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October Lull?

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Has anyone noticed this before? The first couple weeks of Oct. before the rut starts up, the deer become nocturnal. It seems like every year this happens to me. I only see deer in the waning hours of light, or in the middle of the day when I am scouting. The question would be this....what do I do about it? Do I get closer to bedding areas, do I get closer to food sources, what? This time of year is always frustrating to me and just wondering if it is for everyone else? I can hardly wait for the 25th or so of October. This is the time to be in the woods.

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The October lull is very common, this is when the testosterone levels in bucks start to increase where they will split from thier bachelor groups and head on their own, this is a tough time for bucks because they do become more nocturnal and are less predictable than before. I will usually try to fill my doe tag during this time for two reasons, because the bugs are not moving and so when the pre rut/chase phase rolls around I can let those does pass in hopes a buck will soon follow. Another common tactic is to hunt water sources during this time, especially if you hunt in a dry area, bucks still need to wet their whistle and just might sneak down to take a drink. Now I hunt in an area with alot of water. springs and a river so this is something that is alot tougher for me. I would stay away from bedding areas at any time of the year, these are a "safe zone" that you need to keep that way, it only takes once and might push alot of deer off your property. Bucks should be starting to make rubs by now, since they split up from their groups and are trying to establish territories, try to hunt near rub lines during this period, this at least tells you a buck has been in the area, and if you can find an area with alot of rubs, you just might catch a late arriving buck coming through in the morning,do this until you find scrapes starting to appear, then switch tactics to scrapes, this is thime to try rattling and calling with combination doe bleats and buck grunts since the bucks are starting to get worked up enough to maybe check it out. The around the last week of October is when the real fun starts, this is when I move to funnel areas/neckdowns/bottlenecks, since bucks will be on the move constantly in search for a receptive doe, then once the actual rut rolls around I switch back to hunting where the does live and between doe bedding areas. Any way you look at it, the middle of October is a tough time to find a buck, but it does happen and the only way get one is to be in the woods because we all know deer don't always follow the script.

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I have noticed it as well. Actually, the hnting does not get good in my area until mid October. You better be in the woods from then until rifle season, that in my opinion is the very best time to be bow hunting. During this lull, I would recommend hunting more in the mornings or going duck hunting! I would stay out of the bedding areas but that is just my opinion. Some would go right in. Whatever you decide, good luck. Oh, ya, you might want to try a little rattling this time of year, they might get curious!

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I know my cousin & I who hunt together a lot, have both often complained about this time of year for bow hunting. The weather's beautiful, great time to be on stand, but the deer sightings tend to be low. Then the last week in October or so on into gun season the deer go nuts. I've had pretty good luck the last few years though during this time as I've found some secluded crop fields that are the closest agriculture for a couple miles one way & they always seem to show up there. Sometimes it's not till late or even too late, but often it's well before dark.

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I think part of the problem is that now we've all been hunting for three weeks, people are out scouting out deer stands for gun hunting, duck and grouse hunters are out, people are in the woods more, it making the deer a little more wary and noctornal. And we're all anticipating the activity of the rut. Deer are still there, we just have to maintain the faith and keep after them. I personally have taken a few days off after shooting a doe, trying to finish up the last of my fall chores, but now I'm getting anxious to get back out - before pheasant hunting starts!!! smile.gif Life is good!

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