Contributors to this thread:
Barometric pressure & whitetails
BP seems to be as important to as many whitetail deer chasers as moon phase and cold weather. How much does it play in your assessment. A good friend and excellent Hunter focuses on days where it is nearing 30 inches and increasing.
Interesting topic, and I have been contemplating it this week some too. I will be interested to hear the opinions of smarter guys than myself.
It may or may not have any merit to movement, but during the rut, I’ll be in the woods whether it’s high, low, or holding steady. You can’t see deer at home on the couch, unless you are watching a hunting show on TV.
I also like 30 and rising. Maybe because I like cold, crisp mornings.
I will generally speaking, only hunt deer between September 1st and December 10th. That's when the season is here.
I am looking forward to the day I can plan my hunts by weather a day or two in the future, barometric pressure and the such. But for at least another 7-8 years I will have to plan to get away from work further out than that. Not to say things are so perfect or at least the itch is so great that if things are somewhat “normal” I’ll play hooky and just go hunting.
Edit to above: I don't stay home if it's not 30+, I just prefer it rising.
I hunt when I can regardless of the BP. But, I see many more deer when it is rising the days I am lucky enough to coincide that with the days I can hunt. Which is rarely since it rains nearly every weekend once October gets here and breaks Every Sunday evening.
I'm also a fan of the raising and 30+ BP. Especially for all day movement during the rut.
I will say I give it as much consideration as moon phase...which is none. I hunt when I can since it's a couple hours away.
I don’t think it is about planning to hunt but how you may approach the day. Clear and cold conditions are common with a high pressure system which most everyone agrees contributes to deer movement. If the moon happens to be a certain phase then that may determine whether I hunt beds, feeding, or transition zones.
This is my first year watching BP in regards to deer movement and I have to say that I have noticed more deer movement with 30+ BP than on days with under 30 or dropping BP. I've been keeping notes per hunt this year to see how big of a role it plays.
I like high pressure on morning hunts and like to back up to south facing slopes (north winds) to take advantage of rising thermals.So I’m not sure if deer move more or if I see more movement due to scent containment.I know I usually carry I thermos and hang at least until 1pm if the wind is behaving .Light winds and a heavy frost get me extra excited
QDMA states the rut has nothing to do with moon phase or anything else except the waning daylight hours. I'd have to agree. I've seen rut activity the same days every year regardless of moon phase or temperature
I just pay attention to deer movement when I’m out working, feeding cows, checking trail cameras. When they are moving I’m hunting, not sure what the BP is during those times.
Thornton is correct, QDMA reports that studies show that it's all about the daylight. Having just said that, from my experiences, when I see the best movement is 1) Time of year (end of Oct through the first two weeks in Nov.), 2) weather (low morning temps to 40ish degrees for a high, low wind speeds), 3) hunting unpressured ground or lightly pressured grounds. For me, moon phases aren't in the mix and I've never tracked the BP.
I do know the Drury's are big on BP and consider that a main part of their DeerCast. BC
I'm with JohnMC. Maybe if I had Sep-Dec off from work I'd consider it, but the days I can get are the days I can get, and theres too many variables on the list higher than BP in my books.
I'm blessed to be able to monitor and hunt deer right out my back door. I've never seen much of any correlation between BP or moon phase with respect to deer movement. The length of daylight hours seems to be the biggest factor.
Wind blowing like hell this weekend and they were up chasing all day. Was the BP 30 and rising? Don't know, don't care. Deer do what deer do and it all boils down to being out there regardless of weather factors...especially now leading into the rut.
Jeremiah Johnson to Bear Claw Lapp...."you want to do some hunting today"...."I don`t know pilgrim....what`s the Barometric Pressure like".
BP is a component of "weather" which I think has more to do with movement/activity.
How many of you keep journals? I got it that you only get so many and by gawd we all hunt everyone of those. I hunt every holiday and weekend and take about thirty five days every fall. That is about sixty days so I may miss a five to ten for weather and other commitments. My biggest bucks have been killed when the sky is clear. Maybe a coincidence but that the way it is. As stated, it is not about just going but figuring out the puzzle and anticipating it.
"BP is a component of "weather" which I think has more to do with movement/activity."
Yup, it's snowing hard here at my place. I've been watching 3 bucks who haven't moved more than 10 yards all morning. One has been literally standing motionless, like a decoy, for so long he has 3" of snow on his back!
I can mostly pick the days that I hunt whitetails. I only pay attention to the wind and approaching weather because deer will move before and after a storm. Don't care to watch BP at all.
Hope the barometric is good next week, because I'm going on a killing spree for 9 days starting Saturday. :)
I’m not sure the OP’s post was asking about BP during the rut. We all know the rut happens regardless of the weather. The weather plays a big part in deer movement all season long and outside of the rut certainly influences when the volume of movement takes place. Moon phase, temperature and BP definitely impact movement. All that being said most of us hunt when we can and deer do move outside of optimum movement conditions.
Well, it has stopped snowing here, and BP has risen from 29 to 30+.....and the deer in my backyard are still bedded where they've been for the last 6 hours. I guess they don't tune into the Drury brothers show.
If there is barometric pressure and I have time off, I'll be hunting
"I guess they don't tune into the Drury brothers show."
You mean they don't buy into the sales pitch delivered by Drury's doe eyed daughter, whose experience with killing whitetails is farm raised, literally for harvest deer, from a heated box blind. Whoda thunk....
I hunt when I can .... Some of the best deer Ive killed have been on a rising or falling barometer, right before a front or the day after or 2nd day after the storm/rain/snow moves thru ... there is something about overcast cool/cold damp days I love to hunt on, winds 5-10 mph and dedicated from one direction ... this past Fridays buck was on one of those days, right before a heavy rain/wind event on Saturday ....cool, overcast and a dedicated N/NE wind 5-10 mph ... I saw deer on the morning sit, moved to another location and killed him in the late afternoon ....
I think the Drury brothers, and family, are responsible for perpetrating more hunting myths than Orion, the great hunter of Greek mythology. From Scentblock, to moon phases, to BP, to ozone gimmicks....its a wonder anyone ever killed deer before these geniuses started hunting. It's actually comical to me how influential they've been in some hunting circles.
You can create myth when you kill 200 inch deer regularly.
You can create myth when you grow 200 inch deer regularly.
The Drury brothers have been preaching a rising BP for increased deer movement for 20 years. It isn't something new. And, it isn't something they are trying to gimmick you with. It is something they have proved to work well for them.
Clear, cool or cold mornings following low pressure dreary days is a recipe for great hunting. I don't think anyone here will argue that. Some here are calling that weather, missing the reality that the weather only does that on a rising Barometer. Don't get me wrong. I hunt when I can just like everyone here. I just get really excited when everything aligns to give me a day where BP is coming up with the sun. This time of year means that usually finds the temps in the low 20's at daylight, sunny, warming to mid 30's or 40 by the afternoon, with a lot of deer on their feet. Only downside is the higher winds that come with it in the afternoon.
Someone should look back at their kills from years past and align them with the BP, moon phases and such. Someone want to give it a whirl?
No doubt BP has played a larger role in my success than moon phases.Its almost a free morning after the sun peeks up to warm the ground
“ Clear, cool or cold mornings following low pressure dreary days is a recipe for great hunting. I don't think anyone here will argue that. Some here are calling that weather, missing the reality that the weather only does that on a rising Barometer. Don't get me wrong. I hunt when I can just like everyone here. I just get really excited when everything aligns to give me a day where BP is coming up with the sun. This time of year means that usually finds the temps in the low 20's at daylight, sunny, warming to mid 30's or 40 by the afternoon, with a lot of deer on their feet. Only downside is the higher winds that come with it in the afternoon.”
When you discuss the BP/weather issue with hunters they usually refer to weather not BP. Like most on this thread have noted they prefer to hunt certain "weather" not necessarily BP. That` why weather was referenced.
I never heard a hunter say...."tomorrow morning should be great....the BP is expected to be 28.86 at sunrise and rise to 29.99 by 8:30". But you will hear them say...."it`s going to be a cold crisp morning with light winds coming out of the west". I think you`re splitting hairs here.
Fawns and calves are born at the same time every year in any area that has serious winter. Gestation is a set time length within a few days. So that means the does/cows are bred at the same time every fall. It's all about survival in the spring for the newborns. As far as non-rut movement, about the only difference I see in activity is a bit more before a major winter storm front or right after. Or after a night of severe wind and rain. Those very gray mornings that have no real sunrise, deer seem to linger a bit longer in the open.
Scientific studies at some major universities decisively conclude that weather or moon phase have very, very little effect on whitetail movement. They will be on their feet and doing what deer do at the same times they usually do it. Now WHERE they do it may vary in relation to terrain features.
And I'll save some guys some typing: "....well if I want advice on hunting deer, I'll be sure to ask some city born university kid alright...." :)
I hunt when ever because my time is limited but i cant disagree more with people who say the "moon phase" doesn't matter. When the moon is full & bright the deer are more prone to eat at night in the grain fields & move less during daylight hours. Meaning you see less deer. Often times deer are finishing up feeding in the field when you enter towards your stand in the morning. So your best bet is to get between the fields & bedding & catch them going back to bed.
Hancock, science does not support that. Deer have a certain stomach capacity and it has to be filled at set intervals. They don’t hole up during new moons then gorge two weeks later on full moons. It’s hard for us to give up long held knowledge handed down from generations that we respect. I used to get all excited and wound up about the first “tracking snow”. But the snow just confirmed what I already knew. ”Yup, there were deer here and now there‘s not.”
Some of these beliefs become self fulfilling. If we hunt all day during full moons and not during new moons, then we will kill/see more deer then. Kinda like we catch more fish on our favourite lure simply because it gets more time in the water.
Here you go Embry. A history of 14 buck kills. All over 4 1/2. Hopefully the spacing works with copy/paste.
11/16/1996. 5 ½ ++. Early morning. Waxing quarter moon. 52 degrees. 28.74 BP
11/21/1998. 5 ½ or so. Midday. Waxing sliver moon. 57 degrees. 28.94 pressure.
10/28/2000. 5 ½ or so. Late evening. Waxing sliver moon. 70 degrees. 28.88 BP.
11/12/2007. 4 ½. Early evening. Right after rain storm. Waxing sliver moon. 70 degrees. 28.88 BP
11/28/2008. 5 ½ confirmed. Late evening. New moon. 45 degrees. 28.73 BP.
11/08/2010. 6 ½ confirmed. Early morning. Waxing sliver moon. 45 degrees. 28.72 BP.
11/24/2010. 4 ½ confirmed. Right after thunderstorm. Tending a doe. Early morning. The day after a full moon. 40 degrees. 28.6 BP.
12/30/2013. Working does. 5 ½ confirmed. 28 degrees. Late evening. 2 days before the New Moon. 35 degrees. 28.95 Pressure.
11/08/2014. 4 ½ confirmed. Shot at 1:10 p.m. The day after full moon. 55 degrees. 28.77 BP.
11/18/2014. 5 ½ confirmed. 27 degrees. Tending doe. Shot at 12:56 p.m. Waning quarter moon. 29 BP.
10/31/2015. 4 ½ confirmed. Early evening. 3 days after Full Moon. 55 degrees. 28.58 pressure.
11/15/2016. 5 ½ confirmed. Shot at 8:57 a.m. SUPER Moon. Full Moon. 45 degrees. 28.69 BP.
12/26/2017. 4 ½ confirmed. 15 degrees. Late evening. Waxing half moon. 29.22 BP.
12/26/2018. 5 ½ confirmed. 45 degrees. Early evening. 4 days after Full moon. 28.84 BP.
Huh. I've never looked at it. All 14 killed with a BP between 28.6 and 29.22.
Nevertheless. I hunt when I can. Get lucky sometimes
Hancock--your post, as well as statements from others I've read over the years seem to suggest that deer feed more at night during a full moon due to their increased ability to see what they're doing.
I feel I have very good night vision (for a human), and during my 30-plus years of deer hunting, I've had many examples of deer walking past my stand in what appears to me to be near to total darkness. I don't recall a single instance where I heard a deer walk into a tree. I believe deer are able to see just fine at night, with or without the benefit of moonlight.
Does the phase of the moon or the moon's position have an effect on deer behavior? I have no idea. I'm in the "hunt when I can" crowd, but will be on vacation and in a tree all next week, a time when I have historically seen good movement.
Good luck to you and all the Bowsiters this season.
I'm not saying you won't see deer during a full moon or that deer can't be killed during a full moon. I'm saying deer patterns can change & with a full moon they are more likely to walk at night when you can't hunt & less during the day. If a deer is up all night, they'll likely want to bed down & rest more during the day. Ambush I didn't say they are fasting then gorging, they just change or delay moving by a few hours for safety. I believe deer like safety away from hunters & if they can feed at night to avoid us they will. I'll see 10 to 1 more deer while driving to the farm with a full moon vs not. That's 20years of whitetail experience, not folk tales.
Bake. Not sure if I’m more impressed with the deer you kill or your record keeping!! Holy!!
Hancock, I’m not questioning anybody’s observations. I’m only relating that many millions of dollars are spent studying deer. Those studies where they use collared and tracked deer with meticulous attention to weather, moon, BP etc demonstrate the opposite of what many of us believe.
Thanks, Bake! Did you record the data from years back or look it up in archives?
Yeah, don't give me too much credit, on either side of it :)
Some of those older deer were not all that impressive. I have two 5 year old bucks, both confirmed by cementum annuli, from the same farm, one grossed 118 and the other 125. Several other deer in the 120s that were still older deer.
I do keep records, but I have never kept track of moon phase or BP. I had to use weather underground for their archives. I do keep a log of every hunt I go on. Where I hunted, wind and speed if known, temperature, animals seen, etc.
I enjoy doing it. I frequently go back and look through older hunts.
Mature deer are impressive even without big scores.
Keeping a journal is something I often wished I’d done, and wish I will start. I’m amazed at how much detail a person forgets at the end of a five day hunt. Me anyway.
I have records going back to 2003, wish I'd started way before that .. hours spent hunting AM/PM, weather/wind direction/rain/snow/clear/overcast/cloudy/etc. .... where I was/Private/state land/where I sat/stand location/name, and 'occurrences' (deer/critters seen,what happened, how the deer was hit/how far it ran,etc. ).. Ive not kept records of Barometer, moon, etc, on those, kinda wish I did ..
who uses "solunar tables" ?? .. I do look at them every day I'm out, but I dont let them dictate when I will hunt .... ..... Friday the 25th, when I killed the big 205 lb 8pt was considered "good" for my zip code with 'minor movement' 4:57-5:57pm ... I killed it at 5:44pm ...... moon was 9% Cresent waning .... barometer dropping ...
Went out tonight with the BP rising and saw 11 deer. One good buck
Me I just hunt, day after day, some are better than others,,,, I guess if your time is limited you could put some faith in all the science stuff, baromter, moon etc,,,,,,
To me too many just over think the whole process............. Take today for example.... My buddy who has a record of everything, was going to hunt a certain stand, based on the winds, the moon, etc and his journals.... He has a advanced scent free ritual etc and it takes him 2 days to get ready to hunt...............Today he saw zip
I hunted the other 200 acres west of him,,, yeah I stay clean watch the wind, but I hunt... I am on the ground all day, running into 14 does, and passed on 2 bucks.... of course they are chasing now, but my point is, so many are married into the deer hunting world, created by outdoor writer bs,,,, I have to pull my hair out....
He says you need milk weed or party bubbles to check the thermals,,,, I told him I use a simple bic lighter................................ so many guys over think this sport, its uncanny,,,,
I am 70 and he is 35