Temperature spikes affect movement, but not rut timing.
QUESTION: I’m not seeing as many deer this year as I usually do. We’ve had warm weather where I live, and I’m wondering if that’s it. Does this mean the rut will be late?
ANSWER: There are many reasons why deer movement might be off where you hunt, although temperatures certainly could be one of them.
You didn’t mention where you live, but if it’s in a northern state, that’s especially possible. Research from northern states, where deer grow thicker coats, has shown movement decreases in warmer conditions, particularly as temperatures climb into the upper 40s and above.
Unfortunately, at least from a hunting standpoint, this will not affect timing of the rut. It will occur at the same time; there will just be more movement at night. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
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