Hunting for deer late in the season can be very difficult. The deer have been stalked for weeks by hunters and they are all in hiding by the end of the season. This article will have some useful tips on how to catch a deer late in the season.
Trail cameras are a great way to help track deer during late season as long as you use the one that best suits your needs. Trail cameras don’t sleep in or make noise when walking around, and they have a great chance of catching those few sneaky deer that are always hiding. Trail camera placement is key in finding any deer late in the season.
You will want to set up your camera somewhere where there are fresh tracks or where there is a food source. Other places to put a camera include water sources, beds, rubbings on trees and places where deer have been spotted during mid-season. Most manuals suggest mounting the camera about three to four feet off the ground, but five to seven feet is better as long as the lens is angled downwards. Having a high, tilted lens on a camera gives users a better look not only at surroundings, but also at the size of a rack on a buck.
Trail cameras that have great battery life are the best ones to use when tracking late season deer. Cameras with a night vision setting are also a great choice because sometimes deer will not move around in an area until night time. Choose a fast-shooting trail camera when hunting late in the season to catch deer that are running by.
Late-Season Food Sources
Setting up a spot near a food source is another great way to find deer. When it gets late in the season it can be tough to find a good food source, but there are still many places a hunter could set up.
Corn, especially when it is standing, is a great late-season food source for deer. When the corn is cut down it isn’t the best source, but there is still food on the ground for deer to gather around and eat.
Soybeans are another great late-season food source for deer. Standing beans are your best bet at a reliable food source due to the little amount dropped when they are harvested. The good side to that is many farmers do not harvest their beans until late in the season, so there is still plenty of time for the deer to feed.
There are many other late-season food sources such as wheat, oats or hard mast, but they all depend on where you hunt due to the crops being different in other regions.
Hunting the New Rut
During post rut, all the breeding is pretty much done and the deer have really felt the pressure from the early season hunters. At this point it is best to just pick a nice covered spot and wait for deer to jump up into sight because they are hiding in thick brush cover.
There is a second rut where does that were not bred with during the first rut will be walking out and about again. Even though bucks are usually more focussed on eating, if there is a young doe walking around that has not been bred with, a buck may follow it around in the open to get a chance at it. This will give hunters a nice clear shot of a buck or a doe due to their lack of attention.
Pushing through the Brush
A lot of hunters do not want to have to push through rough, thick patches of weeds, barbs and tangled vines, but when hunting late in the season that is where the deer are usually hiding.
Once the deer have been scouted and scared out off all the reachable areas by hunters, they run for the thickets where people rarely go through. Checking through thick brush areas has a great chance kicking deer up.
Deer do not usually stand in thick high areas like this unless they are moving. Rather, they lay down and hide where they cannot be seen and where they are barely heard by hunters outside of the brush.
If a hunter is pushing through brush it is best for them to have on tight clothing so nothing gets caught, and they need a knife in case the brush is too thick and they have to cut their way out.
When it comes to parking when hunting, it is obvious that vehicles should be parked in the designated area, whether it be a small parking lot or just on the side of the road/railroad tracks. A person should never park too close to the area they are hunting. It is usually best to be quite a few yards away from the vehicle at all times.
Deer do not like to go near vehicles, especially running ones. Any loud noises or bright lights can spook the deer and make them run off. Even if a person is hunting in a deer blind or tree stand, it is still best to be a reasonable distance away from all vehicles.
Late-season hunting can be a pain, but there are things you can do to help. Trail cameras are a great way to find out where deer live, where they go, and where they like to roam around. Hunting near a food source is another useful tactic because if deer are hungry enough they will go out in the open where hunters can get a clear shot. It is always good to hunt a fair distance away from all vehicles so there is less chance of deer being scared away. If no deer are found in easy to reach places it is good to check through thick brush because that is where they will stay and hide. No matter if you get a deer or not, hunting is always a great experience.
Andrey is manager of OutdoorNinjas online journal, working on creating compelling content about outddor activities, such as hunting, fishing, camping and others