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Crunch time

Snyder10

Junior Member
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What is you guy's approach late season? Are you calling at all in the slightest? I've been fortunate enough to fill tags "earlier" the past couple years. I honestly dont think I've bow hunted this late in a season. I know the deer are grouped up right now, Im getting only nighttime pics on the trail cam, so Im kind of scratching my head. Do you play the same game as early-season? Shoot me some input/advice on crunch time.
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
Supporting Member
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Get aggressive! Find the beds and make your move when conditions are right. Don't go after the food source directly, odds are that buck is staging somewhere else awaiting darkness. Go HUNT him down!
 

Snyder10

Junior Member
85
37
Thanks sg, I think thats a part that has me scratching my head. Im on a "ridge" directly between their bedding and about 100 acres of winter wheat. Ideally you think it'd be perfect. I'd say there's a frequent group of about 10 deer, one solid buck, but none are showing face during daylight anymore. 5 miles down the road there's literally herds of deer out in the winter wheat fields at 2:30 pm daily. It might just be my continued bad luck lol
 

Bigcountry40

Member
2,843
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I put up cameras and corn piles close to bedding areas trying to relocated mature bucks, if I get a mature deer on camera and think it is possible to see that deer during daylight, I will hunt. If I am not getting anything on camera that I am interested in, I wont waste my time -having a family etc. I just don't see some huge ghost buck roaming woods to woods where I hunt. I depend on cameras late season to answer your question.
 
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Snyder10

Junior Member
85
37
Yessir, Im in northwest ohio so my definition of a ridge is probably way different. Its basically a 4ft elevated hill that runs probably a couple hundred yards. No chance I can be seen coming in, but on the other side of it is where theyre bedding so I assumed I was safe. Thats probably a vague picture to try and place in your head in terms of the layout, sorry about that.

Bigcountry; that's kind of what I was thinking too, I get pretty torn on making the 50 mile drive with not much confidence of having any daylight pics, you know the saying..
 

giles

Village idiot and local whore
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I am aware of this type of hunting. Thermals still apply. In the evening you scent is getting pulled down into those low spots.
 
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Snyder10

Junior Member
85
37
I am aware of this type of hunting. Thermals still apply. In the evening you scent is getting pulled down into those low spots.
Gotcha, didnt realize that. Would you do mostly morning sits then or play it by ear with trail cam movement?
 

OhioWhiteTails

Senior Member
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Flatlands
Gotcha, didnt realize that. Would you do mostly morning sits then or play it by ear with trail cam movement?
Try to learn the thermals and see where you can intercept your deer. If you're not wanting to fudge anything up the remainder of the season, wait until it's closed and go play. Take some milkweed with you and experiment with varying winds.
 
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Hoytmania

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
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Gods Country
Food for thought in the late season. Any mature doe harvested this late is probably taking 3 deer from the herd. Depending on how the herd is in your area that could definitely be a deciding factor on whether or not you want to shoot a doe.
 
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Snyder10

Junior Member
85
37
Food for thought in the late season. Any mature doe harvested this late is probably taking 3 deer from the herd. Depending on how the herd is in your area that could definitely be a deciding factor on whether or not you want to shoot a doe.
I’ve thought about this too. The herd stretches through roughly 3 miles I’d say. Literally hundreds of deer that must stop at the stop sign where I hunt and turn back around.
 

Jamie

Senior Member
3,506
110
Licking Co.
I am aware of this type of hunting. Thermals still apply. In the evening you scent is getting pulled down into those low spots.
thermals are practically insignificant when there aren't any real changes in elevation, and don't really occur in flat country when the wind is blowing at all.

wind directions and air currents, on the other hand, are omnipresent everywhere. It never ceases to amaze me how little deer hunters know about the what the air is actually doing where they hunt. I don't leave the truck without my little container of milkweed fuzz. I pass lots of time in treestands studying what the air is actually doing in relation to what the actual wind direction is. air does weird stuff when it is blowing hard or barely at all, when you are hunting edges and inside/outside corners. knowing these relationships and understanding how to apply them to your benefit when tryin to ambush deer will increase your deer sightings by allowing you to get into better position to intercept them without getting smelled.

when you know deer are there and coming near your stand or blind but you never see them while hunting, it's more than likely because they are smelling you somehow before you can see them. all of this, provided you are only hunting an area when the wind direction is correct, you can get there undetected, sit still, yadda, yadda, yadda. late season is tough, but not impossible. granted, with time running out, you have to roll the dice a little, but your odd are always better when you understand the wind on your hunting ground.
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
3,568
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Food for thought in the late season. Any mature doe harvested this late is probably taking 3 deer from the herd. Depending on how the herd is in your area that could definitely be a deciding factor on whether or not you want to shoot a doe.

If you shoot a doe in early season, she isnt able to get bred - therefore, using the above logic, you can minus 3 deer. If you shoot a doe now, and she is bred minus 3. There is no difference, if an area can sustain doe harvest - shoot them when you get the opportunity. If you have determined an area can sustain more deer and doe harvest isnt needed, then dont shoot them. Time of year is somewhat irrelevant if/when trying to control deer populations.

I will add, there are a few caveats to this - an example, assuming the property you are hunting has the best food in the surrounding area (640 acres), you are more likely to increase your number of deer sightings in winter (scarcity of food increases) as you are "pulling" deer in from the surrounding area. This can increase ones feeling that shooting does, later in the season is better - as you might not be shooting a resident doe and simply taking one that has been displaced. The issue with this of course is knowing which doe is which - darn near impossible to distinguish them on a consistent basis. After all that, you will have dispersion take place the following spring/fall to "fill in" spots of the herd where the habitat is the best.

All in all, my suggestion is to study the natural browse in an area - if it needs does taken due to over browsing, shoot them. IF you are not seeing does and the habitat shows signs of being able to support more deer and you dont want/need meat, dont shoot does.

Just my opinion.
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
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We have taken 2 does this late season. One had twins and the other was dry. If you can't handle to see them, don't kill them. The one had a face issue since summer, but I think she was dry because of overpopulation. Ugly chicks still have babies. 🤣

She could also not have been bred yet. If the doe numbers in an area are far exceeding the buck numbers, not every single doe will get bred in her first estrous cycle. She could have come back around in late Dec. Jan. etc. and got bred. With a 200 day gestation period, late bred doe fawns might have a rough go of it, the following fall/winter. These fawns are often the reason for posts each fall of "wow! have you all ever seen a fawn with spots during season" - normally around October, social media is flooded with these types of posts. Or, she was simply dry.

If one does harvest a doe, with fetuses inside - you can take measurements and refer to QDMA fetal scale. This will give you a good estimation on when that particular doe was bred, which can be indicative of "peak" rutting in that area. Obviously, one doe is a small sample size, but if you do a couple a year, take measurements and record all data - I would imagine that could be useful.
 
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