At the beginning of the season, spirits and hopes as bowhunters are high. The woods have been active with the bucks we’ve been chasing and we’re hitting the stand as often as we can. Then suddenly, where are all the deer? The effects of the October lull are real and it typically begins when hunters apply too much pressure to their grounds, which causes the deer to move to less pressured areas. The October lull will usually start 10-15 days after hunters consistently pressure those grounds.
The second thing we may be noticing is the annual whitetail shift, which usually refers to what do the whitetails in your area have for food. Do they have enough food on your ground and is it enough of a food source to keep them around year-round?
When it comes down to this time of the year, being particular of when and where you hunt is crucial, because your success will come down to how much pressure you’re putting on your hot spots. It will be even more crucial when it comes to the rut and whether that big shooter buck you’ve been chasing knows where you’ve been hanging out or not too.
If you have quality food sources, acorns, food plots, etc. you should continue to see good deer movement. You can still go out and hunt, but make sure your wind is correct, along with assuring your path in and out of the woods is easy and not intrusive to where those deer are either. If you have places to hunt that have high stem count regeneration, good cover & good food you will have a great October!
So, when should I hunt during the October Lull?
For us, we like to hunt quality evening cold front’s (this could be a 10-20 degree temp swing) and it is typically a feeding frenzy for the whitetails! As many bow hunters already know too, another great time to be in a stand is Halloween week. We see a lot of special things start to happen in the woods, and usually this is when we start to see the rut begin in MN. As long as various factors agree.
We wish you the best of luck in the woods this fall & can’t wait to see your trophy photos!