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Non-Typical Hunter

The October Lull

Mon, October 14, 2013

Back in the deer saddle again. It’s October, the season’s in and the leaves are turning colors. Yep, it’s my time of year!

One of the most puzzling times of the season is the so-called “October Lull”. This is the period where deer seem to disappear around the second to third week of October here in Illinois. There have been many theories and an equal amount opinions, so I’ll add one more to the pot.

I’ve noticed over the last 4 decades of hunting here in Illinois, this pattern of disappearing deer seem to happen the same time as a few other significant changes take place. One of them is when does overtake buck’s bedding areas and push the bigger bucks out, causing a major relocation of bucks and does. (Oh boy, this is going to create some controversy LOL). Second, it happens when nearly all of the crops are harvested and deer seem to go back hitting the acorn mast. Both conditions seem to drive bucks, and deer in general, deeper into the timber. The third condition (I know I said 2) is really part of the first theory where the hormonal changes cause does to relocate thus pushing bucks out of their areas. Bucks, at this time, aren’t ready for a relationship and want nothing to do with their girl counterparts. The does, on the other hand, are positioning for areas that are easy access for food and water with short travel distances, the very places bigger bucks like to frequent. 

In the last decade or so, I have tested this theory with great results. “Great” results doesn’t mean I scored on a buck each time but rather saw the activity I was hoping for in these new places. With maybe only a 20 percent kill rate while hunting the October Lull, I’m very pleased with the effort. Last year was no exception when I purposely hit the timber at 10:00 am only to stick a beast at 11:10 am. The midday activity within deeper timber and in route to water and bedding seemed to do the trick.

I have also found by mixing up the times entering and exiting the timber will put a damper on smarter deer trying to pattern you! If at all possible try to hunt all day once making the effort, to insure the best possible ambush! You would be surprised how much activity you’ll see, anytime of the year, when hunting midday.

So there you have it, the October Lull theory! Give the techniques a try if you seem to be caught in this mystical time of the month and see what shows up in front of your bow.

On another note, here’s some finished heads from last year! I’ve just cleared out my shop and ready for the new heads to come in! Good luck this year and shoot fast and straight.

Here’s the October Lull buck from last October.

Some other heads too!

FYI, I changed my taxidermy number to 309-938-4953. I have a ton of product reviews on my website at too!


Marc, Once again great information and fantastic work on the work you do in your shop.  Good luck and be safe, GalenaBob

Posted by GalenaBob on October 14

Thanks Bob. I hope you have a great year!

Posted by Marc Anthony on October 14

Marc, I’ve never really considered any of that but am sure you know your stuff. It always seemed like common sense to me that mother nature was telling the bucks to rest for an upcoming rut when they would need all of their strength in order to breed and survive. Seemed cut and dry to me so I never delved into it any further.

Posted by yellowstone on October 14

Maybe you have the best theory of all YELLOWSTONE grin I never considered that angle!

Posted by Marc Anthony on October 14

Marc, By far the best lookin deer mounts that ive ever saw….....

Posted by WhitetailFreak on October 14

Marc, I’m on to a buck on some private ground I hunt. Passed two weeks been getting pics of him 10:00p.m-12:00a.m. There’s a decent amount of property in the direction he’s heading from, but not too many different spots he could be bedding. Do you think there’s any chance he’s bedding nearby? That’s three to five hours from sundown until his appearances. Maybe he’s coming from another property all together? Not really sure how much ground they’re covering this time of year. There is plenty of food(corn/beans/acorns/clover), water, and cover just not a lot of woods around. The cover is tallgrass, standing corn, and a creekline. Any insight/tips are appreciated. I’m stumped as to where he is coming from and how much ground he is covering by the cover of night, you seemed like the dude to ask. Going to try moving the cameras in the direction he’s coming. Any additional info would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance

Posted by Illinoisbassnbucks on October 15

It’s anyone’s guess where he’s bedding. One thing for sure, you don’t need heavy timber to find big bucks! Many little draws in the middle of corn fields hold bruisers and offer ample bedding. Even though most big bucks don’t seem to travel very far this time of year, they certainly can! Two weeks ago I passed up a 150+” 9 pointer in Pike Co. only to have the same buck show up 2 miles down the road. When the crops come out, everything changes too!Without seeing the area you’re referring to, it’s hard to guess where he’ll be, but I would hunt the areas he’s comfortable with (where you’ve got him on camera) for a start. From there, make notes of his sightings and adjust accordingly!

Posted by Marc Anthony on October 15

Crops still in all around me and no water in the creek.
My farm isn’t a mass of giant white oaks. But some of the best pics I have of quality deer have come at Midday can’t say it was mid oct though it was early NOV. After 4 hunts with no deer sightings think I will try a mid day through evening hunt. Good article keep em coming.

Posted by cuttnstrut on October 15


What did that big 10 of yours score?  How wide of inside spread does that brute have?  Great looking deer and mount.

Posted by mossyoak on October 15

Mossy, he netted in the low 160’s. Has a 23” inside spread. Thanks.

Posted by Marc Anthony on October 15

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