The graph above will give you a general idea of what a deer is doing at any particular hour of the day. The exact amounts of time spent feeding and cud chewing (ruminating) vary depending upon the season and type of feed available. Whitetail deer spend over two-thirds of their time either feeding or ruminating.
While our day begins at dawn, the buck’s day begins at dusk. It’s no surprise that a deer’s greatest feeding period is from dusk until 11 o’clock to midnight. Then he’ll spend several hours ruminating before beginning another intense feeding period shortly before dawn until a couple of hours after daybreak. Morning hunts are generally more productive for this reason. It’s interesting to note that a deer well feed every couple of hours, even if it’s just a small amount, throughout the day.
It takes a tremendous amount of vegetation to support a whitetail buck. A mature buck needs over 8 pounds of forage a day. That’s 25,000 or more bites of browse and graze each day. Deer typically spend more than 1/3 of their time feeding, 1/3 of their time cud chewing (ruminating), and slightly less than 1/3 of their time resting when they are neither feeding nor ruminating.
Having a better understanding of when deer feed and what they feed on in your area can greatly improve your hunting success.
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Good Luck and Good Hunting,