Mark Drury of Drury Outdoors does exactly that – analyzes all the information he can get his hands on in order to maximize his chances of daylight encounters with bucks. In fact, Mark and Terry Drury as well as the rest of the Drury Outdoors team have created an incredible tool, the DeerCast app, that makes it easier for hunters to gather and analyze field data and get highly accurate predictions of deer movement. Mark joins The Revolution this week to talk DeerCast, the October Lull, moon cycles, weather, shot placement and so much more.
Mark says there are still some bucks coming to green fields. However, he’s starting to see the bucks taper off the green, as they often do during the middle part of October and go into what he calls the October swell – where bucks begin to visually bulk up. Their testosterone is really beginning to rise, and their necks and bodies begin to puff up. Bucks may look like they’ve gained a significant amount of weight, he notes, but in reality, they are just swelled up with testosterone and preparing for the rut ahead. Based on the phases that can be followed in Drury’s “THIRTEEN”, phase three, the October Lull, is officially here. Mark says that his mid-October birthday always seems to kickoff this slow period. For the last 30 years he has hunted on his birthday, through the best and worst of conditions, and daylight deer activity, without fail, shuts off like a light switch around October 13th and doesn’t pick back up again until the latter part of October, unless the weather is perfect. It can be a tough time of the season to hunt, he says.
The moon and moon cycles are closely watched by hunters and many have different interpretations of what the moon’s impact is on deer. Mark says the time of the month that he sees the least amount of daylight activity from deer is in and around the dark of the moon. The five days that precede the new moon and the 5 days that follow it are often much slower days for hunters looking for daylight activity from deer. On the flip side, he says the full moon really optimizes daylight activity. The 5 days that precede the full moon are often really great for afternoon hunting and the 5 days following the full moon are great days for morning hunts. What’s left then is about 8 days in the middle of the moon cycle that are mediocre – they aren’t bad, but they also aren’t great. The moon is just one of many influencers that the Drury’s use in their DeerCast app when determining how good the deer hunting conditions are. Weather factors are also heavily weighted influencers in the DeerCast app. So, which factor, moon or weather, has more impact on that movement? Weather will always trump moon, regardless of the time of year, Mark says. Deer are slaves to their stomachs and weather, or the threat of impending weather, will accelerate their hunger. Understanding the impact of both the moon and weather on deer movement can help you better pinpoint the days that are more productive to sit in your stand.
Once hunters make it through the October Lull and move toward the end of October, Mark says the action begins to heighten. Phase 4, or “Pre Lock” is one of his favorite times of the year. Late October is a very short, but great timeframe because you find the most mature deer in the herd that time of the year, that are looking for the first available does. At this point, the bucks that have been largely nocturnal will suddenly start showing themselves in the daylight as they look for does. Some of the best deer hunting days on the calendar, Mark says, are during this short window from October 25th through the 31st.
Don’t miss this special interview as Mark Drury talks the October Lull, DeerCast, moon and weather impacts on deer movement, and much more! Plus, he’ll explain how to get your name in the hat to win the 60-acre farm they are giving away in Missouri to one lucky winner at the end of the year! Listen in to find out how.
Be sure to watch Mark Drury on Bow Madness, Thursdays at 10:00 pm ET and Drury’s THIRTEEN, Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET, both on Outdoor Channel. Plus, you can catch previous seasons and episodes of your favorite Drury Outdoors shows with the MyOutdoorTV app, check it out.