“It’s not over until it’s over,” to quote the late Yogi Berra and in many states deer season isn’t. Late-season snow may cover the ground, the winds may howl, and temperatures plummet, yet whitetail deer don’t hibernate and often will continue their normal feeding, bedding, and even rutting routines. Late season hunting requires a greater adjustment from hunters than early and mid season, yet once you adjust your attitude and gear, the hunt goes on and can net great results. At this writing, (8:00 am) there is no activity near my Spartan HCO trail camera because deer don’t move and feed as often in the morning as they do in afternoon. No doubt, nature is whispering, “sleep in… conserve energy… those acorns aren’t going anywhere.” Last evening, four does and a 4-point buck fed past the camera, beginning an hour before dark and I’ll plan accordingly.
Late Season Opportunities
If you are willing to travel, you can find deer hunting action as hot as mid November in Alabama’s Black Belt region where deer mate in mid-to-late January. Sections of Texas also have whitetail mating seasons well beyond the usual mid-November rut and January is a favored rattling time for many ranch owners and sportsmen. One of the best kept secrets in deer hunting is the Texas “managment season” which allows ranches to cull management bucks into February. I had the good fortune to participate in one of these specialty hunts and was wowed with the result. Eleven hunters took 11 bucks in just two days and many of the deer taken were heavy-mass 8-point bucks in the 120 class. True, they would never become the high-numbered trophies that management programs develop, yet every hunter was well satisfied with his deer, especially since it was taken with archery gear. Ironically, the ranch owner predicted 25 percent success rate at best. Now that you know where late season action abounds, here are nine late-season tips to succeed, courtesy of Realtree.com:
The late season is a time to pull a last-minute fast one on that deer that’s been eluding you since September. Chances are you’ve swung and struck out. Maybe more than once. It’s also possible you’re just now finding time to get out there. Regardless of your circumstance, we’ve compiled eight tips from some of the best deer hunters from every corner of the country. Check them out below.