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When do you shoot your bucks

MN Hunter

Active Member
Just got to thinking today, what time of day have you been successful harvesting mature bucks. (4 years old +). I love hunting mornings, but the past few years I haven’t hunted them as often and have been successful hunting less days and killing my target bucks in the evening. I’m wondering if hunting mornings in the past have affected evening hunts. Side note, I hunt private land in Minnesota, public in Iowa. And don’t hunt mornings until late October.
For the nice bucks, it has been last two hours before dark, but I did get my first PY buck at 1:00 on November 7 in MN with the bow using a decoy. Shot one big tanker in Iowa with a messed up rack at 8:30 am.
Well my biggest came on an afternoon hunt on Halloween day but almost everything else has been morning hunts November 5-8th... Mornings are still my favorite time to hunt. I feel more confident sneaking into the stand in the dark and like watching everything wake up and come to life.

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Love morning hunts doing my best to sneak in early and watch the sunrise while listening to the birds waking up the woods and fields. When I reflect back over the years of kills/sightings of older bucks I would give the edge to mornings from daybreak till 1pm. Evenings no doubt can account for some great action that last hour of shooting light in the right set up.
October- evenings for sure
November- my success is about 50/50 with several killed between 10 and 2 as well, but my favorite is being high up on a ridge in the timber as the sun comes up.
december- evenings on undisturbed ground.
january- see december
I've killed more good bucks in the evening for no other reason than I hunt more in the evening.
But...., I love cool,calm morning hunts in early November.
All during season and when I was properly armed. Other than that, most have obviously been drawn and dusk archery kills, because that's the majority of what I hunt and when they stir. But, a few mid day too.
I would say during the rut it has been more mornings and early afternoon.

Earlier and later I told the year definitely evenings
The weather for the opener here in Iowa is going to be about as good as it gets (first 4-5 days actually). If you can get out, it will be well worth the time.
The weather for the opener here in Iowa is going to be about as good as it gets (first 4-5 days actually). If you can get out, it will be well worth the time.

Wouldn't miss it! Moving to our new house over the weekend friday thru sunday (short move only 30 minutes) however thursday will be spent in the deer woods and the weather conditions do look fantastic for the opener and thru the weekend.
whenever they walk in front of me …… seriously I am split basically 50-50 between AM and PM kills when I look at the mounts on my wall. Dates - heavily weighted to late rut (Nov 20th +/- a few days). My best two bucks were dropped on 11/18 and 11/26. profile pic buck was late Oct. Not much success for me early-mid Oct or in first 15 days of Nov.
All the mature buck I've harvested have been in the mornings except one right at last light. Mature bucks usually don't show until a little after sunset in the evenings and never seem to get to shooting range by dark unless you're set up close to where they're bedded.
I'm slightly heavier on PM's. I personally only do AM's in late October through late November. I either shoot bucks on cold & "pretty ideal" patterned October bucks OR Nov 6-20. I am usually a big loser for shooting late October to early November.
I'm kind of surprised once I did the count. I can't be sure of age, so I'm counting 140-180" deer. A couple are probably 3.5.
3 - Morning
4 - Midday (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
4 - Evening
This is much more even than I expected. One odd thing is that none of the midday bucks were on all day sits. Two were morning sits when I stayed long and got them at about 11:30. The other two were evening sits when I got in the tree at 2:00. Both times I barely got my bow pulled up in the stand when they came by.
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