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Late-Season Deer Tips

These 85 late-season deer tips from experts in your region will have you butchering venison in no time.
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The East

1. Put Your Best Foot Forward: In the Northeast, late-season deer hunting kicks into high gear once the snow flies, and you can count on that happening anytime after Thanksgiving. The very first flop of snow—6 inches or more—seems to make things happen. 

2. Find Food: Foot-deep snowfalls will force deer into full survival mode. Now’s the time to get back to that nut-laden red-oak flat or fruit-filled abandoned apple orchard you tucked into the back of your mind during early season. And it’s critical to be there waiting the first late afternoon following a storm. Deer will be on the move early. 

Does will likely be the first to arrive, so be patient and hold your shot until the waning hours of legal shooting light. If the does act nervous around the food source, bucks may be approaching.

3. Hunt the New Rut: Unbred does re-enter estrus approximately 28 days after the peak of the primary rut. If you’re expecting to see the frenetic chasing activity of a month ago, you’ll be disappointed. 

However, when the second rut kicks in, do your utmost to find a hot doe and shadow her. How? You can identify a doe in heat by the red droplets of blood she leaves in the snow upon urination. Track her with an ever-vigilant eye out for bucks who might be trailing her. 

4. Timberrrrrr: Ideally, you should hatch this killer late-season tactic in spring. If trees on your deer lease need thinning, cruise the property as the leaves pop in April and May. Mark the trees—poplar, ash, maple—with spray paint 
and leave them standing until late fall. 

Once late deer season snow hits, wait until midday and knock down a couple of the marked trees. The tender treetops provide prime forage, and deer will flock to your homemade hot spot.

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from BlueMNguy wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Our party has had much more luck with harvesting deer from first light until 10 a.m. in the morning. We sit on stands all day but get very few deer after 2 p.m. If we sit in a stand overlooking a clover field, the buck comes way to late for shooting.

PS: I write the Minnesota Deer Hunting Quiz for the MDHA (Minnesota Deer Hunters Association) out of Grand Rapids, MN and have done so since 1982.

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from scrofa wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Unfortunately, the majority of the time it does NOT snow after Thanksgiving in PA and 80 of the 85 tips require snow. But, thanks for the five tips anyway.

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from Kody wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Good advice. I especially tuned into the suggestion that you wait it out to the dying light of the day in anticipation of that big buck showing up. Patience is the order of the day! I always tell myself that the big guy is waiting in the bush watching for danger but eager to join the does feeding in the open field. I have blinked in disbelief as a big buck appears like magic in the field I thought to be empty a moment before. More rifle shots can be heard in that last 1/2 hour of daylight than at any other time of the day. Unfortunately, many hunters have given up during that time and are heading back to the warm pickup truck and a cup of hot coffee.

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from HawgNSons.Com wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Ok...sounds good!

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from HawgNSons.Com wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Ok...sounds good!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scrofa wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Unfortunately, the majority of the time it does NOT snow after Thanksgiving in PA and 80 of the 85 tips require snow. But, thanks for the five tips anyway.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kody wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Good advice. I especially tuned into the suggestion that you wait it out to the dying light of the day in anticipation of that big buck showing up. Patience is the order of the day! I always tell myself that the big guy is waiting in the bush watching for danger but eager to join the does feeding in the open field. I have blinked in disbelief as a big buck appears like magic in the field I thought to be empty a moment before. More rifle shots can be heard in that last 1/2 hour of daylight than at any other time of the day. Unfortunately, many hunters have given up during that time and are heading back to the warm pickup truck and a cup of hot coffee.

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from BlueMNguy wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

Our party has had much more luck with harvesting deer from first light until 10 a.m. in the morning. We sit on stands all day but get very few deer after 2 p.m. If we sit in a stand overlooking a clover field, the buck comes way to late for shooting.

PS: I write the Minnesota Deer Hunting Quiz for the MDHA (Minnesota Deer Hunters Association) out of Grand Rapids, MN and have done so since 1982.

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