Myth #1: Bucks become nocturnal when pressured by hunters.
While it’s true that bucks react to hunting pressure, they don’t resort to sleeping all day as a means to escape hunters. They still have a job to do, after all, especially during the rut. Granted, they may not frequent agricultural fields in daylight once the first few shots of the hunt have rung out, but they’ll still actively pursue does. It’s just that their midday courting grounds will have shifted to within the protective confines of the trees.
If deer in your hunting area have stopped frequenting open fields during the day, head into the bush after them. I guarantee they’ll be active. In fact, many veteran deer hunters will tell you 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the best time to intercept bucks on the move, with their primary trails easily confirmed by tracks, droppings, scrapes and rubs.
If you have snow to assist in tracking, and the wind is right, you can actually walk up on bucks during midday. Most often, however, it’s best to hunt them from a ground blind or treestand; portable ground blinds provide great cover and allow you to easily move in search of the perfect spot. The key is to hunt throughout the day—you won’t shoot many bucks from the comfort of camp.