A Late October Warm Spell: Mother's Nature's Deer Hunting Curse

As I have two hunters arriving for some early hunting access with the stick & string, we have discussed the unfortunate weather. Check this lovely "heat wave" that is coming to Bloomfield, IA, one of our main operating areas. I jinxed it. I told one of my hunters that this time stretch is normally offering the opposite, a cold-front, and scrape action will pick up as the bucks get their first taste of the November rut. Now, it is the opposite - a damn heat wave! Check out the next stretch up until Nov 3rd.

10/20 - 10/24 Outlook

10/24 - 10/28 Outlook

10/29 - 11/2 Outlook

Yeah, not great. The cold mornings will be nice, but those hot afternoon and evenings will definitely dampen the mood a little bit. We have seen warmer rut starts where the deer start but they get almost overheated and tired too soon.

Is it worth hunting in warm weather like this leading up to the rut? Potentially.

Of course, there are a lot of variables, so I am not going to say it is a "yes" or a "no" on that one. Warm late October into the first week of November has produced some common trends, but it has only happened once before this year since 2016 if I remember correctly. 2019 was like this and I had some hunters start their hunt late. The early hunters were encountering 70-75-degree highs though 10/31-11/4, a considerable increase from the above. The bucks were hot in that one and I don't mean hot on a doe. I would expect better outcomes this year during that same stretch shown above, but mornings could be valuable. Before Halloween, you can see it warming from 55 to 60, a slight increase in temps. If temps are rising, activity will start to slow. Yet, the actual rut isn't even turned on though.

You can be one of the lucky few to find a mature buck on the first hot doe in late October, but that is far and few between. The full rut won't likely turn on until 11/3-11/6, so we have some time for Mother Nature to turn on the A/C. Until then, the approach would be likely just evening sits, shaded areas with plenty of soft, cool, green vegetation (creek/river bottoms, low flats and dark ridges). Yet, it's Iowa and the deer are sometimes unpredictable.

Following the "October Lull" is when hunters get excited as we know we are then approaching Halloween and the following rut. It is usually getting colder. Bucks are showing swollen neck