If you read any whitetail content, watch videos, or ask anyone how they hunt, odds are you’re mostly going to hear about how to shoot a buck during an evening hunt. Not many people hunt mornings early in the year, and quite frankly there are a lot of hunters that say hunting mornings aren’t even worth it until the rut. Today, I want to analyze that a bit further and look at the pros and cons of hunting mornings during the early season.
You can Learn Information for Future Hunts: Often times during a morning hunt, you can learn things that will aid you on future hunts and potentially even for that same day. For instance, if you are pushing in near a bedding area, and aren’t quite sure if a buck is using it, you may be able to get eyes on a buck heading into a suspected bedding area. Even if your stand location is slightly off, you can then use that information to make a move for the evening or the following morning. If you can hunt the same evening, you could adjust your stand setup, and get between the food and where the buck bedded. Odds are he’ll be coming out of that bed you saw him go into that morning and if you set up close enough, you just might get a crack at him during daylight.
Hunting Close To Bedding Areas: Another advantage to hunting mornings early in the season is that you can and should hunt close to bedding. Utilize the early season foliage to sneak in close and capitalize on their early season patterns. If you need any motivation to know that you can successfully hunt mornings by getting in tight to bedding, check out The Hunting Public YouTube Channel and start watching. No one said it’s easy, but hey, who doesn’t like a challenge?
Time it Right, and You can Have Success: Like I said in the opening, morning hunting gets a bad rap, but if you can, I think you should be doing it, especially if you have limited time to hunt. Having the right conditions is important though. Cold fronts can be your best friend when attempting to hunt mornings in the early season. A good cold front could cause bucks to stay on their feet longer, allowing you to slip into a bedding area before a buck has returned. If you time it right, there is no doubt that you can have success.
Be Ready To Get Up EARLY: If you’re not a morning person or struggle waking up early, morning hunting could be difficult for you this time of year. Getting in the stand just before shooting light probably isn’t going to cut it. Often times you’ll want to get set up an hour or two before first light to help ensure you beat the bucks to their bed. This can be difficult for some because that often means getting up at 3:00-4:00am and taking your time to get to the stand.
It can Create an Early Season Grind: Teeing off the last con, if you are hunting multiple days in a row, hunting that early in the morning in addition to the evenings can be quite the grind. For instance, when I would hunt mornings in early September in North Dakota, I would have to be up at 4:00am to make it to the stand in the morning. Stack this on top of getting back to camp around 10:00pm following an evening sit and I can guarantee you’ll be tired. Bottom line, doing this day after day doesn’t allow for much sleep or preparation time.
You Can Blow Spots up If You’re Not Careful: If you’re not careful, hunting mornings can ruin certain spots if you don’t do it right. If you are accessing stands through crop fields or feeding areas, you could blow deer out on your way in. If you are late to a stand and deer are already on their way back to bed, you can run into the same problem. You want to be especially careful with this because blowing a deer out of their bedding area can be dangerous.
Overall, there is no doubt you can successfully hunt mature bucks in the morning during the early season. You have to be extremely careful while hunting and stick with it even if you don’t see a deer on a specific hunt. Don’t let anyone tell you that hunting mornings in the early season isn’t worth it, there’s no doubt you can still get it done.