Late Season Secrets…There is still time

January 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Bowhunting Tips

Late Season Bowhunting Strategies

Late season bowhunting is not a sport for the weak, but it can be the perfect opportunity for you if you’re able to use the season to your advantage. Use these tips and tricks to harvest a mature buck during the late season.


If you are like us on our small Georgia Farm and have experienced a very unusual rut or maybe you experienced an awesome rut.  The late season can be a time to get on a good deer if you still have a tag.  If you can weather the cold, late season bowhunting can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have with your bow due to the focus on food. During this time you will have some does that will come into estrus late and will impact some buck activity but for the most part does have been bred.  Driving factors that will influence a Buck during this time of year are Hunting Pressure & Food.  Hopefully you can manage both of these to your advantage.

Practice In Your Hunting Clothing

Bowstrings are notorious for getting caught on bulky winter bowhunting gear. You need to practice shooting when you’re geared up well before you go out on your property so that you can make sure you know how your gear and your bow interact in cold weather. You don’t want to miss out on that perfect shot just because your sleeve and your bowstring decided to become close friends.

Loosen Your Bow Poundage

When you’re swaddled in gear and still freezing, it can be hard to get a good shot off if your bow is too heavy too pull back. Consider loosening your poundage by just a little to make it easier for you to be able to get to full draw when you need to make your ideal shots.

Winter Deer Habits

Especially in very snowy climates, whitetail deer tend to minimize their movements in order to maximize their energy efficiency. This means they travel between food, water and bed almost exclusively. In areas in the Southeast while we may not have the snow it still gets cold and rains a lot.  Activity will slow down in these conditions as well.  Once you figure out where deer are bedding on your property, make very straight paths between there to your food plot or a water source. Deer are more likely to try to conserve energy by using pre-determined paths, so one of these corridors may well be your key to bagging your late season buck.  Using game cameras during this time is vital.  Deer will relocate due to cover reduction, coyotes, food sources, and hunting pressure.  Where you thought that big buck was living may not be the case now.  We experienced this on our Georgia Farm over the past several weeks.  I am trying to identify where these bucks are living based on available cover, food sources and pressure.   Once I have done this knowing a shooter is in the area I will focus on stand placement between bedding and food source.

Hunt In and After Storms

If you are stalking bedding areas, consider hunting during winter or rain storms. When the snow is coming down and the wind is blowing, it’s hard for deer to keep track of everything going on around them. It’s easy to catch a whitetail off guard when the weather is making things more confusing. After storms, deer will tend to seek out food. Keep an eye on your food plots after a storm, and you may find the monsters coming straight to you.  With that said many times mature deer will stage up before dark.  Place your stand off of the food source to catch him during shooting hours if needed.

Even in the late season, whitetail hunting can still be excellent. Keep warm and keep thinking like a deer, and you may find the late season to be even better hunting than the rut.  Lastly and maybe just as important as food sources is managing the WIND.  In the past I have hunted not matter what the wind is doing.  Don’t minimize your efforts by hunting a bad wind.  Have several stands set up so you can still hunt but with a good wind.  Good luck!

Originally posted 2011-12-01 09:16:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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