Do Not Pass Up Late Season Bucks
Kevin Felts 11.27.17
From mid-December to the last weekend of hunting season is an excellent time to be in the woods.
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, hunting pressure will start to slack up. People change gears around the last part of November and into the early December. They go from hunting and Thanksgiving to football season and Christmas.
The majority of does were bred in October and November. The few remaining does that were not bred will be chased when they go into estrus. Between the cycles of the unbred does, hungry bucks will be gorging themselves wherever they can find food. By mid-December, frost has usually killed off most of the weeds. Deer, like goats, are foragers. Anywhere there is a food source–feeders, acorns, weeds, oats, rye grass–is probably going to be a good place to look for hungry bucks.
Besides all that, there is usually less hunting pressure on public hunting lands in December.
Every couple of years, my buddies and I like to go camping on some nearby public hunting lands. The campsites are only accessible by boat. From opening weekend in November to around the first weekend of December, the campsites stay booked. Starting around early-to-mid-December the sites are pretty much empty. Hunters have either bagged a deer or given up and turned their attention to Christmas and football.
On a personal note I consider myself a late season hunter. Over the decades I have probably harvested more deer in December than November. Here in southeast Texas, the weather can still be warm at the start of November. Opening weekend of 2017, temps around here were in the 80s. Who wants to sit in a stand and get eaten up by bugs? Not when you can wait a couple of weeks, let the weather cool off, and let the hunting pressure ease up.
If you haven’t harvested a deer by early December, do not give up. The best part of the season is still ahead.