Maybe you had a run of hunting in the late fall/early winter months but haven’t been back . . . and are suddenly itching to get back in the woods. The good news is that in many states you’re still good to go hunting up through the end of January or even early February. This does vary by state, so be sure to check the local laws.
If you’re ready for some late-season buck hunting, here’s a few tips to get you started.
Finding That Elusive Buck
Been chasing a particular buck for a while and simply haven’t been able to bag the little bugger? Late in the season, bucks may be a little less likely to be cautious as they’ve been left alone for a while. You can often find tracks and trails that will lead you to them, especially if you’re able to get out in the snow and see tracks immediately. Watering holes and trails should be well-developed and more visible without leaves on the trees to shield the areas, too.
Focus on Food
The bucks are likely to be getting hungry this time of year, so putting out some additional food in areas near their watering holes or primary walkways may help entice them to come out of their hidey-holes so you can blast away. Just like any time of the year, trail cameras are a great way to plan out your hunting spots so you can see where there’s a lot of activity. Feeding patterns can change throughout the year, so areas that didn’t have a great population early in the season may provide a great stand of deer later in the winter.
Track Down Bedding Areas
It can be pretty chilly for deer in the winter, so they’re often looking for a nice, sunny spot in which to warm their frozen bones. Look for your late-season buck on south-facing slopes where they’re more likely to enjoy some additional warm sun in the afternoon — while being blocked from cold winter winds that often blow in from the north. At this time of the year, bucks are just coming off of the rut and looking for solid food that will help them build back their strength and stamina from the season. Finding a bedding area that is close to a field of corn or beans is a safe bet. Looking for areas with plenty of acorns is also a good way to track them down.
Are you ready to head out and bag your late-season buck? Here’s hoping that these tips will get you the information that you need to be successful in harvesting your final bucks of the season. Don’t forget to start prepping for the fall hunting season now — keeping those guns clean and plotting where to place any trail cameras!
~ Firearm Daily