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Late Season Hunting
    WeHuntSC.com - A Green Food Plot provides a good food source for deer in the winter
  A nice green food plot provides a good food source for deer in the winter

I always enjoy the holiday season for many reasons.  One of those reasons is that there is just so much to hunt!  Whether you?re into hunting deer, waterfowl, rabbits, or predators?this time of the year has something for everyone.

By this time of the year the leaves have fallen off the trees giving very good visibility in the woods.  The greater visibility offers many advantages for deer hunters.  With the leaves on the ground you can obviously see further which helps you locate deer before they locate you!  Early in the season sometimes deer can easily, what some deer hunters say, ?get in on you? or ?slip up on you? because of the cover offered by the heavy foliage of the forest.  Though, late in the season this cover is gone and areas which are previously invisible now are easily seen.  With all the leaves on the ground shots can also be squeezed in areas that before seemed too ?tight? to shoot in during earlier in the season.  Usually the weather is cooler by now and many hunters feel that the cold weather, combined with the less number of food sources for deer, keeps the deer moving about more.

On the other side of the discussion for late season hunting is the fact that by now deer are on high-alert because they ?feel? the pressure from being hunted and therefore move more at night than during the day (or during visible shooting light).   Last year I put out 50lbs of corn on a stand and hunted it in the morning and afternoon and one day later every kernel of corn was gone, but I hadn?t seen any deer.  The deer were eating the corn throughout the night and staying out of sight during the daytime.  I kept the cycle of putting corn out over and over for a couple of days and realized that I was going to go broke before I saw any of these deer during hunting hours.  We had a group of 9 does that I was coming in during the night and I was simply paying money to feed them!

Late in the season deer hunting gets a little tougher for a couple reasons, but it also gets a little easier for a couple of reasons as well.  I will say, as a rookie food plot guy, that we?re seeing a lot more deer in the fall plots late in the season than we did early in the season.  I think the cold weather factors into that mix.  That is to say that the frost hitting the Tecomate Seed food plot plants has turned their starches to sugar and they taste better to the deer.  When the deer?s food sources begin to lessen and you have a lush, green food plot sitting in the middle of dead, grey plants and trees, it does look intriguing even to the human eye.  I imagine that we?ll start working a couple more plots in anticipation for late season hunting next season. 

Another thing to consider is that it?s also duck hunting season!  In late December Waterfowlers have gone through the first part of the season and now the second season has come in.  If the deer are only moving at night in your area then you can always opt to go duck hunting (if you hunt both).  By this time of the year duck hunters have scouted their swamps/ponds/rivers and have a pretty good idea of where the birds are coming in.  The cold weather is also what duck hunters love because it normally means that more ducks are in the area.  

On another note, rabbit hunters can now carry their guns with their dogs and get after some ?bunns?.  Many rabbits are on the run by this time of the year and will be on the move even more so after deer season ends.  Coyotes and other predators are also on the move as winter approaches.  I may be wrong with this statement, but I think coyotes breed around late January / early February in our area and the period before they mate is a period of a lot of movement and great hunting for predator hunters.

Late in the year is a great time for SC hunters for many reasons.  What is it that you like to hunt late in the season and why?



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