Contributors to this thread:
What time do you start a morning hunt?
I used to always aim to be in stand all setup by a half hour before legal shooting time. I think I learned this habit by gun hunting on public land, theory being get in there and when the rest of the world comes stumbling into the woods around sunrise I would be there to nail the deer that they spook by me.
Well, I usually bow hunt where there is very little other activity going on. I am not as anxious to get in the woods any more. Seems like if I get up early I am prone to being lazy and then not geting out at all. But, if I wake up a little late I spring up and hit the woods before I miss something, geting there around sunrise.
Now I know some situations call for being there early, like a bedding area but I seldom hunt those kind of areas. I kind of like the extra hour of sleep so probably won't be the first one in the woods much more.
When do you hit your stand?
Depends on the habitat hunted and how easy it is to get there; also, will I need a cool down period or do I expect any other hunters will arrive somewhat nearby that could bump deer my way? I'm with you on the half-hour prior to legal hours but have been as early as an hour prior and as late as ... 15 minutes to just about legal hours. For turkeys, I seem to have no problem being out an hour ahead of time ... probably because some of my spots have birds roosting along the very field edge I'll be set up. Funny, I can get up at 3 a.m. for an early morning on Lake Michigan but getting up at 5 seems tough come November. Maybe I should cut back on the 20+ days taking turkey hunters in spring and the 30-40 mornings fishing salmon in summer so I have something left come fall!
I aim to get on stand 45 min to hour after it gets light. I have never got a shot opportunity sooner than close to an hour after daylight and usually not till after 8am (light at 6-6:30) I would rather walk in with good light and stay longer. My buddy hunts opposite getting in before light always. I have had better luck. Plan to keep it that way. Jim
Depends on where your hunting and the set up plus the weather . I do enjoy getting in the stand no less than an hour before legal time .
I really enjoy sitting in the pitch black with my eyes closed listening to the deer and other critters walking around . But it can bum you out to . Theres no mistaking the walk and sound of a large buck walking past in the dark and you know your hunts over before the sun comes up .
FOBROB , I do have one stand that I don't go into until about 8 AM . for that very reason . But many of my stands are right on top of the bedrooms so I gotta get there before they do . And hope their late ;]
i wake up at 3:15 everyday for work. I have a hard time sleeping past 4 anyway, so getting to the stand late in the morning is rarely a problem for me. Unless i had a few too many the night before ;)
I have Nov 1-8 off from work, so i plan on trying a few all day sits, i never did it before. Maybe i should wait til 8 or so to head out.
It has been a few years, but for pure enjoyment of watching rutting bucks, my favorite spot is on public lands. Very large marsh, surronded by private ag land & uplands.
Would carry in portable & set about and be in stand by about 8:00 a.m.
Deer filtering in from ag lands, use the marsh as rutting haven. By 3:00 p.m. take the stand down...as deer are gone & headed for distant ag lands.
Set up in daylight...take down in daylight.
I'm usually set up at or 15 min. before legal shooting time for bow. Gun I've learned to go in at shooting light after quite a few times of jumping deer in the dark and never seeing them again, just the nature of the big woods up north. Going in at legal shooting time I can alot of times see what I'm jumping and get my shot.
Love to be set and ready about 1/2 hour before light.Ive gone in late and seen deer Iv'e gone in early and heard them walk out on me just as it's gettin light. Also for anyone who's interested just spent 7 days in Marinette Co.Saw 2 small does while on stand.(state land)Worst I ever seen it up there.Thank you DNR.The area use to be great up there compared to what it is now.Dont think I'll be payin $$24$$ much longer to watch trees grow.And it kills me to say it.I mostly feel bad for my dad whos been hunting up there for years and for my kids who will probably not stick with hunting if I have to start them up there. And dont get me wrong,I dont have to even harvest a deer to be satisfied with my hunt but I have to at least see some animals.Sorry I got off topic but either the DNR mismanaged the heard to the tenth power,or I all of a sudden fogot how to hunt. Good luck to all this year grwoodsman
It really depends where I'm going/wind/ and other factors.
If I'm hunting a field edge- certainly wait until light. You bump anything out of the area and you're done for the AM. If I'm hunting a bedding area- very early. I've been in position an hour before first light if necessary and spent an hour in the dark. When I do that, normally I just take a nap. I absolutely love watching the world wake up..its probably one of my favorite times of bowhunting. Where I hunt is 20 miles from the interstate- and when its so quiet, or the wind is right, you can still hear the tires on the semi's on that highway. Sometimes, that's the only sound you hear..until you hear the rustle of a mouse in the leaves, the flutter of a bird's wings, the cracking of the trees as they freeze on an icy-cold morning. But the best sound of all is the rustle of deer thrashing through the canary grass and the "urrrp" of a buck. Even in the dark, when you can't see it, its exciting.
I know the feeling of hearing a deer walk below you in the pitch black, maybe even knowing it is a buck but you have no clue how big.
The answers I have seen were pretty much what I expected. Everyone hunts different and each hunts different under varying circumstances.
Many of you probably have heard of Myles Keller. He lives about 30 miles west of me and I kind of sort of know him. (his wife worked with a friend of mine) Anyway he told me once that when he is hunting in a bedroom he gets setup around 2:00 AM. My next question was when do you sleep. He says from 2:00 till dayline on stand. In addition to his safety harness he would lash himself to the tree so he couldn't fall over. Do what works for you, that obviously worked for him.
I am up by 430 445 every flipping day... Work schedule has me trained I guess. I like to be in the woods no later than 45 min before shooting light. I need the time to get tuned in. I am pretty hard of hearing due to many ear problems but they say I am not ready for hearing aids,I use that time to get all my senses tuned in to the noise of the woods or I miss deer walking around me.
I used to try for the hour before sunrise idea, but was content to be in the stand before there is light in the sky.
Now I sleep so little that I morning hunts are brutal. Additionally, I have developed such a routine "bucket time" that makes a morning hunt even more miserable - I hate having to climb out of a stand and do the Charlie Chaplin walk back to the house.
Rusty, this is what I use to prevent the "walk" out. just take one though, or you'll be dropping bowling balls!!
I have always been in the stand before dark, most of my deer have been taken arounf 9:00 but I can't bring myself to get in the tree later because I always think I'll miss something.
One of my most memorable hunts was a couple years ago, there was no moon and it was pitch black when I walked to my stand, the northern lights that morning were about as bright as I've ever seen them. I sat in my stand watching them. I don't recall if I saw any deer or not that morning.
I do agree, it is nice watching the woods wake up when you get out there early.
Cheese, that would have been an awsome sight to see.
I went to the site you linked, clicked on the "find bathroom" button, typed in my zip code 54873 and got the response "sorry there are no results." I guess I'm not the only one without one up here.
I've never really had much luck seeing deer really early in the morning. Usually it was later, from 9-10am.
I like to be set up and ready half hour before daybreak. I have shot two nice bucks at first light. After daylight savings time, I can hit the stand for 1-2 hours before work.....I love November mornings.
Always in the dark, I'm considering trying to sneak in 1/2 hour after light just because I rarely see anything before 7:30 or 8:00 anyway.
For all day sits, I've always sat dark to dark. Pack a lunch and it's all good.
Getting in before dark, and seeing scenes like this in the a.m. are great!
Used to always be in my stand 60-45 minutes before opening. And yes, I have seen a number of grey ghosts move by me in the dark. Was especially cool when you could see the deer and then a large white outline of horns. very cool looking with your ears rather than with your eyes ...
When we get into the rut (early Nov) I tend to go in after daylight. I found that going in early often causes bucks to follow me into my stand.
Like everyone above, conditions, time of year, and stand locations can impact when i go in.
A once in a lifetime morning picture . Alberta 2006
Nothing like watching the sun rise . If you look close you'll see 2 giant mulies feeding up the ridge .
I am not a morning person at all. But if i do ,when i do a morning hunt i like to get in at least 15 to 30 minutes before first light.
Too scary before light.
Actually I usually get out about 20 minutes before sunrise. But I mostly hunt afternoons
Being myself...I just have to ask. You guys that are afraid to spook deer walking into the woodswhile it's still dark....did you ever hear of a FLASHLIGHT!!! LOL
They make red , blue and white light ones for 25$ at walmart , made by coleman...for you cheapskates...lol
I try to walk out just when there is enough light to see where I'm walking without the need for a flashlight. I think a flashlight and resulting shadows moving, etc. would alert deer more to your presence than anything. By doing this, I still have enough time to get set up in the tree and ready to go usually 10-15 minutes before shooting light. Good hunting!
The other morning (a wet one) a buddy and I walked up within 15 feet of a doe and fawn. Both of us had our flashlights (white light) on. Since it was so wet, the deer did not hear us approach. When we finally almost stepped on them, they took one good leap out to 10 yards, and went back to feeding on acorns. Didn't seem like they minded the flashlights at all.
I typically hunt public land, so I was raised/taught to get out in the woods early. Probably to beat other public land hunters to the "good spots."
I hunt as much as I can so I get in early, and like to use the red or green light - never a white light. That being said I keep a lot of records and this week with the full-moon I bet you see more buck between 10-2 p.m. than early in the morning. My brother wouldn't hunt early during the full-moon - going out a 9 a.m. after sleeping in. He moved to Wyoming so he now hunts elk, deer, moose, etc. However, his full-moon hunting was very successful - mine ok but none of our better bucks where taken early during the full-moon.
I like to be in the stand 20 minutes before first light. Boy did that suck when my freakin clock was off an hour last year. An hour and 20 minutes is way too long. I was like what is going on??? I think I need to knock off the Captain the night before.
Piddly, that hour early thing got me about 10 years ago and it was like -5 degrees that day.
I got out for my morning hunt at about 11:30 today. ;-) It felt good. Actually I got up to go hunting at 5:00, ate and went back to bed. Happens that way too much. Tomorrow I will get up around 7:00 and actually go hunting.
If you are hunting public land and going in/out in the dark you best be using a flashlite while you walk for safety sake alone. (Hunter safety class 101.)