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1.) Swamp Fox - 11/30/2015
What are some of your rules of thumb about going hunting based on the weather, the moon phase, your calendar, your man period, or whatever?

For instance, yesterday was shorts and t-shirt weather here (could have gotten away with flip-flops) with a bright night at the end of the rut. It got into the low 70's after a morning in the 50's or high 40's at the worst. The high was about 15 degrees above average for the date while the low probably wasn't quite so far off (haven't looked it up, but that's my educated estimate). This follows on the heels of similar weather the last few days, and preceded cooler, more seasonal weather today (plus steady rain overnight). I often can't nail down good past-observations wind info, but I'd say there were calm to very light winds yesterday that most likely shifted from southerly to northeasterly as the day progressed. It's rare to get a NE wind here during the deer season, but not rare at all where I hunt in SC. I might have taken advantage of that here (I have some good locations for just such a freakish opportunity), but might have passed on it in SC because I can hunt NE stands under better conditions almost at will.

I used to think 10 degrees above or below the average temp was my red line where I would change hunting tactics. After many years, I think it should be more like 15. I've probably missed some days I shouldn't have at 10.

I'm going through the same thing with wind. What amount puts deer on their bellies? What (extra?) amount makes it more productive to spot-and-stalk, creep around in the woods, sit in a blind in an open area, etc. versus staying home and cleaning the shed? Obviously, there are places where "high" wind comes with the territory. What are your guidelines?

I hate shifting winds unless there's a definitive marker between AM and PM, and calm winds during a weather change seem a high risk when bow hunting. Forget the wind, just hunt vs. mind the wind and hope you don't talk yourself out of a good sit?

Warm weather and bright nights? The kiss of death pre-rut. How about post rut, when deer may be hungry? Bright nights and seasonably cold temps? Skip the pre-dawn trek to the stand, or no?

I know many people will say hunt when you can, regardless of conditions, and I can understand that, especially if you have limited opportunity to get after it. But if you COULD prioritize? How would you/how do you do it?

I'm not sure I've learned the lesson I should about distrusting the weather reports more than a day ahead. I'd like to find some good weather forecasting or a hunting prediction service...maybe a crystal ball.
2.) Wild Bob - 11/30/2015
Well, Iíll pitch my BS spiel out there on this topic (even though it may not fit with what you are looking for), but let me explain first; then you can decide what you will.

I'm going to start off by giving credit for my 'should I go or should I stay' practice to my lovely wife. When I was a young and idealistic man, I had a bad habit of putting way too much energy into waiting, forcing, or trying to make things just right...and that applied universally to pretty much everything I do or used to do. I learned relatively quickly that, life happens.' Based on those experiences, I came to realize that all the energy I was putting into waiting, forcing, or trying to manipulate scenarios for what ever it was I was doing; whether we are talking about waiting for just the right conditions to place a new stand in an area I wanted to hunt, or just the right conditions to have kids, or that perfect job offer...was just what it was; my wasted time!

That being said, one can take that idea to the extreme and rush head long into everything, but that is not what I am saying I do. More specifically, I have come to accept and appreciate the conditions that are on the table and try to work with those conditions (rather that constantly pulling against them). Generally speaking, I err to the side of go and do no matter what - but I constantly need to remind myself that just because I really wanted to hunt that stand in corner of property x, it may not happen and that's ok...so may be the solution is to go hunt out of another stand on property y. I think the key to all this also, IMHO is to stay flexible to changes and line up enough options to utilize them as needed.

Another example; as you mentioned the weather - there was a time when I would perseverate over the temps and conditions...all that wasted worry never helped me fill a tag. What has helped me fill my tag is accepting the conditions, thinking the situation through and then going hunting. This past season, things were warmer than they should have been here for the first two months of the elk and deer season. The upside to that was that I got to hunt in more comfortable conditions...not ideal for the animals I was hunting, but it was what it was. And as I sat watching the Chicken Hawks / Steelers game yesterday afternoon, I was kind of thankful that I wasn't out hunting in 9 deg f temps at 2 in the afternoon.

Lastly, back to my wife's urging to do something regardless of whether or not things are perfect for it; I've repeatedly (as I'm sure we have all seen) seen and had chances to kill deer when the conditions were not quite as good as I would have liked them to have been. I honestly feel that a hunter's attitude has a lot to do with this situation as well. If you go into a hunt a Doubting Thomas, than usually, that's what you'll end up with is doubt! But if you keep an open mind and try the best you can, regardless, at times you'll be surprised. No matter what you choose to do, or how you choose to do it, accept it completely and do it with gusto.

But ultimately, no one is going to have a fulfilling hunting experience if he is sitting on the couch at home, so thatís how I rationalize my efforts to go hunting in regards to the conditions at hand.
3.) bluecat - 11/30/2015
I like what you said WB. I'm out to have some memories and when the situation is not optimal for killing a deer, I'm still making a memory if I don't. I've sure killed some deer when the weather or wind said I shouldn't.

The only thing that keeps me home generally is rain and bad road conditions. I pay absolutely no attention to sun, moon, wind, time of day, season etc. I just love being out there.

The only thing I prioritize is I do better in the evening than an early morning hunt.
4.) DParker - 11/30/2015
I was last able to go out early Thursday (my son and I have made a Thanksgiving morning rifle hunt our own little tradition, since that's the day when the woods are the least crowded and we both have off work). As of that afternoon the area skies commenced over 72 hours of nearly non-stop heavy rain, not stopping until nearly 6pm Sunday. For an idea of how much rain we got, here's a video someone shot of my local shooting range at ~3:30pm Friday. It was completely under water (for the 2nd time this year), with two more days of rain still to follow:


This is pretty much no-go weather for me.
5.) Swamp Fox - 11/30/2015

I realize heavy rain and flooding will push animals to higher ground which sometimes gives you a glimpse of animals you'd otherwise never see (DNR will occasionally prohibit hunting in certain areas during high water) but high water or steady rain is stuff I did back in the day that I think I got my fill of.
6.) DParker - 11/30/2015
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;36624]Yuck!

I realize heavy rain and flooding will push animals to higher ground which sometimes gives you a glimpse of animals you'd otherwise never see (DNR will occasionally prohibit hunting in certain areas during high water) but high water or steady rain is stuff I did back in the day that I think I got my fill of.[/QUOTE]

Well, that and the fact that in this flat-assed part of TX "higher ground" consists of fire ant mounds.
7.) Swamp Fox - 11/30/2015
I am familiar with the concept. :wink

Many places I haunt, a one-foot rise is "the hill", especially if talking about land near water (bank of a river, pond, etc.) and anything in that neighborhood with any length to it is a ridge, LOL...
8.) Swamp Fox - 12/01/2015
Good post, Wild Bob.

For the sake of conversation, what hunting conditions would put you on the couch?

(The TV room couch, not the psychiatrist's...:wink)
9.) Deerminator - 12/01/2015
Kinda depends on how good of a hunting spot you have.
Concentration of deer, the topography and agriculture.
If your into the antler worship thing and ya got a P&Y on the line . Ya might want to get out after him.
10.) Deerminator - 12/01/2015
Doesn't matter if it's for meat , antlers , memories, peace and quiet, meditation----what ever.
ya gotta be in it to win it.
11.) Deerminator - 12/01/2015
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;36676]Good post, Wild Bob.

For the sake of conversation, what hunting conditions would put you on the couch?

(The TV room couch, not the psychiatrist's...:wink)[/QUOTE]

Hard rain
high winds
bitter cold
all of the above
12.) Swamp Fox - 12/01/2015
Good points, D.

Kinda curious what everyone's definitions of high wind, hard rain and abnormal temps are.

I like to avoid almost any rain these days, LOL. Somewhere in the 10-15 degrees above or below normal temps are cause for concern in my book (at least for stand or blind hunting for deer) and even though I'd like to set the mark a little lower, something on the order of 15 mph winds seems about right to seriously second-guess how well (or at least where) deer will move around here.

"For the sake of conversation" :wink throw in your thoughts on other game besides deer if you want to. I can't tell you about a duck or a goose, but I have a few things to say about skwirls...:-)
13.) Jon - 12/01/2015
Here in the flattest state, we have to hunt in the wind otherwise we wouldn't hunt. Typical winds are 10-15, it gets a little hairy when they are over 20 BUT I'll still go if things are right ie, wind direction and temperature.
I will hunt in the snow whenever possible, you can see for miles in the snow here and tracking is so much easier. Torrential downpours are about the worst thing for me, I'll probably stay in the house 8 out of 10 days when this is the weather.
Like everyone else here, I've killed deer in the absolute wrong situation. Wind blowing towards the deer, too cold, too hot, just right etc. I try to get out in all of it if at all possible. So far, I have 46 days afield this season and still 2 solid months to go until the season is over.
14.) Wild Bob - 12/01/2015
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;36676]Good post, Wild Bob.

For the sake of conversation, what hunting conditions would put you on the couch?

(The TV room couch, not the psychiatrist's...:wink)[/QUOTE]

I hope I wasn't too absolute in my first response...Some times I will pass up hunting: If it is down pouring rain and looks like it is going to be that way for the duration of my hunt time, then I'll pass (unless it is peak of the rut and I'm hunting with a gun - then I'll suffer it). Snow; most of the time I hunt in it unless it's flat out blizzard conditions. Wind; (especially here on the plains it is always blowing) so rarely do not go because of wind.

Generally speaking though and I think someone else alluded to this too, it depends on the location. Not only big picture in the region, but also on micro local scale. For example, in regards to rain, it is extremely rare for the area where I live now to get prolonged down pours (only 12" annual rain fall amount here) so I'll often hunt when its raining because 8 times out of 10 a heavy down will last only a few minutes out of an hour (if that!), the rest of the time it'll either be very light or misting rain. Back when I lived in TN, and we'd get down pours that literally would last hours or even most of the day (as I know you are familiar with)...then I'd pass. But then again, that is also the reason why I've always like to have at least one shooting house set up where I do most of my hunting as I'd hit the shooting house when the weather was bad...

Wind as I mentioned, is a constant here. But, that being said; there are times when I might have my heart set on chasing mule deer or antelope out on the plains, but if it is gusting over 25 mph, I'll often reconsider and then end up hunting whitetails down in the River bottoms where the wind is much less of an issue. (This especially becomes an issue at any kind of longer range considering my pet .308 load in a 30 MPH cross wind would require over 10 inches horizontal correction at only 200 yards...push that target out to 300 yards and that correction jumps to a hair over 24 inches! Pretty easy to screw a shot up in those conditions in my opinion, and I don't like shooting at an animal in wind like that.) But again, it all goes back to that idea that something is always changing, whether I want it to or not.

As you mentioned in your initial post; there are a boat load of variables that all come into play. And to me, part of the challenge of hunting is sorting through all that to pull off a successful hunt. Good food for thought, thanks for posting the thread!
15.) Wild Bob - 12/01/2015
Jon - Long season! That's nice.
16.) Swamp Fox - 12/01/2015
We don't have as much wind as Jon, normally, and certainly not as much as the Plains get.

From a stand, I'm sure I've seen more deer in heavy rain than I've seen in high wind (20 mph +/-), which makes my aversion to hunting in the rain a little weird, LOL. But as you point out, it's often not just a quick shower, or even just a shower. I still have standing water in my yard from Sunday overnight, and that was nothing compared to sometimes, LOL.

I'll hunt in high wind, especially if "forced" to, but I don't like it, and I often use it as an excuse not to go (to sit in a treestand, anyway). I would probably feel better about either set of conditions (wind or rain) if I could slip around a hunting area as opposed to being restricted to a stand or blind.

I do have to get a little less picky about what I consider windy and what's just "not optimal." I'm sure when it's my time to go to the Happy Hunting Ground, I have already earned enough kicks in my own behind for "not going hunting when I should have." I don't need any more.
17.) Wild Bob - 12/02/2015
Sounds like ya got some issues going on there Swampy...between the last sentence of your comment and the direction you're pulling the give-away thread in...I'm a little concerned for ya. When was the last time you slept in Molly's Chamber???????? :-)
18.) Swamp Fox - 12/02/2015
The devil take that woman, for you know she tricked me easy...
19.) Deerminator - 12/02/2015
20.) Deerminator - 12/02/2015
Camp sharing- yabado- a- mada ( what ever he sings there )
21.) Swamp Fox - 12/02/2015
Camp Yabba Dabba Do?

22.) Wild Bob - 12/02/2015
.... :-)
23.) Bob Peck - 12/02/2015
[B]If it's firearms nothing will stop me. [/B]
-The nastier the weather, the better the silent advantage. I still test gear on a limited basis and there's only one way to know if it performs as advertised and that's to get out in it. This is partly challenging myself, partly challenging the gear selection for the conditions.

-High winds (20+mph)? They're going to bed down unless it's the rut. I'm going to push my way into the bedding area and kill them where they're hunkered down. I'll get on my hands and knees and crawl through the mountain laurel if necessary.

[B]If it's bow:[/B]
-any ambient temp above 65 makes no sense hanging in there for an all day sit except the first 1-2 hours of the morning or the last 20 mins.of the day.
-if it's heavy, all day consistent rain, I may still go out (without a weapon) just to see what's happening and to move a stand or trim a shooting lane.

Sometimes I just say the heck with it.
24.) DParker - 12/02/2015
[QUOTE=Bob Peck;36717][B]If it's firearms nothing will stop me. [/B][/QUOTE]

That's what this guy said:

(I post this only because the actor's real-life name is.....[URL="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0669629/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1"]Bob Peck[/URL].)
25.) Wild Bob - 12/02/2015
Parker - you are wealth of pictures! :laugh: