late season strategies?

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bigbrad123's picture
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late season strategies?

Looking for some late season bow strategies?  I know its the typical "find the food source and hunt the food source".  What are the typical late season food sources?  I hunt in eastern ND on a small farm along a river so its not a big spot.  There were 2 soybean fields just outside the small plot of woods I hunt and they are now plowed up.  The deer do not bed in the small spot where I hunt, but bed close (I think).  What about other things?  Is calling a good idea this late in the year?  Still seeing deer on the camera, but mostly nocturnal with no apparent pattern.  The 2 nice bucks I've had on the camera all year are still around after rifle season.  Even had 2 does and 2 fawns on camera recently (I thought the fawns would've been kicked out already). We have no snow here, but I can still see their trails quite well.  Any other ideas?  

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Feed is key! The master baiters can do real well at this time of year! As the weather gets tougher bedding areas can shift to heavier cover and closer to food sources.  Fawns will run with their mothers until next spring right up until they fawn again.

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bigbrad123 Said:
Looking for some late season bow strategies?  I know its the typical "find the food source and hunt the food source".  What are the typical late season food sources?  I hunt in eastern ND on a small farm along a river so its not a big spot.  There were 2 soybean fields just outside the small plot of woods I hunt and they are now plowed up.  The deer do not bed in the small spot where I hunt, but bed close (I think).  What about other things?  Is calling a good idea this late in the year?  Still seeing deer on the camera, but mostly nocturnal with no apparent pattern.  The 2 nice bucks I've had on the camera all year are still around after rifle season.  Even had 2 does and 2 fawns on camera recently (I thought the fawns would've been kicked out already). We have no snow here, but I can still see their trails quite well.  Any other ideas?  

I am feeding, and and actually seeing deer which ahsn't been the case all yr, but theyare holding up to far away. they aren't even hitting the pile until after dark although that maybe my fault maybe they just know I am there or somthign is up and won't commit, I might have to trick them into it, thats why I am asking for a decoy


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just hang a stand where they "hold up". If I were a master baiter that is what I would do. I would slip in there the night u are gonna hunt and hang a stand. Then u catch them by suprise and wammy! I just don't see how hunting directly over a baitpile could work more than 1 night, especially this time of year.

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for the original poster:

They should start to get into more of a pattern now everyday. Colder temps and less pressure from rifle and muzzleloader hunters. I think a night of scouting would be a good idea. Just sit away from where you are going to hunt and see what they do. Then make a plan.
good luck

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Get a tripod feeder and load it up with either peas or corn. If there are deer nearby they will come.

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leave the call/decoys at home for the year.

the more food you have in your mouth, the better you can taste it !!

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bowhunter_24 Said:
just hang a stand where they "hold up". If I were a master baiter that is what I would do. I would slip in there the night u are gonna hunt and hang a stand. Then u catch them by suprise and wammy! I just don't see how hunting directly over a baitpile could work more than 1 night, especially this time of year.

problem is they are bedding there, about 50 yrds  from the trees where I would have to put up a stand , I only sit in the stand every couple weeks and they sure clean it up and the cam has pics of them being there during daylight.  There is no way to hang a stand without chasing them out of there bedroom that is my prediciment.


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I have had great success with a decoy during the late season!  I think it would be a good try anyway.  Especially since I watched a nice 145" 5x5 chasing a doe just a few days ago.  Doesn't hurt to try!

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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swanson Said:

bowhunter_24 Said:
just hang a stand where they "hold up". If I were a master baiter that is what I would do. I would slip in there the night u are gonna hunt and hang a stand. Then u catch them by suprise and wammy! I just don't see how hunting directly over a baitpile could work more than 1 night, especially this time of year.

problem is they are bedding there, about 50 yrds  from the trees where I would have to put up a stand , I only sit in the stand every couple weeks and they sure clean it up and the cam has pics of them being there during daylight.  There is no way to hang a stand without chasing them out of there bedroom that is my prediciment.

what if you move the bait?

My buddies and I talk about how kaka for coo coo puffs you are on here btw. HAHA. (not in a bad way)

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bontop2 Said:
I have had great success with a decoy during the late season!  I think it would be a good try anyway.  Especially since I watched a nice 145" 5x5 chasing a doe just a few days ago.  Doesn't hurt to try!

I too am seeing rut activity, I would give up on rut tactics just yet...

Hunt Hard and NEVER GIVE UP

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bowhunter_24 Said:

swanson Said:

bowhunter_24 Said:
just hang a stand where they "hold up". If I were a master baiter that is what I would do. I would slip in there the night u are gonna hunt and hang a stand. Then u catch them by suprise and wammy! I just don't see how hunting directly over a baitpile could work more than 1 night, especially this time of year.

problem is they are bedding there, about 50 yrds  from the trees where I would have to put up a stand , I only sit in the stand every couple weeks and they sure clean it up and the cam has pics of them being there during daylight.  There is no way to hang a stand without chasing them out of there bedroom that is my prediciment.

what if you move the bait?

My buddies and I talk about how kaka for coo coo puffs you are on here btw. HAHA. (not in a bad way)

Or move the bait!  I really think you could decoy him in!  Either as a doe or if they are aggressive just try the old buck scenerio.

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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I think Swanson should dress up as a deer...now that firearms season is over and everything

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I think if you shoot your deer early you won't have to be deer hunting when you could be ice fishing!  I will be thinking about ya while I'm all warm pulling jumbo's! 

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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bontop2 Said:
I think if you shoot your deer early you won't have to be deer hunting when you could be ice fishing!  I will be thinking about ya while I'm all warm pulling jumbo's! 

i dont like you anymore.

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bowhunter_24 Said:

bontop2 Said:
I think if you shoot your deer early you won't have to be deer hunting when you could be ice fishing!  I will be thinking about ya while I'm all warm pulling jumbo's! 

i dont like you anymore.

I got ur number I'll make sure to send you pics this Wednesday when I'm out.  I'm taking the girlfriend on her first ice!  Should be interesting!

Hunt today like there may be no tomorrow!

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bowhunter_24 Said:

swanson Said:

bowhunter_24 Said:
just hang a stand where they "hold up". If I were a master baiter that is what I would do. I would slip in there the night u are gonna hunt and hang a stand. Then u catch them by suprise and wammy! I just don't see how hunting directly over a baitpile could work more than 1 night, especially this time of year.

problem is they are bedding there, about 50 yrds  from the trees where I would have to put up a stand , I only sit in the stand every couple weeks and they sure clean it up and the cam has pics of them being there during daylight.  There is no way to hang a stand without chasing them out of there bedroom that is my prediciment.

what if you move the bait?

My buddies and I talk about how kaka for coo coo puffs you are on here btw. HAHA. (not in a bad way)

well Hunting where I am there isn't much choice right now with every deer in the county south of me, I haven't seen a deer in the area where I hunt in a month until saturday of course on cam at night but not in the daylight, sooo feed is needed hahaha.   I will try moving the feed, although i have 3 feed sites out on the same property hasn't helped much.  and the decoy thing just might work


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a decoy now ill most likely scare the crap outta the does now. since they are usually the first ones in. 1 snort this time of year and after all the hunting pressure
 of course if your in a spot that had little hunting pressure it may be worth a shot.

the more food you have in your mouth, the better you can taste it !!

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 I would want to use a doe decoy know but like mentioned the does may spook the buck out. Does seem less spooked by a buck decoy. I watched a little 3 point chasing fawns last night. He was pretty aggresive.

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My advice is to sit and scout a few nights from a distance here in the coming weeks.  You will see bucks start to feed pretty hard as they get ready for winter and the smell of estrus has disappeared.  They can be patterned similar to how they are in the late summer.  Find the food and find the deer.  You may have to become very mobile.  Get a ground blind set up early on a travel route to a feeding area so deer get used to it plus, it will save you on those cold/windy nights.  I have had my best chances at big bucks from now until the end of season!!

I have had good luck using a doe decoy as it seems to relax any deer that are coming out as they have been chased around...           

"When we step into the outdoors, we have the privilege of standing in the presence of God through the power and majesty of His creation. That makes hunting more than a sport or a hobby. It's a calling to something greater. And that transforms the places that we stand into something more than a cropfield or a pasture or a mountain. It makes that place Hallowed Ground."

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solocam Said:

My advice is to sit and scout a few nights from a distance here in the coming weeks.  You will see bucks start to feed pretty hard as they get ready for winter and the smell of estrus has disappeared.  They can be patterned similar to how they are in the late summer.  Find the food and find the deer.  You may have to become very mobile.  Get a ground blind set up early on a travel route to a feeding area so deer get used to it plus, it will save you on those cold/windy nights.  I have had my best chances at big bucks from now until the end of season!!

I have had good luck using a doe decoy as it seems to relax any deer that are coming out as they have been chased around...           

my blind has been in the same spot for about 2 months haha, soooo they are used to it. the wind was perfect on sat and sun for it too sooo don't know why, besides they already ahd a doe with him, hard to pull a buck away from a doe when hes is not being challenged I guess


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So some say, no feed, no decoy, move stands, freeze ur nuts off and of course good luck haha.

so this is the plan, put out the decoy right from the spot I have been and sit and be silent, maybe if lucky this will be a confidence builder for other deer to come on over and feed.    then if thatn don't work, I will try a different setup with the grunting and rattling and scents  one of these boys is going to die this year haha


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swanson Said:

bigbrad123 Said:
Looking for some late season bow strategies?  I know its the typical "find the food source and hunt the food source".  What are the typical late season food sources?  I hunt in eastern ND on a small farm along a river so its not a big spot.  There were 2 soybean fields just outside the small plot of woods I hunt and they are now plowed up.  The deer do not bed in the small spot where I hunt, but bed close (I think).  What about other things?  Is calling a good idea this late in the year?  Still seeing deer on the camera, but mostly nocturnal with no apparent pattern.  The 2 nice bucks I've had on the camera all year are still around after rifle season.  Even had 2 does and 2 fawns on camera recently (I thought the fawns would've been kicked out already). We have no snow here, but I can still see their trails quite well.  Any other ideas?  

I am feeding, and and actually seeing deer which ahsn't been the case all yr, but theyare holding up to far away. they aren't even hitting the pile until after dark although that maybe my fault maybe they just know I am there or somthign is up and won't commit, I might have to trick them into it, thats why I am asking for a decoy

thanks for the replies everyone.  I am in the same boat as Swanson.....have corn out at my normal feeding spot, but they aren't coming in to the pile until after dark (usually).  and the pattern hasn't been consistent.

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bigbrad123 Said:

swanson Said:

bigbrad123 Said:
Looking for some late season bow strategies?  I know its the typical "find the food source and hunt the food source".  What are the typical late season food sources?  I hunt in eastern ND on a small farm along a river so its not a big spot.  There were 2 soybean fields just outside the small plot of woods I hunt and they are now plowed up.  The deer do not bed in the small spot where I hunt, but bed close (I think).  What about other things?  Is calling a good idea this late in the year?  Still seeing deer on the camera, but mostly nocturnal with no apparent pattern.  The 2 nice bucks I've had on the camera all year are still around after rifle season.  Even had 2 does and 2 fawns on camera recently (I thought the fawns would've been kicked out already). We have no snow here, but I can still see their trails quite well.  Any other ideas?  

I am feeding, and and actually seeing deer which ahsn't been the case all yr, but theyare holding up to far away. they aren't even hitting the pile until after dark although that maybe my fault maybe they just know I am there or somthign is up and won't commit, I might have to trick them into it, thats why I am asking for a decoy

thanks for the replies everyone.  I am in the same boat as Swanson.....have corn out at my normal feeding spot, but they aren't coming in to the pile until after dark (usually).  and the pattern hasn't been consistent.

I also don't own a decoy and don't hunt a very big spot where moving my stuff is much of an option.  Scouting is probably a good idea, but with my job until 5 pm and 2 kids at home, scouting isn't much of an option on the weekdays.  i guess i just need some big time luck!

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If it were me I would set up another blind closer to the bedding area.

Hunt Hard and NEVER GIVE UP

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Not a bad idea bucky, I think I am going to get crazy, and sneak in with wind in my face, put up decoy in short swamp grass, and hide in taller swampy grass and see if it brings em over


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bucksnbears Said:
leave the call/decoys at home for the year.

Yes exactly

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Saw a 150+ 5x6 chasing the hell out of 5 does a couple days ago North of Dunn Center in broad daylight, he was a brute. Didn't give a hoot about me drooling over him on the road. Over here for work so he is safe from me, was nice to see a big one like that though.

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Move away from your old Stinky baitpile,the deer left know are well educated and a little high strung to any noise or movement-good luck!!find a hay pen or feed lot and sit there!!..

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The weather has been too nice for them to be coming in early on a regular basis.  The does that didn't get bred the first time should be in estrous, but I think that will be ending very soon.
Forget about decoys.  The last thing you want to do is scare the does away, as they are the only decoys you need.  If they come in the bucks will be sure to follow at some point. 
If you want you can try moving off your bait towards the bedding area to intercept them earlier. 
What I've noticed during late season is that the more mature bucks will wait for some does or young bucks to begin feeding, then once they feel there is no danger, they will come in and feed.  But again, nasty weather and snow seems to be what triggers them to come earlier, as obviously they burn more energy trying to stay warm while bedded down during the day.  Also, if a storm blows through and locks them down for a night, you better be there the next night.
Patience and lots of hand-warmers and toe-warmers.     

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well too bad, i will try the decoy haha, atleast one time and I think  I will move away from the feed pile


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