Jump to content
  • GUESTS

    If you want access to members only forums on HSO, you will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member. 😀

  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
mainbutter

Late season bow hunting?

Recommended Posts

So I filled a bonus tag in a Managed area, and still have my main tag.

I'm likely not going to be able to hunt much, but should have a handful of days in December.

What is late-season archery hunting like? Anything in particular that might help me find some success at filling my tag? I really haven't spent much time at all in the woods ever between late Nov. and early summer, and have nothing to go on as far as deer activity and locations.

Is late season particularly exciting for one reason or another, or just colder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definately colder and the deer seem to be a bit more spooky after the rifle seasons but you can count on the fact that they will come to a food source daily to fatten up for winter. Find a good trail between the bedding area and the food source and hunker down and wait. On the really cold days the deer will move midday. A great area to hunt would have south facing slopes with a farm field with crop residue nearby. Cattail sloughs can also hold deer due to the thermal protection they offer.

Tunrevir~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Food sources are the ticket for late season. If you can find food, you will find quite often, multiple deer. One thing worth noting is that it is usually quite a bit colder so more layers are needed. More layers makes your draw, anchor, well just about everything a little different. Well worth taking some practice shots. My biggest problem has always been string slap on the forearm due to extra layers. Just thought it was worth mentioning, late season bow hunting is pretty fun, usually pretty quiet out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hunting is usually pretty tough, but often you'll have the woods to yourself. Practicing with lots of layers & making sure you're not overbowed in the cold is a must. Deer patterns change. In my primary area, the deer move out at the first significant snowfall for wintering areas. Scouting is critical. With that said, it definitely can be done and I look forward to December bowhunting every year when I still have a tag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had that same problem with string slap until I found an expensive but perfect solution = heater body suit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the woods things are really quiet and any sqeaks your treestand makes seam to be amplified with the snow. Icey stands and treesteps are something making sure of so you don't slip.

I always look for a cow trail the deer make as these will offer you a shot more than any other lightly used trail.

Dress in layers more than you did earlier in the season.

Take an older pair of warm gloves and cut the trigger finger as trying to take gloves off to shoot can cost you a deer.

Foot and toe warmers wear them for sure, and a few hand warmes for you pockets.

Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you look for in food sources? Still old picked corn fields that haven't been turned over? Will they hit alfalfa/grass fields? I will be bowhunting late this year unless I don't hit a big boy during the Ripley muzzle loader hunt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all pretty much been mentioned... find the food, find a way to stay warm, find a way to keep your stand from squeaking, and hunt mostly afternoons unless we have mild weather.

I'd also add that you may get deer that are already yarded up so you could get 10-15 come through at a time, which is quite an adventure.

NTW - I've always wondered about that heater body suit..are there any drawbacks to trying to unzip it and get ready for a shot and are they really warm? What type of clothing do you wear underneath?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like bow hunting in Dec, especially if there is snow on the ground. The later in Dec the better. You can see the trails they are using and determine how much they are using them.

Food sources are the key. (picked corn or beans usually) Find the food that they are going to on a regular basis and then get as close to the bedding area as you dare without spooking them. Mornings are a waste of time in my opinion and I rarely see a deer before the last hour of light, so you don't have to sit in the stand very long.

I hunt mostly public land so I have to carry my stand in and out. I will bungie my insulated clothes to my climber stand and put them on when I get to the tree. I use lightly insulated gloves and a muff with a handwarmer inside when I hunt. I bring heavier gloves for the walk in and out.

A good pair of insulated boots is a must, but like I said, I am only in the stand for about 2 hours max, usually less.

Tracking a blood trail in the snow is awesome!

Nels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will also add that I've had excellent luck on the front side of a good storm moving in during the late season. But that also did coincide with a good food source. Seems like the deer want to get a little extra in their bellies in case they are holed up for a couple of days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, great advice above. I really like late season hunting. Once the gun season is done it's really tough IME until there's a good snow to help herd up the deer. Once you get a good snowfall, you need to find out where they are herded up. They typically go to the same areas year in and year out- scout, scout, scout. Find tracks and fresh sign. If you don't find tracks in the snow, there's no point in hunting there, no matter how good the area looks.

Once I find an area that has deer in it, set up on a food source. Typically you need to fool half a dozen or more does to get a crack at a buck- the big bucks will usually follow the does out to feed. The colder the better as cold temps make deer get on their feet earlier. Hand warmers, layers, and merino wool are all wonderful things in the late season! Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NTW - I've always wondered about that heater body suit..are there any drawbacks to trying to unzip it and get ready for a shot and are they really warm? What type of clothing do you wear underneath?

The suit unzips itself as I move my elbows outward to slowly reach for the bow - and its quiet. I practiced many different movements in the stand and never found a problem other than the zipper noise if you move too quickly.

I've only had it for a couple weeks & temps in the 30's while I've been out.

I've been wearing rubber boots and my old scentlok pants and jacket (both very light) as I walk to and from the stand...my feet have been hot and I've had to keep the zipper half unzipped.

No problems with the carry straps or putting the HBS on in the stand.

Best part is no gloves or bulky sleeves so shooting in the field feels exactly like shooting at the range.

I shot a doe last week at 28yds on a dead quiet night and everything worked perfectly. I have never looked forward to Dec hunts thinking how comfortable I'll be. I am this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thing to mention - I like it even in 30-40 degree temps too...here's why

I always sweat if I wear too warm of gear while walking and never seem to be able to keep track of another set of bibs/jacket/gloves through an entire season.

Now I walk out in comfortable clothes and only need the HBS to remain comfortable and as my body temp comes back down, or air temp at dusk, I just zip it further up and retain heat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NTW I picked up a HBS this year also but it stays in the truck because it's been so warm. looking forward to 20 s next week and excited for Dec

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FishingWebGuy - I hear you on being too warm...but I still use it now because I can walk in and out of the woods in very light clothes and keep myself from sweating. Also, I don't have an insulated jacket that I can shoot well while wearing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NTW I have an Arctic Armor suit which allows for shooting pretty well. The jacket is very light weight and not bulky but yet incredibly warm. I can wear this suit when its 0 and windy on a lake sitting in a puddle while ice fishing and still be warm if I have my layers on correctly.

I usually just roll up the AA jacket and strap it to my stand on my walk in. An hour or so after getting to the stand, my body has cooled enough to put it on. Once the temp drops a little more (Monday) I will do the same thing but with my Heater Body Suit instead of the Arctic Armor. But right now its just a little more than I would need when temps are in the 30s and 40s. I just saw it's going to be 62 tomorrow!

I know I can be warm in the stand in very cold temps. I bought the HBS hood also which is great for bow hunting. My biggest concern is getting out of a cozy and warm HBS and packing up all my gear on a cold December night. The walk back should be fine since I'm moving but the 20 or 30 minutes of climbing down and packing up will be cold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×