By Alex Comstock
Across a majority of the Midwest, October's first cold front will be striking this weekend. I have a feeling a lot of mature bucks will be hitting the dirt by bowhunters all over the Midwestern states. If you are someone who has limited time to hunt, it is critical to be able to maximize your sits by hunting high value days, and getting the most bang for your buck. Here's how to do that, and why you should make this weekend a priority if you are going to be affected by the first major cold front of October.
Temperature: I just touched on it, but temperature is the number one dictator in deer activity I believe. There are a variety of factors that play into the weather that will help create a high value sit, but the first thing to look at is temperature. What I really look for is a major drop in temperature. A ten to fifteen degree drop in temperature is a day to key on and can bring a high value sit.
If you have limited time to hunt, and have to plan the days that you sit a week in advance, look for those days that are either (a) below the yearly average temperatures or (b) when there is that major drop in temperature.
Wind Direction/Wind Speed: The wind can also help you create and determine a high value sit. What I like to look for is two things with the wind. The first is a wind direction that is different than the days prior. For example, if you are deciding on whether to hunt Friday or Saturday, but the whole week the wind is coming out of the South, and then switches to the North on Saturday, then Saturday could potentially have deer up on their feet earlier. I really like those days when there is some type of wind switch.
When it comes to wind speed, the most high value days will have a wind of about 10-15 mph. There are only about two types of wind speeds that I think will hinder deer movement. That's when it's absolutely still, with zero wind, or if it is gusting upwards of 30 mph. I find that when it is awfully still out, with no wind, deer get more jumpy, and for whatever reason they don't like to be out in the open and move as much.
Picture Perfect Weekend: When it comes to planning your hunts around high value times, this weekend is most likely going to be a time where you need to be out in the whitetail woods. There is a significant cold front sweeping across the Midwest, with some ideal conditions coming.
This is the forecast for the next few days in my location. There are a few different reasons it has me so excited. For starters, you can't see what the temperatures were yesterday and Monday. Monday saw temps reach near 80 degrees, with yesterday being in the mid 60's. Now, that is a pretty good temperature drop, but if you are looking to maximize a high as possible value sit, Thursday-Saturday look even better.
Today the temp dropped yet again, but there is going to be gusty winds today. The forecast is calling for 30 mph winds with gusts up to 40+ mph. The wind is coming out of the SW, which it has for the last few days. Tomorrow the wind will calm down, and it will be cold. It'll be a near 30 degrees difference from Monday. What gets me even more excited about Friday and Saturday is the wind switch. It is calling for NNW winds Friday and Saturday. That will make those two days the picture perfect days to sit in early October. We will have a major temperature drop, light winds, a wind switch to the North, and mature bucks should be up on their feet. If you have anything similar to this hitting you this weekend, you need to get out.
Conclusion: If you are somebody who has limited hunting time, it becomes even more important to focus on high value days. If you are lucky enough to be able to hunt a fair amount, key in on your better spots during the high value days. High value days only come around so often every fall, you need to make the most of them.