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Late Season Bowhunting


JoeTC

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I will be spending 5 days at my cabin between Nov. 24-27 and I really want to fill my bow tag. Can anyone give me any tips on patterning deer this time of year. What stage will the rut be at or will it be over? I'll be hunting in public land in northern mn that does recieve pressure from rifle hunters. Will they still be affecting the deer movement? Thanks for any information or tips.

Joe

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Well Joe this is what I would do. Hopefully there is snow which will be easier to pattern where the deer are feeding. I would set up between the bedding and feeding areas. Deer are so spooky at this point so make sure you set up according to wind. Dont be afraid to start hunting later morning. Nine or ten in the morning til noon or one can be some of the best hunting if its cold. Hope it helps.

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If it were me I'd go later than that, like Christmas time. The ML season starts the 26th, so you'll have that to contend with, but the pressure could move deer past you as well. I agree find some place they're feeding in the evenings where they're coming out early if possible. If they're coming out late go back us close to the bedding area as you can, get there by mid afternoon & hope they move before dark. The rut's so late this year I'd think you could have some delayed rut activity or beginings of the late rut.

I personally wouldn't plan on taking a buck at that time, not that it's impossible, but it will be tough.

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I actually like the week of Xmas-New Years Eve. I've taken several bucks the 28-31st, find a feeding area and follow their pattern. When it's really cold, the deer will tend to come out well before dark to feed. It can be a little challenging bow hunting when it's that cold but it's worth it.

Ole

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I'll be up there on christmas also, but Have to be there on thanksgiving so I'm gonna give it my best even if it isn't the best time. And if nothings moving I'll go fishing and duck hunting.

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It might not be the best time, but you have alot better of a chance getting a monster from you deer stand than you do from your couch. Good Luck

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I would usually agree with you about having a better chance of getting the deer in the stand than in the backyard. But last Saturday before heading out to the stand I made the comment that the deer will not be shot in the backyard. Well if I would have been in the backyard I would have had a shot at 4 of them. My mother sat and watched them for about 30 minutes before they left.

Last year I spent a lot of time in the woods around Thanksgiving and Christmas and saw quite a few deer. I am hoping the same holds true this year.

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I will be hunting all the way till new years. I saw 6 doe yesterday after not seeing a one since opening day. I do think that the colder it gets the later they will move. Even down to once a day vs two. I observed over the years that november to dec1 the deer tend to move after dark at my inlaws. However every year for the last 3 we have saw several deer hit their apple trees right at about 3 in the afternoon on xmas eve. Same should hole true for the woods.

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Hmmm, think I'd buck for not opening presents or doing any family things on Christmas Eve between about 1:30 & say 5:00...

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I have a buddy who has taken a nice buck the last three years with his bow on xmas eve. I'll have to run that by the wife and kids and see how that flys. grin.gif

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I was out Saturday and had a 8 point walk up to 20 yards. He caught my movement before I got a shot off but I was impressed that he was wondering around at 3:00. I think he was still looking for a doe.

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Late season can be a blast. I have never shot any big bucks in the late season but have always filled whatever tags we have left. The key is to find the food sources and the bedding areas. If you hunt where there are any spruce swamps check for trails heading in and out of them. If you are luck enough to have a cedar swamp in your area that is always an excellent spot to look for trails. If you hunt the big woods where there isn't any agriculture close look for any logging sites from this year or the last three years. These spots can really draw the deer with the new growth. If you do hunt in agricultural country, obviously look for standing corn or beans and alfalfa. I did get out this weekend in the Blackduck area. The area we hunt is a large national forest with no roads of fields. We hunt along swamps and new growth timber. I ended up shooting a nice doe on Saturday morning at 9:40 am. The deer were moving late due to the colder temps (5 degrees) in the morning. Also a key in winter is to hunt later in the mornings when the weather is cold as the deer tend to lay a bit longer until the weather warms a bit. Good luck out there.

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Its tough but hang in there. best advice i can give you is to find the food and galss it for deer comign in and out for a day or two. Got a pattern? set up a climber and be there at least 2 hours before the animal steps out again. Also best smirk.gif tip for late season is this: drop your draw weight down ten to 20 pounds. its harder to draw if your stiff and cold or even bundled up like the michellin man. good luck.

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Tough to hang in there so long but man it's worth it. To me this is the best time of year to see and hopefully harvest a trophy animal. But than again all deer with a bow are trophy animals.I'm going to be hunting all weekend on a few spots I scouted late last year, after a quick scouting trip tomorrow. We just got 6" of fresh powder up here near the Mahnomen area hopefully I can run into some decent sign again. Bucks are still chasing their butts off. Good luck.

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I am planning on hunting the deep freeze this weekend myself. Reading some of these post is getting me preped to freeze and be happy. I would like to read more about late season tactics. The topic i am most intrested in is the time of day they will move when it gets this cold. I read earlier that first morning light is not allways best and to maybe wait until temps go up a bit. Can i get some more info on this and other good ideas. Usually have one in the freezer by now but having a rough year as far as meat goes. Lots of good memories though. I will be Bow Hunting down south of Hastings. Any info greatly appreciated.

Thanks

HURL

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Thanks for all the good advice. I'm planning to sit in a stand this weekend as well. Am I better off sitting from 9 - noon, or from 2 till dark?

Thanks for the help and good luck!

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Depending on whats going on in your area, maybe neither. I'd try the evening and then go to 11 til 2 if that doesn't produce. I'm actually gonna do the midday sit this weekend. Good luck to ya, let us know how it goes!

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I agree with Cooter on the first choice. I have started to see more deer in the evenings, just before dark, especially when its really cold. All the deer have either been in a harvested corn field or on the way to various food sources.

Although my buddy shot a nice buck at 8:15 in the morning, that was chasing a doe on the muzzeloader opener, last Sat.

I am not a big fan of the midday time period because from my experiences the deer dont travel as far during the midday to feed. They do feed at that time of day but usually they will just browse on whats near to where they are bedded. Its tough to get close enough to them without spooking them. I like to set up on a good trail from the bedding area to the food source, rather than on the edge of the field. I don't want to spook the deer when I climb down from the stand after dark.

Good luck, I'll be out there freezing my hinder off also.

Nels

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Seems like I see more deer an hour or 2 before dark this time of year since its so cold. Instead of right at dark. All i know is its hard to stay warm and quiet when you draw when its this cold. Hopefully this wind will die down so I can get out.

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Saw a ton of deer Sat evening, ended up shooting a doe and a small fork buck within about 15 minutes of each other. Both arrows ended up in the snow about 3 feet apart and the deer died about 30 yards from each other. Both went down in sight after going about 40 yards. Saw the first deer at about 3pm and had movement until dark. Oh yeah, I think the buck I got will score jes a hair better than Dietz's grin.gif

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I took a small 8 pt. Sat. evening right at dusk. I hunted from 2 until dark and only saw that deer. I was hunting on public land so that might explain the lack of deer movement during shooting hours.

Lots of deer tracks in the snow so I know they are there.

Nels

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Wow.

Great job guys.

I give a ton of credit to any archer that is able to go out in these conditions. And on top of that, to be able to SCORE!

I was out muzzleloading. That was cold.

I had a few deer that came in range, but all were baldies. So I just raised the gun to practice my movements on them.

It was hard to move quietly with the gun in hand.

Talk about bulk! I have no clue how you guys do it with a bow. Wow!

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I dont want any more deer in my freezer, and I want them females to have twins and even triplets next spring.

I want MORE deer in our area. Not less like the DNR is trying to convince me to do.... wink.gif

If it aint got good antlers, it aint going down.

I'll find room in my freezer if the right one comes by me. grin.gif

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Good plan man! As long as you already have some meat, there's no pressure... good luck, this cold weather should get them on the feed.

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I'm with you biglake--its gotta have a rack. The deer have really moved out of the river bottoms and are hitting the alfalfa on the land I hunt. During the regular gun season I only saw one deer in the two days I hunted it. Now this cold hits and I see 10 to 15 a night. One more weekend of ML---then its back to the bow.

jeff

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Right on with the deer coming out of the woodwork.

I had 19 deer within 1/4 mile of me Sunday night. I was quite amazed. Nothing in range that night.

OK, back to topic guys.

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Not sure where your all hunting but all i can say is BRRRRRR.

We been muzzy hunting cant beleive anyone bow hunting this morning would have been able to pull a bow back after 20 minutes on stand.

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This weekend is going to be awesome the does are feeding predictably every evening and the bucks are still not far behind them.The weather is going to be as good as it gets for this time of the year. I know I'm going to take one out this weekend. Friday night is going to be sweet. The trails coming out into the fields are nothing short of amazing. The Hoyt is ready.

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