No Deer is Truly Nocturnal
Are deer truly nocturnal? Deer are amazing creatures. They are creatures of mystery, structure and beauty, all rolled into an animal that is one of the most difficult to successfully hunt; in particular when it comes to sending an arrow into a mature buck! What makes a whitetail so difficult to hunt revolves around its ability disappear, even to the point of appearing nocturnal. The phenomenon of nocturnal deer is so widely accepted, that for several decades countless articles have been written about how to actually successfully hunt a nocturnal buck. However, if you accept the notion that nocturnal deer rule the landscape, you are setting yourself up for failure before you even leave the truck. Although your ability to hunt and shoot a mature buck will depend on many factors, understand how his stomach rules his anti-nocturnal ways, is key.
The need to feed is real!
Every deer in the woods feeds 5 times in a 24 hour period. I know if you read my articles often you have seen this repeated over and over again, but it is because it is the foundation for every whitetail endeavor of hunting, habitat and herd management. Even quality cover for deer, isn’t quality cover if any deer that would eventually live in that cover, have no food to relate to on a daily basis.
*Is it planting time? If so, make sure not to start the tractor until you read my 2nd book,Food Plot Success By Design.
In simple terms (I personally need simple) deer feed twice during the day in their bedding areas, once in the afternoon evening in their preferred daily dinnertime destination food source, and twice during the night. Deer want to feed in their preferred high quality, high volume destination food source, during the afternoon time slot. In fact when they feed during that time of the day, I have experienced, serves to set the table for their entire 24 hour clock of daily feeding patterns. Deer will be on their feet and feeding during this time period, outside of major weather events. If they aren’t feeding on your land during the afternoon, they are not within some mystical noctural deer pattern, they are simply just feeding somewhere else. On their feet. During daylight.
The same can be said for each of their 4 other feeding slots as well! Deer feed when they are on their feet and moving, as one of the most consumptive browsers of an incredibly diversity of preferred forages. Although deer may not cover 100s of yards during their various feedings, you can still expect them to be moving enough to potentially harvest them, if they are there actually on the land.
Are nocturnal deer living on your land?
The short answer to that is “NO”, nocturnal deer do not live on your land. Why? Because deer aren’t nocturnal. Bats are nocturnal, many snakes are nocturnal, racoons and various rodents and even owls aren’t too daylight friendly. And the list goes on with the various creatures that are nocturnal, and deer are not among them. So if you aren’t seeing deer on your land during the daylight and you aren’t getting any pictures of them during the daytime hours, it is fairly safe to say that they just aren’t there.
*Is your land an anti nocturnal deer sanctuary? The first step is to admitting that nighttime walkers are more fiction than fact. More nocturnal busting tips are included in the article, Mythbusting Nocturnal Bucks.
Experiencing an anti-nocturnal deer herd
There are several ways that deer appear to be noctural, but regardless of what your neighbors are doing or any other factor, landowners have much more control than they often realize. Establishing at least 60% of your land within contiguous true sanctuary acres (where deer never see you, hear you or smell you) is the first step. However, getting back to deer’s stomach, if you lack both the cover and food to provide 2 daytime snacks and 1 afternoon dinner, then you can expect the deer herd to live somewhere else that does. Also, hunting high quality fewer sit opportunities based on favorable weather conditions and effective stand rotations, will keep your deer herd much easier to predict, pattern and eventually kill, during the daytime hours.
Realize Your Daylight Deer Potential
The power is often in your control, to limit the myth of nocturnal deer. And yes, nocturnal deer herds are a myth, in particular when it comes to their 5 daily feeding time slots. By believing that deer are daylight movers instead of nightime walkers, you will have your mindset headed towards the direction of success, before ever stepping foot out of the truck.