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Iron Cowboy

Muzzleloader Hunters?

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I thought I would try and take advantage of good hunting land that is too crowded for me during the shotgun season. Can anyone with experience hunting this season give me some advise on what the deer activity/movement is like? I have heard mostly negative things. of course from people who have never even done it but seem to know all about it like its too late in the year they are all yarded up in a herd in the deepest cover that no man can get to. The rut is over--no careless bucks, spooky deer from the regular season, etc. One magazine said if its real cold they wont get up to feed untill the sun has been out a while to warm things up. How can the sun be strong enough to make a difference at this time of the year? I will be stand hunting a partially wooded spot between a few farm fields and a lowland area in the clearwater/clear lake area about an hour northwest of the cities. I would greatly appreciate any advise or storys of your experience good or bad that I can learn from to try and help my chances the first time out. Thanks, Pete

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Worst thing is the opening weekned of Muzzleloader season is the last weekend of doe season where I'm at. 4 or 5 of us hunt the ML season and usually have the best luck making drives. The deer do seem to be on a higher state of alert during the ml season. If I were to stand hunt, I'd just set up closer to bedding areas, heaviest cover available etc...

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I don't ML hunt Iron Cowboy, but I've seen a few ML'ers out in the sticks when I late season bow hunt. Depending on the year, the deer will start working their way towards their herding area if snow starts piling up. If they have food, they don't move or congregate too much. They can be weary too...they've been chased and shot at so they are a little skiddish.

However, remember that the does that do not get bred during the regular rut will come back into their estrous cycles 28 days after their first cycle. Our group of rifle hunters had many bucks following does this past weekend. I would say that it will be likely that the rut will peak this week some time....add 28 days to say the 12 or 13 of November and make that the days you hunt. A couple of the largest racks I've seen (excluding those at Cabelas) were of bucks shot in MN with a muzzleloader. With less pressure and less does to be bred, the big bucks 'troll' alot more and therefore are more likely to expose themselves.

I've not taken a late season buck with my bow, but I have seen some bruisers. Good luck to you.

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"Aim small...miss small"

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