What Time of the Day are Deer Most Active? This question might not only interest hunters but also people who love watching animals and drivers. Actually, people who drive in areas that deer need to know when these animals are active and maybe crossing the roads prevent a dangerous encounter. The size of a full-grown deer can cause significant damage if hit by a car even on a slow speed limit. Let us not forget that the driver and passengers may be at risk too. It might be fatal for such a collision if the driver was driving at high speed and hence is suitable for motorcycle riders and drivers to slow down in such places. It is essential to know what time of the day when deer are most active and are more likely to walk across the road to prevent human-wildlife encounters.
What Time of the Day are Deer Most Active?
To understand better about deer hunting is to know the movements and patterns of the Deer. There is no substantial evidence to clearly show that Deer is active at predawn hours or in the evenings. You need to know where Deer is likely to beat legal hunting hours and know where and when they move at daytime. In research conducted by Dr. Larry Marchinton and Dr.Kent Kammermeyer revealed that all over the year, deer movement during the day is more compared to night time.
However, this movement tends to change at the end of summer as vegetation starts to die off and deer food in bushy areas decreases as leaves start to fall off. The process makes deer look for food in open grasslands where they are insecure as day sets, and so they begin to feed at night around 4:00 AM to morning hours up to 10:00 AM. They start to move again from around 8:00 PM to around 10:00 PM. During this period, the deer travels long distances in the morning hours because of their security, so they try to get to their secure areas before much light settles in.
Also Read: Best Spotlights for Deer
Activities of Deer during Daytime
At sunset, when a cloud is covering the sky, the deer feeds for about half an hour to one hour. The same happens before sunrise. Once the deer are in the woods, they roam around as they eat grass and twigs for a while and then lay down. It seems that deer has two to three places to sleep on a semi-regular basis. The sleep places are out of the wind, at tall trees’ bases, or piles of bushes, or near dry logs out of sight from any direction.
Deer sleep facing down, and it is assumed that they do this to have clear hearing approaching danger. They can lay awake or with their eyes closed while their heads are up. They usually open their eyes at the slightest sound but do not get up until they sense the dander is getting close. During the daytime, the Deer can be in bed for about three to four hours and then get up to stretch, walk to urinate, eat, and then lay down again.
Factors that influence Deer to be Active
Times of the day deer
Deer are more active during dawn and dusk. The few hours of daybreak are when deer travel to search for food and then return to their safe grounds. In the evening hours, they may return to the source of their food or meadows. Thus deer are more active in the morning and evening hours compared to other times of the day.
Deer are active during the rut, which is when many mature deer die as they are hunted. Many seasonal deer hunters take advantage of “the rut” season when they are vulnerable and easy to hunt. During mating seasons, which is around October to mid-January, and when the fawns are maturing, the deer are more active as they move to search for mates. Mature bucks walk in daylight while the young deer chase females during this season.
Early days of summer
At the start of June, young deer move out of the pack as they explore the world. They are no longer in the packs’ protection, and so they are active wandering around even in the daytime.
Different periods of the year affect dear feeding, like, during winter, the food is scarce. So the deer will be active during the day seeking vegetation in open fields and look for nutritious nuts and acorns that help them gain fat to survive during winter. New plants grow during spring, making deer more active than during the winter as they restart their schedule of dusk and dawn.
Day to day weather condition
It is now clear that typically, deer do not make much movement during midday when it is bright, and the sun is up, but they instead move when it is dark. However, when it is cloudy or overcast and more relaxed, deer can be seen during midday running everywhere. Heavy downpour makes deer look for deep cover and bed until the rain stops, but light rains do not affect their movement. Deer is believed to depend on their hearing to know an approaching predator, and so deer will lessen their active moves during a heavy downpour as it affects the sensory function of a deer. The rain also washes away the scent that deer use to smell possible dander approaching.
Deer are shadowy, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn. At these times, a deer’s wide eyes take in much light to see their paths to the source of their food. During this time, is when most of their predators struggle to see clearly. They leave to search vegetation more often in the low-light hours compared to other times of the day. Even though the deer movement is greatly affected by some factors, the time of the day that deer are most active remains to be dawn and dusk.