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For those of you who have gone on guided hunts for whitetails. Have any gone on a late season hunt instead of trying to book pre rut or rut hunts ?? How successful have you been in doing so? Was just looking at prices and obviously pre rut and rut are everyones desired times to hunt, I was just curious if people opt for late season hunts with outfitters with good success ?
they are cheaper for a good reason
Late season hunts with the right outfitters can be fantastic, especially if low pressure area and food, only thing I dont like about late season hunts is its only usually the last 1 or two before dark other wise its sitting around camp waiting to hit the stand
If the weather gets super cold and there’s snow... or better yet ice on the ground and you have a good food source it can be better than rut hunting. I did a February hunt in Ohio and 25 to 35 bucks would come out every night. It was unreal!
X2 ^^^^^. A quality food source will pull deer from every property around it. The single best night of deer hunting in my life was over a food source and below zero temps.
Yep, if you have a good food source, late season can be great. The only things I don't care about late season in Colorado is the weather is usually brutal, and the bucks are usually skinny and completely worn out from the rut, so the meat isn't the greatest.
One of the problems with late season hunts in some areas is that there are a lot of busted/broken antlers later in the season.
Weather plays such a big role in late season hunts, I'd stay away from booking one in advance.
Like others have said if you have good food relatively unpressured deer and bad weather, it can be magic.
If you time it wrong, and its 50 degrees, you probably aren't going to see much.
Maybe you could work out a deal with the outfitter, keep an eye on the weather. If a blizzard and bad cold snap is on the way, you come on the run?
One more thing...when it first gets really cold, deer seem to have to get up and eat. You will see a lot. If the deep freeze settles in and hangs around, after a week or so, they just seem to stop moving. At least that has been my experience here in the midwest.
You want the first few days to a week of extreme cold.
You better have some real confidence in an outfitter that have feeding pattern established that is somewhat repeatable. You also have to factor in weather, if it’s too nice the best feed might not be enough and lastly remember that late season is mostly an afternoon game.....os there is a lot of down time
Depends heavily where you are hunting. One of the spots I hunt is CRP with all the surrounding properties being crops. The later in the year it gets the better this place is. There is no cover left other than creek bottoms and the surrounding pressure really pushes them in there. 2017 & 2018 I shot good bucks off this place in December (10th & 23rd)
A few other considerations would be possible shed bucks. Here in Iowa some years that can be an issue. Another concern here is that it is late archery is also the late muzzleloader season. I would say in opportunity 1day during the rut is equal to 3 days of late season hunting. The hard part for me would be to have a way to get out of the stands and away from the food without totally spooking the area.
Keep in mind you are probably only hunting afternoons. Cuts your opportunities in half. That being said I missed the biggest buck that I ever had a chance at last January. I’d say research the outfitter first and make sure it’s not just a revolving door of hunters on the same couple food plots.
Some of our best hunts were always post main rut
January time frame late rut plus food issues. Some broken up but still killed great deer.
All day movement unless it got to hot. 80s. Less than that great movement and easy to pattern again