No doubt: It will get warm

Late season gun hunter Janice Wallace of Mize leaves the jacket, gloves and hats at camp when daytime hunting temperatures rise.

Daytime temperatures can flux greatly during the deer hunting months of October through January, and even February in Southeast Mississippi.

It can be freezing at first light, then 70 degrees by noon.

Sunny afternoons can peak at 80 degrees and by dark frost is settling in.

Temperature is one of the variable factors that can contribute greatly to white-tailed deer behavior. This is even more evident during the rut. It is something that deer hunters need to monitor to then prepare accordingly. The following chart shows the average daytime highs in the hunting months at various locations in Mississippi.

Nov.     Dec.     Jan.

Southaven       63      52        50

Holly Springs   64      53        50

Corinth            62      51        49

Greenville       65      55        52

Jackson           67       59       56

Natchez          69        61       59

Pascagoula    70        63       60

Gulfport         70        62       60

Though these average high temperatures across the state during prime deer hunting months may seem moderate, they are just averages. We all know that on some winter days the sun can bear down like it was a summer month. This not only can make hunting uncomfortable, but it also can limit deer activity. How hunters react to that is crucial to successful deer hunting.

Temperature plus

Hunters need to be aware of other factors that along with daytime temperatures can impact the quality level of deer hunting. Add a warm steady breeze to warmer temps and deer behavior is further complicated. Deer don’t particularly like weather that’s too warm or a wind blowing. Often, if the wind gets too gusty, like 20 mph or more with harder rifts, deer may lock down for good and maybe hunters should, too.

Next consider an unusually warm day with a stiff prevailing wind, then a thunderstorm with rain blows across your hunting domain. Do you hunt or not?

There are two axioms of thinking on these types of hunting strategies. There is a breaking point that says when too many environmental elements pile up it may just be time to throw in the towel. For one, I don’t hunt in a pouring rain, but I have and I’ve seen deer out, too.

The other line of thinking is always a good one to consider. You sure aren’t going to take a deer that could well be the buck of a lifetime if you’re sitting back in camp watching a football game.

When it doubt, go hunting.