Fall really finds its footing as cold front after cold front will make its way across the country over the next two weeks. I will personally be hunting in northern Wisconsin this weekend and I am looking forward to the cool conditions. I have some thoughts for you as we make our way into this period of the season. Now that the early season is dwindling and we’re transitioning into the primary hunting time, your approach to weather should be transitioning as well. In the early season, cold fronts are extremely important for anticipating deer activity, and now they start to become less of a necessity and more of benefit to your hunt.
Obviously, if you’re hunting beast style and focus most of your time on bedding areas, the wind direction is really the only factor you always take into account. However, beast-style hunting is certainly not the norm and many hunters rely on widespread deer movement that weather can have an impact on. Every hunting show you’ll ever watch (excluding THP and THB, maybe a few others) you will hear them say “we’re out here today because a cold front just moved in and we’ve got high pressure so we’re expecting good movement etc. etc.” If you watch THP, you’ll notice that they acknowledge the weather but it isn’t the determining factor in whether or not they hunt, but rather one more factor they take into account. If you’ve hunted long enough and paid attention you know that cold fronts tend to get the deer moving better than warm conditions. It makes sense because by this time of the year they have their fall/winter coats and it’s just more comfortable for them. But this all depends on what age class and sex of deer you’re targeting.
Mature bucks are not fooled by cold fronts to near the extent that younger deer are, and an argument can even be made for mature does. This is especially true if you’re hunting pressured areas where deer get pushed around a lot by hunters. A mature buck in many cases will only move in maybe a 100 yd radius from his bed in daylight, sometimes less and sometimes more depending on how comfortable he feels in the area. That is often the case regardless of what the weather is doing. On private land that is lightly hunted, it is to a lesser degree, but the same principle applies and you simply increase the radius by maybe a couple hundred yards or more. In these situations, it makes more sense to focus on small-scale weather features such as turbulence and thermals, which have a significant impact on how close you can setup to the deer and fooling his nose.
The main point I am making is that as much as I love all of you coming to this site, don’t use it as a “yes or no” for your hunts, but rather as a tool to hunt more effectively. I still, and will continue to believe, that the more you can learn about the weather on both large and small scales, the more deadly you will be in the woods.
Several cold fronts again expected to travers the US over the next two weeks, which will usher in a more permanent fall season. Hurricane Michael will bring all of it’s obvious hazards to the southeastern states, and for those in the path I hope you see the best case scenario but also hope you are prepared for the worst. Parts of the Dakotas and Northern Minnesota will see some snow this week, possibly up to 8″ inches in some parts of MN. Some severe weather is possible across the southern Great Lakes region today (Wednesday) with an isolated tornado possible as well as damaging winds. The same system that will bring snow to the Dakotas and MN will drop more rain across the Midwest and eventually the northeastern US later in the week. Temperature-wise it should be a great period of hunting, with a few precipitation events to consider.
Temperature forecast from Wednesday (10-10-18) through Wednesday (10-17-18). Several fronts will make their way across the country and most areas will see mostly light to moderate winds. Most areas should see at least a handful of days that will be great for hunting.
Day 1-3 total precipitation forecast. This will update each day, so when you view this it will be valid for the current day you are viewing it and the two days that follow.
Same as above but for days 4-5.
Same as above but for days 6-7.
The following is the probability of snowfall greater than 4 inches. Blue lines are at least 10%, green are at least 40%, and red are at least 70%. This graphic is for the current day you are viewing it and will also be updated each day.
Long Range Temperature