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Guest Blog

Peak deer hunting dates

Fri, August 15, 2014

By MATTHEW PORTSCHELLER

This all started when I was trying to figure out what days I wanted to take off from work for deer season. I decided to do my homework and make an “educated guess” on what days to take off since I only get four days this year.

My conclusion is that if opening day of the season lands on a Friday or the weekend, expect to see large harvest numbers.

Other than that, Nov. 12 had the most days as a peak day with 3. Nov. 10th, 11th and 8th, all tied with 2. Nearly every peak day was on a weekend. What this tells me is more hunters are hunting on the weekends driving the number of harvests up. That’s a pretty obvious conclusion many could draw without diving in to the numbers like I did, but this does help to confirm that logic.

After reviewing the data however, the best stretch of days harvest wise came the 2nd through early 3rd week of November most seasons going back to 2005. I imagine most of this is due to more hunters taking time off of work or making more of an effort to get in on the deer action leading to rut.

Also, there is a sharp drop off in archery harvest that remains for the rest of the season after the last few days before the 1st gun season. Looks as if most bow hunters try to fill the majority of their tags by the 1st gun season which makes sense since 50 percent of the total deer harvest comes in the 1st gun season. 

This was a fun and informative project that did lead to some insight and confirmed some theories I had, though I don’t think it unlocked any big advantage or clue to deer hunting success. After all, deer are deer and no matter how hard we try to understand them it’s always a guessing game, and comes down to being at the right place at the right time and making the shot. Happy Hunting!

2013
• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1,500 deer harvested daily (0 days in Oct. met min)
• 11th, 10th, 4th,9th & 3rd*, 16th,12th,15th
• Best combo days 9th,10th,11th, 12th – 3rd 4th- 15th, 16th
• Peak – 10th and 11th
• Moon phase – 3rd and 4th NM – 2% WX C, 9th-11th 44% WX C-half- 67% WX C,
15th& 16th 96-99% WX C
• WX C = moon getting brighter WN G = moon getting darker NM = New moon/dark moon
(Weekends may equal more hunters hunting which could influence harvest totals)
3rd-SUN 4th-MON, 9th-12th SUN-WED, 15th-16th FRI-SAT

2012
• October (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 28th and 29th 6th and 7th
• Moon phase 28th and 29th WX G (moon getting brighter) 98%-99%  6-7 %65-%56 WN G (darker)

• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 5th, 4th, 11th, 14th & 16th*,10th, 15th, 9th & 13th*
• Moon phase 4th-5th 72%-63% WN G (get darker) 10,11 14%-7% WN C 13-16 (dark moon 10-16)
• Peak OCT 28th-29th SUN-MON, NOV 4th & 5th SUN-MON
• Also note how stretch of days 9-16 of NOV almost all days met 1500 min. FRI-FRI

2011
• October (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 1st and 2nd (extremely high peak 2500 + daily harvest for both days)
• Moon phase 24%-35% WX C (getting brighter)
• Worth mentioning that those are a SAT & SUN.  Opening days of season started on weekend.
• Sunday Oct 30th was also a good day making the min. Moon 20% WX C (mostly dark)
• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 13th, 12th, 6th, 7th, 11th & 18th*, 14th, 5th
• (3 days with extremely high harvests 6th 12th 13th 2500+ daily)
• Peak- 6th-7th 12th-13th moon phase nearly full 6th-16th Also Oct 1-2nd
• 6th and 7th SUN-MON.  11th-14th FRI-MON

2010
• October (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 3rd, 31st, 2nd, 1st
• Moon phase 1-3 44%-23% WN C (almost half and getting darker)
• 1-3 Fri-Sun.  31st SUN
• Again opening day was on a fri through the weekend which could be a factor in high harvest #’s
• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 8th, 7th, 15th, 1st, 14th, 6th & 9th*, 16-19th* (7th-8th extremely high harvest 2500+)
• Peak- 7th- 8th & 15th Sun-Mon. Mon. Moon phase 7th-8th 3%-8% WX C ( dark moon)
• Moon phase 12th- 19th half-full. 
• Good Harvest numbers from 12-19 which was FRI-FRI

2009
• October (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 4th, 3rd, 11th, 10th – Moon phase 3-4 FULL. 10th-11th HALF
• 3rd & 4th SAT-SUN. 10th-11th SAT-SUN
• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 14th, 1st, 8th, 7th 11th 13th 15*, 12th
• Peak- 14th and 1st Sat. Sun.  Moon phase 14th Dark moon. 1st FULL
• 7th,8th 11th-15th all had consistent/good harvest #’s with a peak on the 14th.
• 11th-15th WED-SUN.  dark moon during stretch . 7th & 8th SAT-SUN. moon 71%-60% WN G

2008
• October (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 1st 4th.  WED & FRI . No moon phase data available.
• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 9th, 8th, 16th,10th, 7th, 15th,2nd, 13th
• Peak- 8th & 9th,  16th. SAT-SUN. SUN. (extremely high harvest #’s 2500+) 
• 7th-11th FRI-TUE. Best stretch of days for season. Good/consistent harvest #’s
• With the exception of a couple days the 7th-16th were all good harvest #’s days
• No moon phase data available.

2007
• October (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 28th SUN. Interesting bc this day was much higher than every other day in Oct.
• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 10th, 4th, 11th, 3rd, 9th, 7th, 8th, 15th, 14th, 12th
• Peak-  SAT.10th (extremely high harvest # 3000+) Best day by far of the season for ARCH.
• 3rd-4th SAT-SUN.  7th-  15th WED-THURS. 10-11 SAT-SUN. No moon phase data Available
• 7th-15th Best stretch of days with a peak on the 10th and 11th but all days except 13th met min #

2006
• October (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 1st, 15th, 14th, 7th & 28th* Bigger peaks and valleys than Nov but almost as many days that met the min as NOV.  1st SUN,  14th&15th SAT-SUN, 28th • SAT.  Opening day 1st highest harvest #
• No Moon Phase data available.
• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 12th, 5th, 4th, 11th, 3rd&13th* Only 6 days in NOV met min in ’06.
• Peak- NOV 12th. SUN (extremely high harvest #’s 3000+)
• 3-5 FRI-SUN. 11- 13th SAT-MON. No big stretch of days this month that met min #
• No Moon phase data available

2005
• October (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 1st, 8th, 9th, 22nd, 23rd, 30th, 29th Bigger peaks and valleys again but almost as many days that met   the min harvest #’s as NOV.  The 1st & 8th were the 3rd &  4th best days of the ARCH season for #’s
• 1st SAT, 8-9 SAT-SUN, 22-23 SAT-SUN 29-30 SAT-SUN. Bow hunters had good weekends in OCT
• No Moon Phase Data Available
• November (order of daily archery harvest) min. 1500 deer harvested daily
• 11th &12th*, 6th, 13th, 5th, 10th, 7th, 17th
• Peak- 11th & 12th NOV. ( extremely high harvest #’s 2500 +)
• 5th-7th SAT-MON. 10th- 13th THUS-SUN. 17th THUS.
• Good harvest #’s with the exception of a couple days that didn’t met the min from 5th-13th
• No Moon phase data available

 

 

Comments

For what it’s worth, my best 5 bow kills have come on the following days

Best deer-Nov 10
#2-Nov 8
#3-Nov 7
#4-Oct 9
#5-Nov 3

Posted by shootist on August 15

2nd week of November is always my favorite but you can’t kill a deer if you’re not in the woods.

Posted by Andy Meador on August 15

My bowcation is scheduled for 11/6-11/11 this year, cant wait!!

Posted by CCHUNTER2024600 on August 15

my best 2 have been on Nov 12th, and Nov 2nd.

Posted by BucknBass84 on August 15

Oct 1
Oct 2
Nov 1
Nov 8
Nov 10
Nov 11
Nov 13
Nov 16

Posted by Treehugger on August 16

Nov17th- a booner and 5 popes. Missed another booner in a rain storm. Shot popes three consecutive yrs on date. Will be in the woods this date every year til I stop breathing.

Posted by selfinflicted on August 16

Based just on the small sample size of data above, I would say try to get out there as much as possible in November.The two best days of my hunting career, November 17, 2002 and November 5, 2011. I’ve never seen the deer act like they did on those two days. I didn’t even kill one in 2002, but it was a wild day. And I usually take two weeks off every November.

Posted by phelpsy80 on August 18

Hunting as much as you can in Nov definitely is a smart strategy, as long as you dont burn out the areas..i think i did that to myself last year…

Posted by BucknBass84 on August 18

looks like its the same every year no matter the moon phase. If its November and it falls on a weekend, they are gonna die

Posted by yellowstone on August 18

November 10th has been a very good date for my hunting and partner and I the past few seasons hunting together. I saved all of my vacation time this year and the way it works out with Thanksgiving is I’ll be off from Halloween until the monday after Thanksgiving this year! Can’t wait!

Posted by Illinoisbassnbucks on August 18

Anytime your still on this side of the grass and in the stand is a good day. Thirty four years of deer hunting and have never had a bad day, some are just better than others. And never ever seen a sunrise or sunset that wasn’t awesome!

Posted by berlin on August 19

cheers to that Berlin, and ILLBASSNBUCK you are one lucky duck…what i wouldnt do to have that stretch of days off!

Posted by BucknBass84 on August 19

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