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Old 01-12-2019, 06:15 PM   #1
TXHunter12
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Default Whitetail Deer Movement

Can anyone simply a day in the life of a whitetail deer doe/buck?

The more I read the more confusing it seems to get.

Leaving out moon phases, weather patterns, rut, etc.

A deer does what during the day time and what during the night time. Then what during dawn and dusk.

When does a deer bed down and when does a deer feed?
How often do they move?

Thanks
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
Can anyone simply a day in the life of a whitetail deer doe/buck?

The more I read the more confusing it seems to get.

Leaving out moon phases, weather patterns, rut, etc.

A deer does what during the day time and what during the night time. Then what during dawn and dusk.

When does a deer bed down and when does a deer feed?
How often do they move?

Thanks
If you want to leave out moon phases, you cant get an answer.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:38 PM   #3
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I like this thread idea. Why not? Let’s all share the most basic of whitetail/hunting knowledge. Who knows who all might read this thread and truly gain something from it. Think about all the newbies who might be too shy or embarrassed to ask the simplest of questions. It could be a hugely successful thread.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:41 PM   #4
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Sleep Eat Sleep Eat Sleep Eat
About every 4-7 hrs they need to eat depending on what they’re eating.
Sometimes they have to travel a long ways between bed and food. Sometimes they don’t. Rut changes things. Not as much eating or sleeping for the bucks.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:54 PM   #5
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I read an article last summer written by a professional hunter or wildlife biologist, I cant remember which.
He and his friend did a 15 year study of deer movement. 5000hr in the woods and they concluded that normal deer activity was determained by the moon. He said that if the moon is on the horizon either going up on down the deer would be on their feet. If the moon was straight over head they would be on their feet, day or night. Actually this was not about phases just moon position. But phases did play a part. This year I planned just about every hunt on this article. Some days the moon would rise at 10 so I'd get in the stand ar 9. I'd see deer from about the time I got in for about 2 or 3 hours. This happened more often whether I was in the hill country or east Tx
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BolilloLoco View Post
Sleep Eat Sleep Eat Sleep Eat
About every 4-7 hrs they need to eat depending on what theyíre eating.
Sometimes they have to travel a long ways between bed and food. Sometimes they donít. Rut changes things. Not as much eating or sleeping for the bucks.
I thought it was Eat. Sleep. Fish.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
Can anyone simply a day in the life of a whitetail deer doe/buck?

The more I read the more confusing it seems to get.

Leaving out moon phases, weather patterns, rut, etc.

A deer does what during the day time and what during the night time. Then what during dawn and dusk.

When does a deer bed down and when does a deer feed?
How often do they move?

Thanks
Moon position and phases affect deer movement, feed patterns. So to answer your question all of that would have to be included.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by flywise View Post
I read an article last summer written by a professional hunter or wildlife biologist, I cant remember which.
He and his friend did a 15 year study of deer movement. 5000hr in the woods and they concluded that normal deer activity was determained by the moon. He said that if the moon is on the horizon either going up on down the deer would be on their feet. If the moon was straight over head they would be on their feet, day or night. Actually this was not about phases just moon position. But phases did play a part. This year I planned just about every hunt on this article. Some days the moon would rise at 10 so I'd get in the stand ar 9. I'd see deer from about the time I got in for about 2 or 3 hours. This happened more often whether I was in the hill country or east Tx
Yessir, pretty accurate
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flywise View Post
I read an article last summer written by a professional hunter or wildlife biologist, I cant remember which.
He and his friend did a 15 year study of deer movement. 5000hr in the woods and they concluded that normal deer activity was determained by the moon. He said that if the moon is on the horizon either going up on down the deer would be on their feet. If the moon was straight over head they would be on their feet, day or night. Actually this was not about phases just moon position. But phases did play a part. This year I planned just about every hunt on this article. Some days the moon would rise at 10 so I'd get in the stand ar 9. I'd see deer from about the time I got in for about 2 or 3 hours. This happened more often whether I was in the hill country or east Tx
interesting. any discernible pattern on doe sightings vs. buck sightings at these times?
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:56 PM   #10
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interesting. any discernible pattern on doe sightings vs. buck sightings at these times?
I dont recall anything that stood out. Most of my hunts this year were on the ground in a ghillie suit with hand corn. I had a lot of deer every sit during the hour i mentioned above.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:16 PM   #11
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interesting. any discernible pattern on doe sightings vs. buck sightings at these times?
https://www.qdma.com/10-things-know-...uck-movements/

Iíve read different studies saying different things on the moon. Not disagreeing at all. That was the only reason I said leaving the moon phases out just to simply things. But I think they are important to the discussion as well.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BolilloLoco View Post
Sleep Eat Sleep Eat Sleep Eat
About every 4-7 hrs they need to eat depending on what theyíre eating.
Sometimes they have to travel a long ways between bed and food. Sometimes they donít. Rut changes things. Not as much eating or sleeping for the bucks.
So do they sleep in their feeding areas at night and eat in their resting areas during the day?
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:19 PM   #13
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Interesting topic
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:46 PM   #14
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So do they sleep in their feeding areas at night and eat in their resting areas during the day?
Yessir. We all know they prefer to move in low light situations. Everything Iíve read claims mature deer will travel further to feed at night than they will in the daytime. They will rest near the nighttime feeding location at night. Then move to their daytime bedding area in the morning. They feed close to the daytime bedding area during the day. In South Texas/Mexico they usually donít have to travel too far for food. So they could spend day and night in same bed if they like the groceries nearby. This is how I interpreted it anyways.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
https://www.qdma.com/10-things-know-...uck-movements/

I’ve read different studies saying different things on the moon. Not disagreeing at all. That was the only reason I said leaving the moon phases out just to simply things. But I think they are important to the discussion as well.
I've seen that and the one showing how the moon phase had no affect on rut timing too.

I've been running cameras in 3 different counties for 6 years or so and can probably count on my hand how many mature buck pics I've had between 10am and 3pm. Sure they could be up and moving midday but being bow spots, if he ain't on my camera I don't have a shot anyway. If I was a rifle hunter I would no doubt be inclined to sit a lot longer.

It's an interesting topic, one of my hunting buddies swears by the moon... He also swears by ozonics and will hunt bad winds telling me how many deer he still sees, all young bucks and does, he has yet to kill a target buck and was complaining yesterday how he's only ever seen 1 mature buck in person
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:03 AM   #16
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Yessir. We all know they prefer to move in low light situations. Everything Iíve read claims mature deer will travel further to feed at night than they will in the daytime. They will rest near the nighttime feeding location at night. Then move to their daytime bedding area in the morning. They feed close to the daytime bedding area during the day. In South Texas/Mexico they usually donít have to travel too far for food. So they could spend day and night in same bed if they like the groceries nearby. This is how I interpreted it anyways.
Do deer go to larger fields and bed down at night there also (Iíve seen bedding areas in the fields) because itís safer from predators? The same question for during the day, do they take cover in the woods because itís safer from predators in the daytime? Just wondering why fields at night and woods in the day (assuming no people populated around)
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:42 AM   #17
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I was part of a large deer research study where we caught and collared over 200 deer and followed them with the collars on for 3 months taking points every 15 minutes. I’m sure in the 1,000,000+ points we got back that an answer although maybe not concrete but just as good as any other study that I know of could be extrapolated from it.

Multiple MS and PhD theses and dissertations could be gotten from the data we collected. The answer is out there, just need someone smarter than me to run the stats.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:11 AM   #18
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I recommend looking up MSU Deer Lab. They have podcast you can listen to while driving to and from work. They have stuff up on their facebook page or website if you like to read through studies. Wealth of information
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:43 AM   #19
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I've noticed that wind direction plays a part in their movements. They like to be able to smell where they can't see, and will bed down on the downwind side of hills. They use the wind to their advantage whenever they can.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:51 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
Do deer go to larger fields and bed down at night there also (Iíve seen bedding areas in the fields) because itís safer from predators? The same question for during the day, do they take cover in the woods because itís safer from predators in the daytime? Just wondering why fields at night and woods in the day (assuming no people populated around)
When I hunted Illinois a lot, this is what I would see walking out at night, the bean field was full of deer. They were having a good time, playing and eating, just doing what deer do. A lot of the time they were there all night. To answer your question, yes.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:53 AM   #21
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Deer move when Iím gone and bed when Iím hunting. Itís really simple


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Old 01-13-2019, 07:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by flywise View Post
If you want to leave out moon phases, you cant get an answer.
This
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:34 AM   #23
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This
Again I see this stated all the time as fact, period, end of discussion. But there are lots of collar tracking studies that do not confirm this. Many go as far to conclude there is no effect at all from the moon. If it was that simple it would seem almost all tracking studies would validate this and it would be consistent across all geographical locations.

Iím not disagreeing that moon phases, rising and set times etc. play no factor. Itís just that when I start reading studies itís not very consistent.

The one consistent finding in the collar tracking studies across the board is that deer movement mostly occurs at dawn and dusk.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:43 AM   #24
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Deer move when Iím gone and bed when Iím hunting. Itís really simple


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I can confirm this as well


Thanks everyone for the input.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:31 AM   #25
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from my personal experience, outside of the rut, the dawn/dusk period will see peak feeding activity. you'll find them out in the open more at night, especially darker nights. and in the woods/shade during the day. since I'm outside most of the day and run cameras and feeders year round, I can pattern them easy enough.
now the rut, that's voodoo.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:15 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
Again I see this stated all the time as fact, period, end of discussion. But there are lots of collar tracking studies that do not confirm this. Many go as far to conclude there is no effect at all from the moon. If it was that simple it would seem almost all tracking studies would validate this and it would be consistent across all geographical locations.

Iím not disagreeing that moon phases, rising and set times etc. play no factor. Itís just that when I start reading studies itís not very consistent.

The one consistent finding in the collar tracking studies across the board is that deer movement mostly occurs at dawn and dusk.
Back n the day, there was fellerby the name of Charles Alsheimer, he probably knew more about deer than anybody answering your thread. Check out what he says about the moon and deer movement
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:10 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
Can anyone simply a day in the life of a whitetail deer doe/buck?

The more I read the more confusing it seems to get.

Leaving out moon phases, weather patterns, rut, etc.

A deer does what during the day time and what during the night time. Then what during dawn and dusk.

When does a deer bed down and when does a deer feed?
How often do they move?

Thanks
This is a little off topic, but I started logging observations/trail camera photos into an Excel spreadsheet, and it makes it much easier to see trends/patterns in deer activity/movement when you can actually see it laid out in front of you. Also, it's 100% factual data that is being collected on the specific property you're hunting.

Example:

I have a log of buck sightings/trail camera photos starting from opening weekend of archery season and continuing through the last weekend of gun season. I only logged trail camera photos that were taken during shooting hours, & I listed all the time stamps in "bow season times". Meaning, if a picture was taken during October, I didn't mess with the time stamp. But if a picture was taken in the middle of November (meaning after the time change), I made it an hour later to make it as if the time change never happened. To make it all apples to apples is what I'm saying. The PM data was pretty common of what most people would think. All but one of the sightings/trail camera photos were from 3:00 PM or later. The only one outside of this time frame was a deer I rattled in and killed at 12:05 PM. That in itself brings into question whether or not the deer was already on his feet when he heard me rattling, or if he was bedded down and the rattling got him up. The AM data was more interesting. 75% of the sightings/trail camera photos were between 9:00 AM & 10:30 AM. Definitely not the "prime time" in the morning you typically hear about. So now going forward, I can make a more educated decision on when I decide to go out and hunt.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:03 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
Can anyone simply a day in the life of a whitetail deer doe/buck?



The more I read the more confusing it seems to get.



Leaving out moon phases, weather patterns, rut, etc.



A deer does what during the day time and what during the night time. Then what during dawn and dusk.



When does a deer bed down and when does a deer feed?

How often do they move?



Thanks
An old Hunter gave me this bit of wisdom as it pertained to deer patterns and behavior....."deer do what they darn well please"...... Lol

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Old 01-13-2019, 03:40 PM   #29
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All I know is this year the moon and everything else that influenced them to move didn’t happen when I was hunting. I didn’t see shat.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:27 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by JMKro View Post
This is a little off topic, but I started logging observations/trail camera photos into an Excel spreadsheet, and it makes it much easier to see trends/patterns in deer activity/movement when you can actually see it laid out in front of you. Also, it's 100% factual data that is being collected on the specific property you're hunting.

Example:

I have a log of buck sightings/trail camera photos starting from opening weekend of archery season and continuing through the last weekend of gun season. I only logged trail camera photos that were taken during shooting hours, & I listed all the time stamps in "bow season times". Meaning, if a picture was taken during October, I didn't mess with the time stamp. But if a picture was taken in the middle of November (meaning after the time change), I made it an hour later to make it as if the time change never happened. To make it all apples to apples is what I'm saying. The PM data was pretty common of what most people would think. All but one of the sightings/trail camera photos were from 3:00 PM or later. The only one outside of this time frame was a deer I rattled in and killed at 12:05 PM. That in itself brings into question whether or not the deer was already on his feet when he heard me rattling, or if he was bedded down and the rattling got him up. The AM data was more interesting. 75% of the sightings/trail camera photos were between 9:00 AM & 10:30 AM. Definitely not the "prime time" in the morning you typically hear about. So now going forward, I can make a more educated decision on when I decide to go out and hunt.
I had just started to do this. I donít have a spread sheet but that is a much better idea than just writing it down. Hunting one spot for many many years is what made me start wondering.

I canít seem to find a pattern. I think I have it figured out sometimes but then something is different. Iím not sure where their exact feeding areas are but I do know in the morning they wouid come in from the north and in the evenings come up from the south. Recently even that Iíve seen reversed.

From what Iíve gathered here if your location is not near a daytime resting area then you are not likely to see them during the day. If they have to eat 4-7 hours then they would be moving in the day.

Iím in a wooded area. I do have some random daytime and nighttime sightings.

Going to start tracking it more thourghly like you and see if I can figure anything out.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:33 PM   #31
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An old Hunter gave me this bit of wisdom as it pertained to deer patterns and behavior....."deer do what they darn well please"...... Lol

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That is pretty wise and probably as close as one (me) can get!

I will be in the stand when I can go so a believed pattern isnít going to keep me from going. I stay all day sometimes.

Itís just interesting to me.

I do know some of you have a gift of hunting. That expertise and experience is always amazing to me. Some people know where to catch fish and some know where and when to find deer. (Some both).
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:38 PM   #32
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You will get there... It really comes from map study, observing the animal and reading your hunting area.... Success is where Preparation and Opportunity MEET

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Old 01-13-2019, 07:43 PM   #33
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Hey TexHunter, scout, scout, scout. Walk your land and hunt according to the sign you see. Right now is the best time to scout, right after the season is over.

As far as the moon position, I will let ya know tomorrow night, I will be in a tree when the moon is rising.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:01 PM   #34
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Great topic but it is my experience, after hunting deer in every possible region of this state, that it would be next to impossible to explain with any form of accuracy because they all act differently in each different region with Old Mexico deer breaking every rule in the book..... Every subspecies act different than the next it seems.....
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:28 PM   #35
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Hey TexHunter, scout, scout, scout. Walk your land and hunt according to the sign you see. Right now is the best time to scout, right after the season is over.

As far as the moon position, I will let ya know tomorrow night, I will be in a tree when the moon is rising.
Iím not on a very big track of land so I canít scout to the night time feeding areas. If there are day time feeding areas I donít know exactly where they are either. I do have lots of traffic signs through the property and have my stand and feeder in what I think is the best traffic. I just really have no idea where the traffic is coming from or going too
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:53 PM   #36
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Iím not on a very big track of land so I canít scout to the night time feeding areas. If there are day time feeding areas I donít know exactly where they are either. I do have lots of traffic signs through the property and have my stand and feeder in what I think is the best traffic. I just really have no idea where the traffic is coming from or going too
Don't sweat it! Just find the best sign, maybe trail intersections. Acorn trees, fruit trees or some type of food source. If you hunt in hilly terrain, look for saddles that they would travel through or side ridges that they may bed on. Sometimes it is something that has been over looked. Just relax and take a walk through the woods, you will be surprised what you find.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:25 PM   #37
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You know my program tracks your photos and gives you patterns like wind direction, moon phase, and time of day. Simply upload your pictures, create a folder, upload pictures of whatever animal you want to pattern and it will tell you the 3 conditions stated above. All broken down in percentages and displayed in a pie chart.
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:39 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Beargrasstx View Post
You know my program tracks your photos and gives you patterns like wind direction, moon phase, and time of day. Simply upload your pictures, create a folder, upload pictures of whatever animal you want to pattern and it will tell you the 3 conditions stated above. All broken down in percentages and displayed in a pie chart.
What program is this? I'm interested.

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Old 01-14-2019, 09:22 AM   #39
Beargrasstx
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thehuntersight.com

You can do a lot more than just the game camera trending I mentioned as well.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:34 AM   #40
JMKro
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Originally Posted by TXHunter12 View Post
I had just started to do this. I don’t have a spread sheet but that is a much better idea than just writing it down. Hunting one spot for many many years is what made me start wondering.

I can’t seem to find a pattern. I think I have it figured out sometimes but then something is different. I’m not sure where their exact feeding areas are but I do know in the morning they wouid come in from the north and in the evenings come up from the south. Recently even that I’ve seen reversed.

From what I’ve gathered here if your location is not near a daytime resting area then you are not likely to see them during the day. If they have to eat 4-7 hours then they would be moving in the day.

I’m in a wooded area. I do have some random daytime and nighttime sightings.

Going to start tracking it more thourghly like you and see if I can figure anything out.
And to be honest, all I have listed on my current spreadsheet is the date & time. I originally had the moon phase, wind direction, etc. on there, but there didn't seem to be any trends with that information as far as bucks are concerned. The only consistent pattern was the time(s) of day. And just as a note, I have the camera set on an intersection of two trails.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:55 AM   #41
cehorn
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One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is weather and how it affects deer movement. Specifically pressure. I know there are some people on here that swear by the barometric pressure numbers and that it trumps anything having to do with the moon.

I am like most, I hunt when I can and let the chips fall. With that said, I have looked at peak movement times based on moon (from Huntstand,etc.) and the pressure. I have been looking at the moon for longer but have never noticed any difference in "peak movement times" vs non-peak. This was really the first year I started monitoring pressure. In short from my observations, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. For example there were a couple of times this year where the pressure and moon appeared to line up at "prime time" and I made sure I was out but didn't see anything. One time was peak rut and everything seemed perfect but nothing. So maybe this is the most accurate, "An old Hunter gave me this bit of wisdom as it pertained to deer patterns and behavior....."deer do what they darn well please"...... Lol"
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:58 PM   #42
JMKro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cehorn View Post
One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is weather and how it affects deer movement. Specifically pressure. I know there are some people on here that swear by the barometric pressure numbers and that it trumps anything having to do with the moon.

I am like most, I hunt when I can and let the chips fall. With that said, I have looked at peak movement times based on moon (from Huntstand,etc.) and the pressure. I have been looking at the moon for longer but have never noticed any difference in "peak movement times" vs non-peak. This was really the first year I started monitoring pressure. In short from my observations, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. For example there were a couple of times this year where the pressure and moon appeared to line up at "prime time" and I made sure I was out but didn't see anything. One time was peak rut and everything seemed perfect but nothing. So maybe this is the most accurate, "An old Hunter gave me this bit of wisdom as it pertained to deer patterns and behavior....."deer do what they darn well please"...... Lol"
I think weather absolutely affects deer movement. My favorite time to hunt is after a good cold front blows in during October. I've also noticed an increase in late morning & mid-day activity during cool/cold days (also when the moon is full for that matter).

Last edited by JMKro; 01-14-2019 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:05 PM   #43
TXHunter12
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Thanks I will check the app out.

Unrelated sort of but does pertain to tracking with trail cams. I have a Covert camera. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a deer in the stand that should have shown up on the camera but didn’t!
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 PM   #44
TXbowman
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This is a very interesting thread. I've tried tracking patterns with an excel spreadsheet. The one thing that I noticed was I saw more mature bucks in the am. Several times I've hunted when I didnt expect to see anything due to poor conditions and I end seeing the biggest buck of the season. I think there are just too many factors that come into play. It's fun to try to find the formula though. In the end I agree with the philosophy of going when you can and letting the chips fall where they may. I figure its pointless anyway because I'm going to go as often as I can regardless of conditions. Even if I had the formula it would just give me some insight into what kind of movement to expect. But I'm going hunting either way.
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Old Today, 12:47 AM   #45
Beargrasstx
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Absolutely, I am going hunting when I can. I hunt small properties that can be over pressured easy. I am looking forward to using https://thehuntersight.com to see if I can find a pattern on any of my properties with any target bucks. At least, help me to choose the best stand based on the information I have and keep from wasting a hunt on a small property and leaving my scent everywhere.

I think this will really help early in the season bowhunting in October. I feel the bucks have more of a pattern before the rut. Anyway, you have to hunt when you get the chance. Important part is always trying to choose the best stand. Game cameras with the ability to use software to easily pattern is a convenient tool. Can be accessed from your phone, PC, or tablet.
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Old Today, 06:18 PM   #46
jshouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beargrasstx View Post
Absolutely, I am going hunting when I can. I hunt small properties that can be over pressured easy. I am looking forward to using https://thehuntersight.com to see if I can find a pattern on any of my properties with any target bucks. At least, help me to choose the best stand based on the information I have and keep from wasting a hunt on a small property and leaving my scent everywhere.

I think this will really help early in the season bowhunting in October. I feel the bucks have more of a pattern before the rut. Anyway, you have to hunt when you get the chance. Important part is always trying to choose the best stand. Game cameras with the ability to use software to easily pattern is a convenient tool. Can be accessed from your phone, PC, or tablet.
You don't say...
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