Halloween Deer Hunting Forecast

The weather forecast for the last week of October is looking promising for deer hunters across West-Central Illinois. After a cold front moves through on Tuesday, it looks like we will be back to more “normal” temperatures for this time of year. With the daytime highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s, the barometric pressure steadily rising, deer movement should start to ramp up!

Mature whitetail harvested using a decoy Rub and scrape activity will be reaching peak levels within the next week to ten days. Daytime buck movement will increase as bucks begin to cruise searching for the first does coming into heat. Hunting the entire day during this time of year, especially with the weather conditions we are going to have can be productive.

The hunter pictured harvested that mature buck just minutes before noon, on Oct. 26th, as he crossed a wide-open ridge top in-between bedding areas. Even if you are not seeing deer move mid-day, knowing you did not bust any deer going to and from your stand mid-day can help increase your chances for the evening sit!

This is the best time to utilize calling and decoys as bucks are very territorial during this time frame as they begin to expand their core range searching for early estrous does. Learn more about Pre-Rut Calling and Decoys Here >>

October 25th-31st- Seeking Phase

The last week of October, whitetail bucks will begin seeking for the first does coming into estrous. There may be a few older does that enter into their estrous cycle but it will be limited. However, if she does enter estrous it is very likely that she will be accompanied by an upper age class buck. If there is a cold snap this week, it can be one of your best chances of the season to kill a mature buck 5 ½ years old or older. During this timeframe, it’s also one of the best times to call or decoy a buck in as well.

November 1st-7th – Chase Phase

If you want to see a lot of general buck activity this is consistently the best time frame of the year to do so. There will be a lot of chasing, grunting, fighting, etc. during this week. Provided you have decent weather this is your best opportunity to kill a buck as many age classes of bucks will be very active.

Best of luck this fall!

-Zach Jumps




Last Updated: October 21st, 2022

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