Andy C. from Tennessee writes to ask about buck movements and morning temperatures. “In November we had some warm temperatures and it seemed to affect buck movements even though it was the normal time for the peak of the rut when bucks are chasing does. Is there a certain point, temperature-wise, where buck movements slow down during the pre-rut and rut?”
Dr. Dave Samuel
Great question Andy, and the answer is “yes.” A good friend from New York who studies deer in a large enclosure year-round says that 45 degrees is a good rule of thumb. Above that temperature, the buck movement is slow.
Data from Mississippi shows that the highest percentage of bucks (26 percent) move the most when the temperature there is 31- to 35 degrees. From 36- to 40 degrees, the percentage of bucks that move a lot is 24 percent. From 41- to 45 degrees the percentage of bucks that move a lot is 16 percent.
The bottom line is wherever you live, colder is better. But, in the pre-rut and rut, there is a lower limit where cold weather slows down buck movements. Having said that, I believe that in December (for most of the country … especially North) colder weather moves bucks to food.
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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.