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In many places, deer hunting peaks in November. Between the rut and annual gun hunts, the month is busy for whitetail hunters. But it doesn’t have to signal the end. Look to these six late, great, over-the-counter muzzleloader hunts to find seclusion, big bucks, and venison for the freezer.

OHIO NEW YEAR’S

Hunting after New Year’s Day? Ohio has it. Relatively mild weather is one attraction. So are Ohio’s big bucks, along with antlerless opportunities and lots of public land, including the sprawling Wayne National Forest, ample American Electric Power (AEP) Recreation Lands, and tens of thousands of acres of Ohio DNR ohiodnr.gov

NEBRASKA RIVERBOTTOMS

December 1 – 31, 2013

Find a whole month devoted to muzzle- loader enthusiasts, good deer numbers coming back from last year’s EHD out- break, and bruiser prairie bucks. Head to the river corridors–Loup and Elkhorn. outdoornebraska.ne.gov

PENNSYLVANIA TRADITIONS

December 26, 2013 – January 11, 2014

Pennsylvania’s muzzleloader season is a purist’s dream: Only flintlocks allowed! With regular gun seasons long over, deer are back on-pattern, and fewer hunters take on the flintlock challenge. Abun- dant deer and state game lands offer good opportunity to enjoy a top-notch hunt and bring home some venison. www.pgc.state.pa.us

WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS

December 9 – 14, 2013

West Virginia offers lots of deer, and some really good bucks. There’s plenty of room to roam, among 1.4 million acres of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). wvdnr.gov

WISCONSIN PILGRIMAGE

December 2 – 11, 2013

A lot of whitetails are shot in Wisconsin, and there are still plenty of deer roaming the state’s forests and farm- land come December. The Chequa- magon Nicolet National Forest totals more – than 1.5 million public acres. Head to the state’s western counties if you’re after the buck of lifetime. Set up between food a source and a bedding area. dnr.wi.gov

MINNESOTA WILDERNESS

November 30 – December 15, 2013

Want to really get away? Head to north- ern Minnesota in early winter. Deer do fine, bucks grow old, and you could hunt many lifetimes without re-tracing your steps. Load up a muzzleloader, cut a track, and walk up your deer. You can still do it here. Look to abundant public land in the Chippewa and Supe- rior National Forests (millions of acres), state forests, and tax-forfeited land dnr.state.mn.us

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