View Full Version : How many minutes before the official sunrise is there the FIRST shred of light

October 27, 2007, 03:25 PM
at all? The first moment where the amount of light is ANY different from the deepest dark of night? 45 minutes before, 50, 55, 60, more? Thanks. Assume no mountains.

October 27, 2007, 03:53 PM
Nautical Twilight is approx. 51 minutes before actual sunrise. Astronomical twilight is approx. 79 minutes. So my take is the absolute first hint of light would be 79 minutes prior to sunrise. This will vary by region. Go to www.wunderground.com and type your zipcode. Look for twilight times for your area. It's a great weather website w/ tons of USEFULL information.

October 27, 2007, 04:47 PM
Castnblast is correct. When we are on the water we notice that the first few dim stars start to wink out a little more than a hour before sunrise.

October 27, 2007, 05:34 PM
Seems that sometime between Civil twilight and Nautical twilight would be where game would become visible in a hunting situation.I usually try to get to the stand in the darkness.Would be interesting to see when you felt you could identify game compared to local sunrise.Of course it would depend on cloud cover.

October 27, 2007, 06:16 PM
I would have said at least an hour but I wasn't being scientific. I know I've been out in the field and had a deer that I could identify as buck or doe but couldn't shoot early in the morning. This has happened too me a couple of times during muzzle loader season, I loose my front sight when I bring it up on the deer it was still just too dark to shoot. Sometimes I get lucky and they stay around until I get enough light to shoot them, somtimes they don't.

October 27, 2007, 08:02 PM
I believe here in Texas that legal hunting starts at 30 mins. before Sunrise and goes till Sunset. But you are right about it getting light at least and hour before Sunrise

October 27, 2007, 09:56 PM
Slow944, fyi, read your regs a little closer... (this is a good thing) the 30 minutes before, to sunset rule applies to migratory birds only. For deer, quail, turkey, you can go 30 before AND 30 after. That is about as dark as i would take an animal anyway, unless it's a hog. I do lots of hog hunting on those clear full moon nights. no lighting required.

October 27, 2007, 10:41 PM
Another calculator site, with links and definitions: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.php

The moon can cause considerable variation in the time it really starts to get lighter. Here's an easy to visualize moon calendar:

October 28, 2007, 01:16 AM
I'll answer from what I have personally seen on the way to the stand this season. We try and get to where we park by 5:30 at the latest. I think day will slightly break at around 5:45. In my case Im usually running deer off on the way in so the sooner I get in and settled the better, but its been about 5:50 every time. The weather channel says 6:50 sunrise. I would say it comes over the trees on the horizon at about 5:45 at the earliest. One of my buddies who doesn't hunt much in the morning couldn't believe we were leaving out so early the other day. He didn't think there was much point in getting in so early either. I have seen a really nice 8pt in bow range just as the sun was coming up, and last year a friend of mine shot a nice buck when it was so early he couldn't even make out the rack but knew it was wide.

Well thats what I've always done, and its working so far.

October 28, 2007, 06:26 AM
If the actual focus of the original question was to determin when one needs to be already sitting in the stand then I'm with the other folks here. I like to be at the base of my tree putting my climber on at about a hour before posted sunrise. This gives me about 20 minutes of time to let the woods settle before legal shooting time. In some instances I will go a little earlier.......especially on a very clear low humidity morning.