Along with cold fronts; snow, wind and rain can all play a heavy influence in deer movement. Weather by far, creates the majority of the best days to hunt. However, you can simplify the entire forecast with this basic but likely the best, cold front deer hunting tip, "When temps and pressure meet, bucks will be on their feet".
As a serious deer observer -in fact I scout, hunt and observe deer all year long for my profession- I encourage you to drive by your favorite evening deer hotspot and see how many deer are feeding in the open daylight, during extreme weather patterns. Sure, just like a 7 year old monster can be shot in Southern MI on an 80 degree day with 40 mph winds in mid October, so will deer move occastionally during poor weather. However, I strongly urge you to bank on the norm and not theexception, if your goal is to consistently, shoot mature bucks. Also, don't be suprised if narrowing your deer efforts to the best cold front hunting days, you will place yourself into a much better position to happily manage both family and career.
*Two bucks sparring, aggresive rubbing activity and a glimpse at a mature buck nearly within bow range, were all a part of this hunt. However, it was no suprise as it was only 3 days off from last year, when I was able to pass on a 5 year old named, Diego.
Simplified Cold Front Hunting Tip
Of course you can check out my weather hunting formula, but how many of you have time to fully calculate the perfect days? To keep things simple, you will hit the majority of the best days, just by remembering this phrase:
"When temps and pressure meet, bucks will be on their feet"
That cold front hunting tip is what I have hunted by for years. When the front passes, the temps have dropped and toe numbing mornings are available - hit the woods! However, with today's weather graphs and great online sources for weather, it is easier than ever to accurately predict the best days to hunt. Those best days, are when pressure and temperatures come together. Folks, it doesn't get any easier than that!
*Can it really be this simple? Yes! Over 80% of my top 25 bucks of all time have been shot when temperatures are at a weekly low, pressure is at a peak and winds have drastically dropped. Several of those bucks are highlighted in my 2017 Rut Video.
Best Days To Hunt Deer Vs. Family and Work
My weather forecast hunting tips have been born out of doing everything in my power to manage both family and work, which are the true priorities in life. As a young, inexperienced DIY (do it yourself) hunter in the 80s, I quickly learned that "more time in the woods", didn't equate to shooting more deer. A great analogy to that would be if you were a bank robber thinking, "the more banks I rob, the more money I will make". No...you would just get caught faster! The value of hunting only the best days to hunt, allows you to not get caught by the deer herd, and to not stress out your family and career.
Since the early 90s I learned the power of 1 high value cold front sit vs. 10 "hunt whenever you can" sits. I found that it was pretty easy to get a Wednesday morning off of work, when I didn't waste my days on a long weekend of poor weather. It takes discipline, because when all of your hunting buddies are hitting the woods on poor days, you have to resist the urge to hunt and to potentially stress your family, career and stand locations. You have to thank of all of those folks hunting during poor times, for making your land even better!
Since 1986 I have hunted more than 5 days twice. I have driven close to 690 miles to hunt two mornings and an evening (a hunt featured here), and driven 7 hours 1 way to hunt 1 evening. I have actually had friends become frustrated with me when I would choose to go hunting alone for 1 day during the week, then going hunting on a 3-4 day long weekend when they could get the time off and we could split the cost of the trip. If your goal is to just be outside, I urge you to go hiking or fishing instead of burning out your treestands. If your goal is to shoot mature bucks consistently then I strongly recommend that you follow the best cold front hunting days to hunt in the forecast, which will lead you to be in the woods a limited amount of time. If your goal is to shoot young bucks, does and fawns - then hunt every day possible you can climb a treestand, but don't expect to be able to build a quality herd or hunt. When it comes to consistently wrapping your tag around a mature buck's antler, the saying is just as true as it is for most things in life, because "Quality over Quantity" will guide you to success.
*Why drive 690 miles one way to hunt two mornings and an evening on public land in Ohio? Because of an incredible meeting of a sharp temp drop, a drastic pressure climb and a significant wind reduction. I shot the above buck in the first hour of the first day! This formula has been proven to me so many times before, as the easiest, most fool-proof buck movement indicator that you can possibly practice!
Whether your goal for hunting the best days to be in the woods each season is to maximize time at home, build your career or just simply to give yourself the ability to find mature buck success every single season, then hunting when temperature and barometric pressure meet, is for you!