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Best Times to Hunt Whitetail Deer in October 2021

Know the best days for tagging a buck in October with these insights...

whitetail deer hunting archery bow

October is the month of many changes, especially if you are in a northern state. The leaves turn from summer greens to beautiful fall colors. The warm days of summer turn into crisp frosty mornings. 

October is also full of changes with whitetail deer. Deer start changing their behaviors as the month goes on. Their feeding patterns begin to change. Bucks begin separating from their summer groups. 

In general, deer activity increases throughout the month, including some daylight appearances.

While October has traditionally been dubbed the 'Lull' hunting month, it actually can be a great month to tag a buck!

Beginning of October:

The first two weeks in October are a perfect time to pattern bucks traveling from food sources to bedding areas. The best time to hunt in these weeks are the evenings. The best spot will be to set up in an area where you can catch deer coming into their eating areas during dusk.

October 20 - 25th:

October 20th is the Hunter's Full Moon followed by 5 days of a waning moon. The moon is bright during this phase. A few does will come into heat based on research around the phases of the moon. This will kick bucks into a frenzied seeking mode towards the end of the waning moon.

October 26 - 31st:

Tuesday October 26 - 31st (around Halloween) is the latter phase of the pre-rut and has always been a good week to hunt. Deer movement usually picks up and buck sightings increase. And at any moment buck movement can explode.

Pro Tip of the Month:

Pay attention to the weather. If you get a major cold front coming into your area, be sure to be out in your stand!

While October can be a great time to tag a buck, no worries if you can't get out in the woods this month. Scientific studies have found that 90% of all whitetail does in North America will be in heat during Nov 5 - 20th.

If your time is limited, the best chance for success is to hunt the rut in November. Otherwise, get out there and enjoy the pre-rut season.

And be sure to have good scent control so you don't get winded. Check out our Scent Free Shampoo & Conditioner so your hair doesn't give you away.

Good luck hunting!