Although this Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be some of the hottest days to take a cool seat for a post front Pre Rut sit in most Northern states, some awfully warm weather rut hunting will be taking place just around the corner. Fortunately you have come to the right place, because by the end of this article I trust that you can leave with some solid, warm weather advice to help you take advantage of outstanding rut action opportunities.
*Advanced treestand setups and other hunting strategies are covered in my "Whitetail Success By Design" book series, which details how to scout, plant, cut, prepare, forecast for and consistently kill mature bucks.
Although the rut will still take place whether there is warm weather or not, much of the breeding will often take place under the cover of darkness, during cooler temperatures. Because of daytime breeding opportunities being squashed by warmer temperatures it, is critical that you learn to maximize your daytime sits. Of course sitting over a well established waterhole certainly helps, but there are several other warm weather rut hunting tactics that need to be taken advantage of as well.
1. Premium Cool Morning Sits
Bucks are much more active during cooler temperatures, and cooler temperatures mean morning hunting. Even during a whitetail rut with more traditional temperatures your ability to take advantage of morning movements is critical. However when the temperatures climb you can not afford to miss premium quality morning sits.
Nighttime lows of 47 and daytime highs of 71, will still typically offer temperatures in the 50s until late morning, which means that if you choose to hunt only during the evening hours, you will experience only a fraction of the potential movements when compared to the morning hours.
2. Morning Bedding Opportunities
Warm weather rut hunts should center around the morning hours, but you need to make sure that you are in the right location to be able to observe mature buck movements. Whether you are downwind of a quality bedding areas, between bedding areas, or right smack dab in the middle of a bedding areas, make sure that you are away from food, and into the thick and nasty stuff. Although mature bucks will still be active, it pays to be close to their daytime hide outs because during warm temperatures they won't move far.
*When the conditions turn warm and blah, it is even more critical to place a priority on the highest value days to hunt! Also, make sure that you don't iss out on any potential morning hunt that is forecast to be in the 40s or less; those are still temperatures to be on stand, regardless of the afternoon high. For more info on navigating the rut, make sure to check out my latest rut forecast by visiting, Midwest Whitetail Rut Forecast.
3. Stand Rotation
Although bucks will still move during the middle of a hot day when the rut it is at it's peak, their efforts will still be suppressed. Seldom is there a stand location that takes advantage of bedding to bedding movements, food to bedding movements, and mid day cruising travels all at the same time; even in cool temperatures! But when the conditions are unseasonably warm, it becomes even more critical that you recognize the need for variety in morning hunts and evening hunts, by completely changing stands.
By staying on stand until the conditions heat up during the morning to mid day hours, you will be set to realize the full power of a great morning stand that is located near a bedding area. However as the day passes closer to darkness, the entire deer herd will be heading to the large social areas of evening food sources. Don't be caught in a bedding area stand towards darkness, because the odds that you see a mature buck will continue to shrink until nightfall, unless you are located on the "food side" of bedding opportunity. During warm weather rut hunts I prefer to migrate towards evening stand locations by roughly 3 hours prior to dark, to take advantage of the last 1/2 hour to hour of shooting light for the day. All day sits can still be productive during war weather rut hunts. However "all day" to me, most often entails completely changing stand locations so that I can maximize the value of each sit; even when the weather is cold.
During cool weather rutting stints, mature bucks are much more likely to cruise by just about any stand in the woods, during any time of the day; but not during warm weather. Waterhole hunting, morning bedding priorities and evening food source stand rotations can all help you to navigate warm weather rut hunting opportunities during conditions that dictated decreased mature buck movements.