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Thread: Deer only moving at night...what to do?

  1. #1
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    Deer only moving at night...what to do?

    About the last 2 or 3 weeks every time I check my trail cameras I dont have any daytime pictures of the deer. They aren't moving through until about midnight to 3AM. I dont have any pictures during shooting hours. There was one day they came up at 8:15PM but it gets dark here around 7:30. Even on the days I expected to have a lot of pictures I didnt.....like yesterday here in Missouri we had a cold front come through with light rain and I figured they would be out with the cool temps and drizzle and I didnt have any at all. I have one camera set up over my food plot and one on a trail. I've got 8 does and 4 bucks hanging around....they just wont cooperate with me.

    Andy - SW MO
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  2. #2
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    One word...wait. It is only early October.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EG01004 View Post
    One word...wait. It is only early October.

    Ha. Ok. I assumed it was only a phase they were going through. This is my first year of hunting so I'm still learning. I guess this is something normal all deer will do each year?
    Andy - SW MO
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  4. #4
    Normal. Give it a few weeks and they will change
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EG01004 View Post
    One word...wait. It is only early October.
    Exactly what I was gonna say. It's tough not to be out there but it'll pay off.
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  6. #6
    same thing here in R.I. It's just to warm during the daylight hours. it's expected to only be in the mid 50's tomarrow, good day to stay in the stand a little longer.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrod p&y View Post
    Exactly what I was gonna say. It's tough not to be out there but it'll pay off.

    Yes it is tough....infact its driving me crazy. My wife thinks I've lost my mind.
    Andy - SW MO
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  8. #8

    Deer only moving at night...what to do?

    Same here in western pa tons of night pics ain't seeing a thing on stand
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  9. #9
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    how much property are you hunting? Maybe your cams just aren't in a good spot. Trust me, the deer are moving during daylight hours. It's not too early, it's not too hot...you're just maybe not looking in the right spot. Now, if you only are hunting a few acres, then you might be outta luck for a while.

  10. #10
    buy a spot light lol......just kidding try early morning grunt calling just when you can see this usally works for me. and i used it last week and it worked but i didnt get a shot off. try it

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsites9 View Post
    how much property are you hunting? Maybe your cams just aren't in a good spot. Trust me, the deer are moving during daylight hours. It's not too early, it's not too hot...you're just maybe not looking in the right spot. Now, if you only are hunting a few acres, then you might be outta luck for a while.
    The property I'm hunting on is about 40 acres total....20 of it is wooded. The camera over my food plot hasn't moved, but the other one I move around occasionaly with no luck.
    Andy - SW MO
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  12. #12
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    I to am hunting a small 40 acres this year. Just like you, most pics are at night. I do though have deer in the plot in the 3:00 pm range, but only a couple does. I am holding out all hunting till late this month. It will pick up and the bucks will start moving more, just keep yourself busy and don't stress yourself about it. These early cold temps will get them going soon. Good luck to you this year, hope you get a big one.
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  13. #13
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    Was simular here a couple weeks ago. Warm, warm, warm. Hunt evenings in early warm season.

    Is there a posibility that you have been out there too much?

    Get a water source set up on the plot edge.
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  14. #14
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    I'm telling ya, temps have NOTHING to do with it. I routinely see deer in the middle of a 90 degree day feeding.

    Are you hunting yet, or just going off of trail cam pics?

    What bait (if any) are you using for the trail cams?

    Patterns have changed lately. I don't know what crops you have around, but they have changed if there are any around. Beans turn brown, corn gets cut.

    Acorns started dropping around here...oh...about 3 weeks ago. Perfect timing? It's been hot here the last few days again, and I was seeing deer in the woods WELL before dark. Feeding through, eating acorns, before hitting the fields. On their feet in the woods a good hour before hitting the fields, which they're doing about half an hour before dark. And I'm hunting a 50 acre block of woods

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoyt1373 View Post
    I to am hunting a small 40 acres this year. Just like you, most pics are at night. I do though have deer in the plot in the 3:00 pm range, but only a couple does. I am holding out all hunting till late this month. It will pick up and the bucks will start moving more, just keep yourself busy and don't stress yourself about it. These early cold temps will get them going soon. Good luck to you this year, hope you get a big one.
    Thanks for the advice. I will keep shooting and getting myself ready. I've got a nice 9 point I've been watching all year. I've also got 2 small 6's and one pretty good 8 point hanging around. I think the bucks are already starting to move a little bit because just recently a really small 4 point has shown up. He's maybe a year and half old.
    Andy - SW MO
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsites9 View Post
    I'm telling ya, temps have NOTHING to do with it. I routinely see deer in the middle of a 90 degree day feeding.

    Are you hunting yet, or just going off of trail cam pics?

    What bait (if any) are you using for the trail cams?

    Patterns have changed lately. I don't know what crops you have around, but they have changed if there are any around. Beans turn brown, corn gets cut.

    Acorns started dropping around here...oh...about 3 weeks ago. Perfect timing? It's been hot here the last few days again, and I was seeing deer in the woods WELL before dark. Feeding through, eating acorns, before hitting the fields. On their feet in the woods a good hour before hitting the fields, which they're doing about half an hour before dark. And I'm hunting a 50 acre block of woods
    I was hunting quite a bit when the season opened. (Sep 15th) But haven't been much since then. My food plot is mainly corn. I agree with you on the temps. I've been studying my trail cam pictures all year and I never really can find a reason for when they come around. It seems like they'll come in all temps and the moon phases dont seem to have much impact either. I know a lot of people pay attention to that and I do to a point but I honestly cant find a pattern....atleast here lately. Back in the spring/summer they were very consistent.
    Andy - SW MO
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  17. #17
    We must remember we are hunting a nocturnal creature. Here too, the deer move mainly at night, they always have, the past 5 years of having trail cams proves it. If fact, here in my little part of the world (Minn). I tend to see more deer in the early season than in the later season. My theory is it stays light out longer in mid Sept vs mid to late Oct. I've hunted out west (Wyo/Mont) on occasion, and have always been shocked on how early the deer come out to feed, hours before dark. Back home, just before dark.

    During the winter months I normally put up a feeder near my house for the deer. Everything I have ever read about deer habits say deer will move earlier in sub zero weather to preserve body heat in the cold winter months. Hogwash, on the coldest nights of the winter when the temps are -20F or colder. The deer wont come to the feeder until 2-3 am. Only once have I ever saw a deer come to the feeder during the winter months in the light of day. And that was almost sunset. Be patient, thats the backbone of bowhunting.

  18. #18
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    They are probably just coming to your camera at night. I bet they are still moving in other places during daylight.

    How often do you check your trail cam? They will catch on after a while and stay away from bait until dark.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCJW View Post
    They are probably just coming to your camera at night. I bet they are still moving in other places during daylight.

    How often do you check your trail cam? They will catch on after a while and stay away from bait until dark.
    Yes - they are absolutely coming by the cameras at night. Between 12am and 3am. I've moved one camera around with no luck.

    I check the cameras about every 5 days but its not always at the same time nor on the same day. I've been doing this for almost a year.
    Andy - SW MO
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  20. #20

    Deer only moving at night...what to do?

    I have doe movement early and late in the day but bucks only at night. I hope the bucks show up during the rut as expected.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by aterry View Post
    Yes - they are absolutely coming by the cameras at night. Between 12am and 3am. I've moved one camera around with no luck.

    I check the cameras about every 5 days but its not always at the same time nor on the same day. I've been doing this for almost a year.
    My point is that if they know you are coming around they will try to avoid you. If they feel any pressure in the locations you have the cameras they will stay away until they feel safe, which is at night. I have had cameras out since June and checked them one time per week. At first most all of my pics where during the day and the more I checked it the more night pics I got. My advice is to set your stand up in a more undisturbed area and you should see daylight movement.

  22. #22
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    Re: Deer only moving at night...what to do?

    Get a big card in the off season check once a month or less why disturb if your only watching antlers grow the less the better. . Also as said before they move but may not be in your area at that time. .

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  23. #23
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    All our deer movement has been caught on camera at night, however those camera locations are fairly open areas. The wooded section of property we hunt is really thick with pine thickets and under growth, but a day just sitting in the stand on the fringes of thickets near water holes and well used trails tells you they are moving, just not too far and in the thickest of areas. I have scouted a little clearing for about a week and half, and tonight chose my stand location and moved in with my climber. Within an hour of being on the stand I was able to put meat in the freezer. Not a trophy by any means, and not a bow kill. The location I picked is just too thick for a bow, and to make decent shooting lanes for a bow from the stand location I chose due to the wind, would have simply changed too much of their natural habitat, and I was afraid of disturbing a potential hot spot on the property.

    Was sitting the stand, and at about 4:30 looked over toward the water holes edge and a little 6 pointer had slid out into the open. Had about 6 inches of exposed back and upper lung, and I dropped it with the 270. And like I said, I have set in this general area 3 times in the past week and a half monitoring the deer moving in and around the water during the day. You just have to get a little deeper for them this time of year, but like others said, that's about to change.

  24. #24
    find where they are bedding. you will see day time activity. it wil probably be the last hour of light or less, but none the less, daytime activity. best to find the beds in the off season though.

  25. #25
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    Your on twenty acres, not much land to be checking cams and over hunting this early in the season. Every time you enter you leave scent.

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