Best Deer Feeding Times for Trophy Buck

Deer Love to Eat. If they are up and moving, they are likely eating. So what are the Best Deer Feeding Times?

best deer feeding times by zip code
best deer feeding times by zip code

Best Deer Feeding Times

As a general rule, the best deer feeding times are the hours after dawn (sunrise) and the daylight hours before dusk (sunset).

With each season, the length of daylight hours from the early morning to early afternoon and into the night fluctuates with each day. This change in daylight is a known trigger for deer movement and the best time for deer feeding. When deer are up and moving, they are always on the lookout for food.

The sun and the moon play a large role in the activity and movement of animals.
For deer, when the moon is overhead or underfoot, there is a noticeable uptick in deer activity. Also, deer tend to move with the rise and set of the sun. When the moon position coincides with sunrise and sunset, we have an advantageous time period where we are all but assured that deer will be moving.

best-deer-feeding-times
best deer feeding times

What Do Deer Eat

A deer primarily eats plant-based foods or materials like weeds, clover, flowers, and grasses within their diet. Whitetail deer also graze on items such as nuts, mushrooms, oats, and even fruit. These majestic animals absolutely enjoy the taste of fruit, but usually, the abundance of fruit available on trees, plants, or the ground for Deer is in short supply.

Deer are herbivores, and Deer are opportunistic eaters, so of course, when fruit is on the menu, they tend to devour it. Apples, berries, pears are some of the fruits that Deer like to snack on. They will also eat vegetables like carrots and corn.

The diet of a white-tailed deer can vary with each season. In colder months, especially when the food supply is harder to come by Deer will turn to munching on buds, sticks, twigs, stems, and leaves.

Do Deer Feed More Before Storms

Weather Fronts

Weather is a huge factor in deer activity. Do you like sitting in your tree stand braving the howling wind, cold rain, or even snow while trying to peer through your binoculars? Most likely, you do not, and the same applies to deer. When poor weather conditions are present, a deer’s instinct is to find shelter.

Poor weather can obviously last for minutes, hours, and days and disrupts a doe or buck’s search for food. When the weather passes, the search for nutrition is back on. One of the Best Feeding Times For Deer is directly before or after a storm. Check the weather and leverage the incoming and outgoing storms to help plan your best hunt.

Barometric Pressure

Barometric pressure or air pressure is an important factor in deer feeding habits. Barometric pressure is the measure of surface air or air aloft. We use a barometer to read air pressure using inches as a unit of measurement. Many deer hunters believe that the rise and fall of barometric pressure trigger deer to feed before a storm or shortly thereafter.

As the storm hits, a deer’s ability to feed is hindered, and deer hunker down. Next time that you’re in the field take a look at the barometric pressure in your area or zipcode. The barometric pressure at or around 30.0 inches is optimal for deer movement and feeding.

Hunting Solunar Charts

As we mentioned above, the Sunrise, Sunset, and the Moon are important factors in predicting whitetail deer feeding times. There are many products on the market that visually help us research and identify potential prime deer feed times through calendars, charts, and graphs.

Solunar calendars will help you track solar periods with sunrise and sunset as well as lunar periods with moon rise, moon set, full moon, new moon, current moon phase and moon position.

One product in particular that we like to use is Rick Taylor’s Prime Times. This features both wall and pocket calendars as well as software to help you anticipate what are the best feeding times for deer. Track major feeding times, minor times, astro tables, best days, and best periods which will help you hopefully zero in on the position of mature bucks.

Another is John Alden Knight’s Original Solunar Tables. In 1926, John Alden Knight wrote about how Game and Fish movement may be linked to the position of the Sun (sol) and the Moon (lunar) in Solunar Theory.

Moon Up – Moon Down: Story of the Solunar Theory is described by many hunters as a Must Read. This book explains the theory of Solunar and describes how the position of the Sun, Moon, and even Tide are important for Game and Fish movement. The position of the Moon and the Sun in relation to each other can effect the overall movement of deer and their major times for prime feeding.

Find The Best Deer Feeding Times By Zip Code

Another option for determining feeding times for deer is to check an online deer feeding chart. Many of these deer feeding charts are free and generate custom area details based on entering in your zip code for your hunting area or deer camp.

Deer Movement Times By Zip Code

Deer feeding times by zip code provide you with specific information such as sunrise and sunset times as well as the major feeding periods and minor feeding periods for deer in your area. So you can know precisely the deer movement times by zip code.

deer-feeding-times-by-zipcode
deer feeding times by zipcode

Deer Feeding Charts

Deer feeding charts such as DeerFeedingChart.com also include Peak Rut Times, which can be tailored to your hunting area or zipcode. Year after year, deer rut times are typically within the same seven (7) day period. These days may coincide with your best hunting times. Below are additional recommended online sites for charts and solunar tables.

Do Deer Eat Near Bedding Areas

Deer will eat near bedding areas as long as the pressure in the area is not high. If hunting pressure is high, deer will definitely bed further away from a food source as they will choose a secure bedding area over a food area. When hunting pressure is light, deer will often choose bedding zones very near to food sources.