Contributors to this thread:
Last week of the season
I was able to draw a non-resident tag and went to Kansas during Thanksgiving week. Held out cause I seen a really nice buck that I wanted to put my tag on. Ended up eating a tag! I hunt small wood lots of private land in West Central Kansas. My question is how is the hunting on the last week of the season? Are the bucks nocturnal? Are they usually all busted up from the rut? Do the colder temps have them on their feet to feed? Trying to determine if a return trip is warranted?
You mean Christmas through New Years as last week of the season?
Everyone draws a tag in Kansas, not a big deal. It has been my experience that unless you have very cold weather to force them to feed they are mainly nocturnal.
Reid, Yeah I was thinking that would be close to the second phase, maybe 28 days or so from the peak, if the peak was a few days before Thanksgiving? Just didn't know what the sightings were for that time of the year? If not that week is there any other week that maybe somewhat better, I know that none of these times are optimal?
I'm already seeing busted up racks now Smoke, and more rut activity on my cameras last week than the two weeks before it. In East Central Kansas, the deer are nocturnal following the firearms season, you rarely see them out in daylight until late in January. It all depends on the pressure around your spot I'm sure.
Leebo1963, Thanks for the guidance! I have looked at the weather( I know its very unpredictable) but the majority of those days have some extreme cold temps! I would think that deer being slave to their bellies, that he would have to get up to gain some caloric intake in order to stay warm? I have never gotten the opportunity to hunt anywhere but Georgia, and I know some posters on here don't take to nice to non-residents, but I appreciate your help.
Trebarker, Man I appreciate the response. I have never had the opportunity to take a P & Y deer. I hunted last week and could have accomplished that feat on day 1, but I held out knowing that this trip would be once in a lifetime for me. Seen a deer that I would estimate at close to 160 roughly 75 yards away, would love to have another chance. I'm sure the deer is most likely a satellite deer and travels from one small wood lot to the next. I know there is no guarantee that I would even see him again but can't get the imagine out of my mind!
Been seeing a lot of busted up bucks. We saw one last Sunday driving home that was 150" 10 point if the left side of his rack wasn't busted off at the G2. The best one on my place busted the main beam just past his G3. Several smaller bucks missing one side all together.
Some guys swear by the second segment. Horrible weather is great. I’ve never killed a great buck then, but there was this one time... Dec. 22, about 9:00 in the morning, following a doe fawn. Only time we saw that buck during daylight all season. But, I blew it...
Always hunt when you can. Check the solar lunar table for those days and hope for the best the week before Christmas will be the best.
2013 I took my best; 5* calm ground blind at 7 yards on a cut bean field. 10 days in that blind from 2:30pm till dark. if it weren't for the Heater Body Suit I could not have waited him out. luck and a great farmer friend got the job done.
Dec.19th,2013 score 174 gross+
Writer, Matte, Rambo, Thanks so much guys, I appreciate the tips. Rambo, what a smoker!! I hope I can work it out. I even may look at the week before now. I'll keep all you guys posted.
I know a guy that hunts late season and has killed several booners with a bow. I hunted it last year and had decent luck
I have killed more deer on Dec. 31 than any other day of the season. My wife tells me I should just wait and hunt the last day!
It all comes down to finding thick cover and a reliable food source they are traveling to. Most of my last day hunts take 2-3 weeks of light scouting and preparation and a single time in the stand. On occasion I can hunt a stand more than once, but not often. They pick up on it quick. And most of the time, evenings are far better than mornings, especially if there is crunchy snow.
Killed my biggest buck on Dec. 31 2009 with 8 minutes of shooting light left. First time in the stand and got in at 1:00 in the afternoon. It was cold with crunchy snow, thankfully light winds. A grunt call pulled him out of the cover.
If there isn't too much pressure in your area, if you have a very good food source, and IF it gets really cold, you can do some good in late season. I got a shot at our main target buck last december 17th, it was 21 degrees with 20 mph north wind, and blowing snow. He came out with a spike buck and hour before last legal light, into our foodplot. I shot over his back. :/
Thornton, Ironbow, ksq232 When you guys are talking about cover, do you mean CRP, wooded drawls, plum thickets, thistle beds, etc? Got some pretty nice shelterbelts and wooded drawls I can hunt. How far do you think the deer travels from bed to food on those days? My spots are 80-120 acres?
hunt the place you haven't hunted yet, or at least not for awhile.
My small farm is on the end of a cedar and hedge thicket that stretches half a mile and varies in width. A wooded draw runs the width of my 80 With a creek in the middle
Killed my buck in a 30 acre dense patch of woods with a tiny creek running down the middle. There was a lot of open pasture with milo west and alfalfa east. Place had been hunted by 5 other bowhunters that year, but when it got really cold they all quit. I got permission Thanksgiving weekend. I had seen my buck once, and was actually trying to get a 140" 8 pointer. After I killed my buck I went in to pull my stand and jumped a 150" ten point. They loved that thick little patch of woods!
Only year I got to hunt it too.
Wow Ironbow, Hopefully I will be able to upload some pics after Christmas, Thanks guys!
The part of western Kansas I'm from they get chased and run really hard during rifle season. If you happen to see them in a field during daylight and even think about slowing down they run like they are being shot at. I think back in the eastern part of the state where there is more timber and heavy cover it isn't so bad. But when you can see for miles from a tree stand things change. Mornings are normally pretty slow so afternoon hunts work better in our area.
if we get really bad(good) weather, waste a day or 2 and scout in the evenings, see if you can determine where they are coming out to a field. Then the next day go in quietly and set up a stand. If really cold they may bed real close to the food source. Hunt evenings and sleep in
Have had some really good hunts the week of Christmas .One year I left some standing corn up and hunted the woods around it and had some great encounters.Dont give up