Now we are in the third week October…meaning crops have been coming down, are about to come down, or are all harvested around you. Acorns could still plague you, be nearly nonexistent, or are about to be all finished up. Your food plots could be becoming very attractive depending on the species and deer movement/activity is, as always still increasing as we approach November. October cold fronts have passed through, and are still on their way, but the weather could still mostly be labeled as “warm” for deer hunting. Last but certainly not least the hunting pressure has increased on your property in most cases. Now that might have seemed like a list to you but that was just the definition of the October Lull…
This is why you see a lot of blogs, articles, videos trying to educate more than anything rather than giving straight up blatant answers because every answer is situational dependent.
Now what’s actually going on during the October Lull? I just finished up pulling cards across several properties. Now out of all the trail cameras spread across our properties they are covering many different areas such as food plots, crop fields, acorns, and transition areas closer to bedding areas. Most, but not all have a mock scrape in the image but are set on a great run, entrance, funnel or key point for movement in each area.
With crops being harvested all around the property, deer have not only lost staple food sources but critical security cover. This along with the acorns, and most likely hunting pressure has caused more reserved movement. Bedding areas are changing, food sources are changing, and as a result home range and movement had small shifts. But without scouting and intel from trail cameras, you will never find out where that might be.
And that is what we expected during this time for this situation. Half the crops are up, half are down, the beans have turned and are not super attractive anymore, our clover plots and brassica plots are becoming very attractive, but we still have acorns with a strong hold on deer. What we do know is that our very first tactic, the mock scrapes are going to be critical over the next week, week and a half. It’s the week before we see a lot of the pre-rutting action beginning or really getting serious as we would label it. Bucks will be checking mock scrapes a lot more frequently to check up on the status of does, but as the month progresses and we get into late October they keep busy with other bucks and finding those early receptive does.
Where is that, well remember that long list of variables that you should pay attention to this week…stop the video rewind it and critically think about those variable for your property. A couple of “yes’s” and “no’s” later on your answers to those questions and you will be able to determine what food source is hot on your property right now, where the does will be, and what bucks are in the area. A lot of acorns in your timber and a lot of pressure on your plots and crop fields could keep deer in the acorns, on the other hand hunting acorn flats to hard could reverse it. Again use the best information that is available to you…the trail camera intel, it can suggest a very promising tree stand location, if not at least another trail camera location that could reveal even more movement. One thing that can be said as a blanket statement for all situations is warm weather will kill movement, don’t call it an October Lull if its bad weather movement wise, wait for those cold fronts like we discussed last week.