Are you a hunter that just sits a couple of hours in the morning and evening? If so, you might be missing out in some great midday hunting action.
Most of his numerous Pope and Young whitetails, including a pair of Booners, have fallen between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.—one after Hailstones made a long drive home to Ohio from a bass tournament in Virginia. He pulled into his driveway at 11 a.m., did a Superman quick-change into his camo, raced to a treestand, and dropped a 135-inch 8-pointer at 1 p.m.
What makes Hailstones convinced that midday is the best time to see big rutting bucks are his own two eyes. “In 30 years of hunting, I’ve seen the same thing in every state I’ve hunted, including Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Kansas,” he says. “Trophy bucks don’t run helter-skelter early and late in the day like younger bucks do. The does are moving then, which makes them harder for bucks to find. The bigger, smarter bucks wait for does to lie down—then they rise and circle downwind of bedding areas to scent-check for estrous does.”
But timing is key. “The best time to take a midday buck is the very peak of the rut, which starts around November 5 in the Midwest and lasts about a week,” says Hailstones. If he fails to take a buck during this period, he hunts the midday hours for another week. Although buck sightings diminish then, there’s still a good chance of catching one on the move. [Continued]