I have a prediction:
On Sunday, November 4th, 2018 most bowhunters will be swearing at the alarm clock.
That's the day the clocks go back to standard time, forcing all deer hunters to get up one hour earlier. Sure, the morning hunt may be longer, but the afternoon hunt will be shorter. Unless you adjust your entire day back - which many of us won't do.
What is the difference between Standard Time (ST) and Daylight Savings Time (DST)?
Standard time is also called normal time, it is the official time within a particular country or region. When you roll the clocks back in the fall, you are maximizing daylight in the morning. Daylight Savings Time (or DST), is when the clocks are pushed ahead so there is more daylight in the evening. A simple reminder is 'Spring ahead, Fall back.'
Why is there DST in the first place?
On March 19, 1918, Woodrow Wilson signed the Calder Act requiring Americans to set their clocks to standard time. Two weeks later, on March 31, they would be required to abandon standard time and push their clocks ahead by one hour. This was the nation's first experiment with daylight saving. Its unclear why this practice first started. There are reports linking it to railroads, alignment with other countries, even farming practices. In recent years, the rationale has been linked to reduced energy consumption. All we know for sure is that DST turns 100 this year, and there appears to be no compelling justification for it.
Effect on Hunting?
I would bet that afternoon hunting participation drop precipitously after the time changes back to Standard Time. Studies have shown how later sunset times dramatically increase participation for after-school sports programs. Even attendance at professional sports events increases. The extra hour (prior to the time change) allows many hunters to get in an afternoon hunt that will not happen after Standard Time rolls back in November.
I live in Connecticut, on the far edge of the Eastern time zone - 45 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. I can hunt until 5:45PM before legal sunset kicks in. If I get out of work at 3:30PM I have enough time to hunt every afternoon. If I'm late coming out the stand - it affects nothing other than a cold supper.
After the time change, my weekday hunting is shot. The daylight appears earlier, but the days keep getting shorter. If I want to do a morning hunt on November 10th, I must be in my stand at 6:04AM. I have 1 hour before I need to be back home to shower. So that's not happening.
Abolish time change? Keep it at Daylight Savings Time?
As a deer hunter, I can't stand the roll-back to standard time. The week prior, I can get a quick hunt in after work, I can wake up at a reasonable hour before walking to my treestand, and I don't have to force myself to bed at 9:00PM and stare at the ceiling for three hours (since I'm a night owl). My preference is keep the time on Daylight Savings Time - all year long.
Will it ever change?
Every year, bills are introduced to abolish the time change, and every year I get my hopes up - only to find out they all failed. This year, Florida has a bill abolishing the time change and staying within Daylight Savings Time. That bill is moving with surprisingly little resistance. I would like to see President Trump take up this issue during his term. But until that happens, we'll all continue to utter F-bombs at our alarm clock on November 4th, 2018!