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Late Bow Season
I've been bow hunting for three years now but have never been out after gun season. I hear late season brought up time to time in various topics on this forum . Just curious who out there all hunts it and what do they like / what are the advantages of hunting this time of year?
I have had good luck during late season over the years, but there is a lot of difference, on areas you hunt,,,,, so what area of the state do you hunt? Not all created equal......
Its the best time for me, years ago, when I had a lot of time to hunt the north, to shoot a decent buck, since the feed bag is on,,,,, but weather related,,,,,,
By my house, I like it, since it gets me on private land, that is closed to me, during the rut, but I get permission, since now, no one seems to care....
I showed Tweed today, one of my late season bucks,,,,, 11am 5 degrees, no wind, 10 yard shot,,, this was after a 3 day blow,,,, again that buck was on the feed, and that is in southern Wisconsin
Deer are tough at this time of year, but with less pressure, they get back on their routines,,,,,,,
Disadvantage,,,, too much crummy weather, for the most part
Hunt the food sources. Sound carried more in cold weather so take extra care with that. I have taken some very nice bucks on New Year's Eve. I worry about the antlers falling off though. Never happened with my bow kills but my muzzleloader buck last year dropped his as he ran away.
Thanks for the advice! I hunt private property in southern Wisconsin (Jefferson County.) The land is a mix of agricultural, wooded and marsh / creek bottom.
Food sources and evening hunts only.
Late season on a quality food source is some of the best big buck hunting there is. If you have a premium food source towards season end you will attract many deer from others properties. You are likely to see bucks you have never seen before.
To and from food is always best from what I have heard!
To and from food is always best from what I have heard!
Nothing like late season solitude in big woods. But, the toughest hunting there is.
Late season is nice....no bugs and not much sweating and as Ground hunter showed....some really dandies out there to be shot.
I hunt ever late season and I only hunt afternoons. I'm sure I'm locked and loaded one (1) hour before close of "Hunting" time! If deer move at all they'll move in that last 15 minutes....
Prime time for suburban spots, cold weather keeps the neighborhood from being outside much. Scout for bird feeders! I also have good hunting targeting parcels that where used hard by Pheasant hunters. Most public bird areas have areas of standing corn planted by clubs. What was great bird hunting a few weeks ago, becomes prime deer bedding and feeding late December
I'm going to stick with the plan I've been using even though I haven't seen a buck on the hoof while hunting yet this year. Stick with the core doe area and hope one cycles and draws in a buck. I've basically put all my eggs for the season into a 10 acre basket.
I found a partially picked cornfield to late season as the "Fat Lady" hasn't sung here yet!
I'll be ML hunting for the week and then back to the bow. Good luck everyone!
I wait until after Christmas, letting deer get back into a unpressured routine. I like others only hunt afternoons unless we have some unseasonably warm weather. Then I will be out about 10:00 but I never risk bumping one in the early mornings.
Late season there are fewer hunters in the woods and fewer bait piles. Deer seem to get back into a normal feeding pattern. I love hunting late season with fresh snow on the ground.
I will be out for late season. I hunt some state land by my home. It gets alot of traffic during gun season,but there is a huge cedar swamp for them to hide in. Not many hunters ever in go more than 100 yards from the road This week I will be putting a stand up where the cedars meet the hardwoods. The hardwoods were cut 2 years ago and there is a nice little creek that runs on the edge of the transition. Hopefully I will have some success there. Good luck to all, and congrats to all that have already had success.
As RJN pointed out, late season is all about getting on food sources and hunting afternoons. I've found the best hunting to be the very coldest, yet sunny days as the deer will be on their feet earlier.
Any particular reason for afternoon-only sits? My late season time is pretty limited, so I am planning for all-day sits when I can get out.
Longspeak74, the main reason for afternoon sits is because deer tend to move more during the warmest part of the day, which occurs during the afternoon in most cases, during really cold weather deer will stay bedded to conserve energy and the coldest part of the day is usually that couple hours before daybreak and the first hour after, the thing to remember is that I am talking cold temps single digit lows and only teens for highs, temps like we have been having have really no effect on deer, its a fine line whether a deer stays bedded to conserve energy or gets up to feed for more energy.
FTWAC - Your absolutely correct!! Nice post...
I agree with FTWAC, BUT, in really cold weather, and with some sun, them bucks are up feeding mid day 11am to 1pm, and deer on my wall prove that.... they tend to lay up, as it gets colder in the late afternoon,,,,, this has been my experience,,,,,, also this is when the compound bow shines......
With the let off, you can get off a very clean shot. however if you can not simply pull your bow back in cold weather, without movement, you are over bowed,,, My friend has a bow for out west, it is set at 65lbs, he likes the speed and power and deals with a lot of wind in the bad lands.... BUT his winter bow, is set for 45lbs, with a heavier arrow and coc head, no movement on the draw.....
My experience in wolf country, in the western UP, is that also, them deer tend to move mid day, and bed earlier, as the magic time for them wolves to be up and about, tends to be late pm early evening, and those deer know it,,,,, its like a chess game,,,, Wolves move earlier in colder weather......
I rarely hunt from tree stands, sometimes, in some conifers, but mostly on the ground,,,, many times I have to adjust spots, is one reason,,,,,, but to hunt effectively on the ground, you have to have a solid system, that is quiet and comfortable, and wear the right clothes and boots,,,,,, ground hunting is a whole new ball game, which is rarely talked about....
many think its just pop up a blind, and hunt, but its a lot more than that, when your trying to kill a good buck.......
I find it interesting that MI DNR does not allow the xbow, during the late season and snows,,,,,,, I am glad they do not, very few hunters at this time of year