The elevated status of Lygus spp. as key cotton pests has accentuated the need for improved interpretation of population samples. Mark-release-recapture methods were recently developed to investigate factors that affect sweep net sampling of adult L. hesperus Knight. During these efforts, marked bugs were released in the evening before sampling the following morning. Releases closer to the time of sampling would provide greater flexibility in future mark-release-recapture studies, but the effects of release time on subsequent recapture is unknown. Our objective was to compare sweep net collections of marked bugs following different release times. Separate studies were conducted in two plantings of Acala cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). In the first planting (study-1), marked bugs were released into rows on the evening before sampling or 2 h before sampling. In the second planting (study-2), we included an additional release <5 min before sampling. In study-1, more marked bugs were recaptured from rows in which bugs were released 2 h before sampling than from rows in which bugs were released the evening before sampling. This difference was not observed in study-2, but more bugs were recaptured from rows in which bugs were released <5 min before sampling compared with other releases. Based on differences in plant development and observed predation between the two plantings, we hypothesize that the effects of release time on the recapture of marked bugs were caused by increased within-plant redistribution of marked bugs and by increased losses to predation with increased time between releases and sampling.