For many, hunting is a passion, a sport and to some hunting is even considered as a spiritual act. Hunting requires not only physical activities but also a great deal of mental inspirations. It depends on mood. It’s not like someone blows a whistle and a hunter just jump into the woods for hunting. And, the fact is, this is not the age of barbarians, when you can’t eat meat if you can’t shoot an animal. It’s not a full-time job either. So, there is no urgency to hunt whether you are interested or not.
A hunter should feel the appeal and he must have the mood. Not every day a hunter feels the urge for hunting.
But, unfortunately, now-a-days, hunting is not only depends on a hunter’s mood either. He cannot just grab his rifle and run into the forest to shoot a game whenever he feels for hunting. Sad! But, you have to admit, no matter how much you wish you must follow some rules and regulations – rules that only allows a particular time of a year to hunt.
Likewise, even if the laws allow, you shouldn’t rush into the forest any time you want. If you do, then the possibilities of success are minuscule.
Well, you need to know - the right time for hunting.
I know that, all the veterans already have this - “best time for hunting” wisdom. But, still, in this piece I want to rehearse some century old knowledge and practices that has been followed by many hunters over the years when they are out for hunting.
Here, I will also cover some “not so old” things and some “new things” that will help some to identify the most probable time to get the best game while hunting.
Hunting time regulation
Before diving into the main part, I should again mention that the regulations for allowed time for hunting are the first thing that every hunter should conscious about.
Rules and regulation for hunting regarding time is not same for every country or even in every state in USA. Each state has own regulations about hunting. These regulations are very articulately mentioned the allowed time for hunting. Laws against illegal hunting are extremely rigid in most states in USA. So, depending on your preferred location of hunting you need to know the legal hunting time in a hunting season. Otherwise you might get into deep trouble.
Generally, hunting season starts in early September and ends at late January in most counties. However, legal dates in each state vary for different categories of hunting. This depends on:
How and where can you find the information of legal dates/ times for hunting in different states?
Check this article to find out hunting rules and regulation in your state.
The time when the animals are most active
There are “times”, when the animals become more active and mobile. All the experienced hunters in the world know that shooting a game is easier when the animals are on the move. If you know the time when they are most active you will be able to develop a strategy around this information. For finding out that accurate time, you need to know the factors that influence the animal behavior most.
Fortunately, you won’t need to develop any new hypothesis for that. As, some popular theories based on research, experiences and myths are already exists.
Some natural factors have proven to be most influential on animal behaviors. Based on these theories we can derive the best time for hunting. Let’s talk about some famous hypothesis to identify the best time for hunting that a hunter must know.
Among all the theories, Solunar Theory has been accepted to be the most effective. The word, Solunar has been derived from Solar (The sun) and Lunar (Moon). So, this theory is about the Sun and the moon.
Solunar theory was first officially coined by famous hunter, John Alden Knight, in 1926. The basis of this theory describes that the position, rising and setting of the sun and moon has direct influence on animal behaviors.
Mr. Knight developed this theory from century old hunting wisdoms, fishing folklores and experiences etc. Later, he furnished his theory by testing it on his own hunting journeys.
The Theory is basically based on the idea that all the living things on earth including human being reacts to gravitational force. And, when the sun and/or moon are placed directly over our head or bellow our foot (straight to the opposite side of the world) they have the strongest gravitational force over us. In this two times, all the animals including water born, become more active and mobile than any other time.
In alliance to this theory, it’s also true that during the new moon and full moon (yes, not only the werewolf!) the animals become more agitated. And, on the contrary to this theory, animals become less active during the quarter and three quarter moon.
So, the best hunting time, you can see, is at night during a full moon and the morning following that night. In addition, during the new moon, at night, you will get better hunting chances.
Based on Solunar theory, experts has been preparing a “Solunar Table” each year since 1926. Solunar table is basically a calendar showing hunting chances of each day of a calendar year. Usually, it rates a day a bad, good, better or best considering the position of the moon.You can find this table on the internet easily in site like this,
and there are also many popular applications are also available for android and iphone i.e.
The rut theory
The rut theory is another scientifically proven theory for identifying the best hunting time effectively. Rut means the mating time of a certain kinds of mammals which lives on grass, leafs etc. Most of the big games in USA are this type of animals i.e. deer, bison, antelopes etc.
During the rutting time, animals, especially males, are become nuts. They become oblivious to any other thing except mating with female partner. They move a lot to find as many females as possible; become less cautions and much easier to hunt. Therefore, knowing the rutting time of targeted animal is very handy to a hunter.
In USA, the usual rutting time of white tail (Bulk) starts around late September and continues to the end of winter season. However, white tail normally breeds at mid October to November. But the most probable date for White Tail is 13th November. The peak rut time normally lasts three weeks.
As the bulks are most active during the breeding time, they don’t even eat properly, so after this rutting period they become weary and took rest for few days. When they are done with their resting, being so voracious, they eat like crazy to regain their energy. Hence, post-rutting time is another golden opportunity to smart hunters. During this post-rutting phase, bulks are more likely to be found wondering around carbohydrate rich food grain sources i.e. corn fields.
Elk starts at late August and ends at late April. However, the most activity happens during mid September to mid October. The peak breeding time for Elks usually lasts one and a half months.
Weather has a significant impact on games behavior so as on selecting a hunting strategy. Several factors of weather i.e. temperature, air pressure, rain, fog, air force etc has direct influence on game’s behavior.
Generally, big games such as deer become more active during winter. However, the colder time of a day is better for hunting. Like human being, Deer shows more activities when the temperature is colder and become fewer activities in wormer weather compare to normal temperature. During winter deer generate thick fur coat over their body to protect them from extreme cold. So, they act less if temperature increases during that time to be more comfortable. So, it increases nocturnal activities during late hunting season especially after January when the temperature starts rising.
Same things happen when the temperature falls beyond a normal cold day. During extreme cold, deer refuse to move and wait for the temperature to worming up. However, if temperature isn’t extremely low then big games like whitetail like to move in foggy environment where they feel more secure.
Air pressure is another important weather data that also gives a lot insight about the animal behavior. The State of a barometer can help a hunter to predict game’s movement more precisely then anything. Here is some useful wisdom regarding this fact, deer become more active during changing air pressure compare to steady situation. Also, high air pressure is relatively preferable to low air pressure.
In case of air direction, deer likes steady airs more than air that swings direction often.
To identify the best hunting times a hunter need to consider many factors that actually could affect their hunting experience a lot. So, if you want to have get good scores on that then ensure your homework beforehand.Wish you a great hunting! Cheers!!!