Contributors to this thread:
Late Season Public Archery
I failed to fill my Iowa archery deer tag this year and was curious if anyone has had luck hunting the late season on public land. Considering returning Jan 1-10 to hunt evening trails to crop fields. Would focus on remote areas away from party hunt friendly terrain. I noticed they have a hell of a long late muzzleloader season to compete with, but I have the time and figure it can’t hurt to try. I’d lower my standards quite a bit.
Also anyone have a clue what a nonresident Holiday is Dec. 24-Jan. 2??? Saw this listed in the hunt season summary.
I don't hunt Late muzzle anymore but when I used to I had great luck hunting right around Christmas. There is kind of a second rut right around then where the does that didn't get bred get hot again. I would try to come as soon after Christmas as I could. I don't know anything about the holiday season other than seeing it listed. Also, I don't know what part of Iowa you're hunting but there is very little late muzzle pressure in the northeast where i am.
Agreed, usually not too much pressure from the late season muzzy guys. If you’re flexible on your hunting times, I’d recommend watching the weather and try to hunt the coldest weather that you can. Bitter cold weather and a food source can be great. I’ve not had much success on mornings during late season, but evenings are usually pretty active.
This is in Zone 5. Ya actually I’ll have quite a bit of work to do then, but I can work anywhere via my computer. So my plan is to skip any morning hunts and enter data until the evening 1-2 pm. Then go hunt. I can’t hunt at Christmas due to family and work schedule.
I'm totally opposite of everyone cause I love to hunt morning during the late season. If you can find a place that has the deer traveling a good distance to ag field's I like to go in supper early and hang and hunt right in the bedding thickets. Nothing like sitting there before dawn and hearing the deer returning to bed. I know it's a high risk hunt that might have you running the deer out and it is hard work hanging a stand in the cold. My way of thinking as long as I'm here I might as well be hunting.
Ya I used to do that back in the day too, but didn’t find it worth the results and discomfort. Maybe if you have the right spot. But given I need to get work done and the hunting is just a bonus, I’m doing evenings.
Was finally able to do a search for the NR holiday season. It’s a $50 Christmas to New Years antler less tag. I’m visiting in China and they block out Google here but was able to search using Yahoo, which is allowed.
Very eager to get back out to Iowa, even if late season is slow. I'll still be hunting in Iowa, and not crappy Illinois public land,, where politicians manage (exploit) the deer.
Late season hunting in Iowa can be great if you have a nearby food source that the deer are using. Biggest problem is that during the late season the deer will often bed very, very close to the food source and sneaking in for an afternoon hunt can be very difficult. Too many eyes looking and not enough foliage to block their view. Best I can tell, very few hunters are out during the late season. Also beware of bucks shedding their antlers. You will start to see one-antlered bucks in late December.
From my personal experience in the past hunting late season when living there the deer/bucks will not be in the normal travel since they have been shot at and chased. Have to go out of the box and do some still hunting ie: creek/stream banks (they will tuck in on the leeward side), pockets of brush out in the fields, middle of wild thorn brush,ect about like rabbit hunting in some ways, just need to work the wind and patients it can be better than sitting freezing your ars off in a stand. Take some good optics and scan ahead may pick up a antler or body shape, enjoy the hunt.
Grew up in Iowa and always found the colder, the better! I hunt right in their bedroom in the morning til' about 9 and then get out early in the afternoon to beat the does to the food source. I love hunting late season, but the temperatures can make it tough-tough-tough! I have invested a lot of money in the right clothes! Good luck on your hunt!
If you are a late season hunter in Iowa you better have some good cold weather gear! Expect zero and sub-zero temps in the mornings and you are lucky if you hit the 20's during the day.