Four Late Season Deer Tips

Live the Legend |

As firearms deer season’s wind down and rut activity dwindles, many hunters begin to feel anxious if they have yet to score on that buck they dreamt about before opening day. Time to punch your ticket is running out. If desperation is setting in, don’t let it. Instead try one of these tricks to save your season before it’s over.

Break Your Pattern – You and your fellow hunters hitting the property every weekend like clockwork, maybe Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday then everybody is back home until next weekend? Work the weekend and take a Tuesday or Wednesday off. Deer pattern us and our activity in their environment as well, if not better, than we do them. Food plots barren of deer activity during daylight hours may find a buck cruising them in search of food to make it through the winter weather on days where hunters are typically absent. If nothing else, if still simply looking for meat for the freezer, does may certainly show up.

Hunt Those Hidden Pockets – Even on the most hunted properties, there tend to be pockets where nobody ever goes either because there isn’t a stand already there, it is too hard to get to, or nobody has ever killed deer there before so everyone thinks it’s a bad spot. Maybe no one has ever killed anything there because nobody ever goes there. Either way, deer recognize these untouched locations as well and if they have any type of cover sufficient to keep them hidden with food sources fairly close by, then a bruin can be hiding out exactly in one of these remote pockets. Got a tangled area of briars and honeysuckle, look for tracks and trails heading in and out. Got an island in a swamp or river that nobody ever goes because it’s too hard to get to? Jump in a kayak or canoe or slide on some waders and ease in from the downwind side. Be careful not to blow a buck out of a small pocket of cover. Rather, set up quietly downwind and wait patiently for him to slip out; hopefully just before dark (or slip in just after sunup.)

Watch the Weather – Nasty winter weather, sudden dips in temperature and extreme cold can put deer on their feet as they must feed to produce energy to burn and keep them alive. If a storm front is moving in, be in the woods in the hours preceding its arrival. Deer can sense the change in the barometer and will go to feeding voraciously before they may be forced to bed up and wait out the weather. Be sure you’ve saved a few days of vacation to use on the fly.

Use Hunting Pressure to Your Advantage – As last chance hunters like you work to drain the opportunity for filling tags out in the final days of the season, hunters tend to hit the woods as they did the first week of the season. When they do, make sure you are in the woods earlier than them and be there when they head out. They are apt to kick deer up as they move through the woods and send them running right your way. Deer on the hoof will be running and oftentimes, you may have to take shots a little farther out than you had to earlier in the season. Practice making snap shots, quickly and at distance and try an ammo that performs well at longer distances such as Winchester Expedition Big Game – Long Range.

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