headed out of state for this week. Looks like it will be dry and cooler for the best week of bowhunting whitetail all year. I’ll keep you posted with any success.
Feel free to leave a comment below of your experiences you’ve had while bowhunting whitetail during the midday.