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Scott M

Morning or Evening

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Just curious if any bowhunting folks are noticing a lot of movement in the mornings or evenings? My stand was hung two weeks ago, but I'm trying to decide if I should hunt it in the morning or evening. A friend of the family is on another site about 3-4 miles away and put up a trail cam. He's seeing deer like clockwork one hour before sunrise and one hour before sunset. He moved his camera to where I'm hunting a week ago, but I don't want to walk in and stink the place up because I know there a couple shooter bucks using the area (I do know I will pull the cards after I'm done on Saturday to see if those bucks have any sort of pattern, although it'll be too little too late).

Right now I think I'm going to go out in the morning. The potential for rain is another monkey wrench thrown into the whole thing. Eek out 12 hours on the stand?

Penny for others thoughts...

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If you have the time and can handle it I would sit all day. Especially if you know you have several shooter bucks in the area. If sitting all day isn't for you then I would focus on the afternoon/evening. The activity your friend has seen on his trail cam is fairly typical elsewhere for this time of year with travel occuring mostly before sunrise from feeding areas to beds and then again from beds to feed at/around sunset. If that buck makes it to his bed before sunrise you probably won't get a shot but you might have a window of legal light closer to sunset. It all depends where you're stand is too. I've set up almost too close to bedding "zones" and have seen deer activity throughout the day. They will bed for a couple hours or less and get up to use the restroom and browse only to bed again around 50 yards away from the previous bed. I've seen this repeated all day with the deer moving a total of about 150 yards but bedding for a half hour or more 7 different times. If you are hunting a field edge or funnel near a field/food plot I would bet on the evening sit though. Being the start of the season I would hunt a feeding pattern first and would stay away from bedding areas. You don't want to intrude on a bedding area and change a fairly predictable late summer pattern if possible. Also, deer seem to be more on edge when approaching a bedding area. When a wiley buck approaches a popular food source (like clockwork in the sunset hour) often there are already other deer feeding in a calm manner and he then becomes more at ease by seeing other deer doing their thing. If you do hunt the morning I would try to get there exceptionally early. Obviously to allow the woods to "calm down". Even though you would be on stand for a bit before you can legally shoot you might be able to see a bit or hear what's going on in the area. If you go really early you could prove that the stand is in fact unproductive in the morning and the deer have bedded before shooting light based on what you heard and/or saw in the dark. Keep in mind though that the best time to hunt is when you can, but every time you hunt the same spot your odds go down. Again, I'd sit all day if possible and justify it as a scouting sit. It's likely the middle of the day will be void of activity but staying on stand all day will either prove or disprove that notion and will lessen your impact on the area by not going in and out so much when deer are likely bedding and on alert. If you have scouted your entry and exit well you could try hunting morning and head back out for the evening. It could be a boring and unproductive day. It might be the most informative or successful day out though.

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Well said matthothand. If you have shooter bucks walking by your stand an hour before first light you might want to hunt another area opening morning and try for a doe, or get there 2 hours before daylight so you don't bump them going in and hope that one of them shows up late. It might be a long wait in the morning but would be well worth it if you get one. I usually don't sit all day until later in October but if you are close to the bedding area it might be worth a try. Otherwise get in that stand well before primie time that evening and be as quiet and scent free as possible. Good luck and remember to show us a lot of pics if you get him.

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Early season hunting what it is.... Cutting deer off between food/water and sleep or sleep and food/water.... Evening hunts are much more productive this time of year.

You do what you want, I'm sleeping in.

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My first 14 deer came alternating between being taken in the morning and evening. Right now my trail cameras have seen about the same amount of activity at both times as well.

That being said I do like evenings better this time of year and switched my work scedule around this weekend to be able to hunt them rather than mornings. If it were late season I would have to say I prefer mornings better when the rut is beginning to peak.

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I agree that your evenings are going to be more successful in the early season. With that said I can't imagine sleeping in opening morning when I have a chance to get out in the woods but to each their own.

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Tippman,

How was your Muskie fishing Trip on Mille Lacs?

Nail any nice ones?

We got a fat 49.5 after dark. Saw one other fish that was probably about 53 during the day.

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I am going to hit it in the evening, they have been much more productive for me. I have stuff to do in the morning anyway.

Cowgirl of course smile

Back to the subject, I'm just getting ready to get out there now. Looks like the rain will be done shortly

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