There is Still Time to Tag a Late Season Deer

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Hunting from a blind on the edge of an agricultural field is a great way to tag a late season deer.

Missouri’s late archery season remains open until January 15. There is still time to add meat to your freezer, or to tag that wall-hanger you had your heart set on back in October.

Late season deer hunting comes down to food sources. First, you need to locate where deer are feeding. Then you can make a plan to intercept them as they come and go at dawn and dusk. But you really need to be on top of your game this time of year. Hunters have likely educated the deer that are still around over the last few months. Because of this, you need to mix up your strategies.

It doesn’t take long for deer to learn danger lurks in the tops of trees. After one or two hunters bust a deer from a treestand, you can rest assured that deer is going to start looking up. During the late season, I prefer to hunt on the ground.

Hunting from a ground blind has some advantages. One of those advantages is that you can take a heater with you. I’m old enough now to put all the tough guy stuff aside. If I can hunt comfortably, I will. Sitting in a lawn chair with a few thousands BTUs pumping out onto my feet sure makes for a more enjoyable experience than freezing in near zero degree temperatures.

Ground blinds have gained popularity for deer hunting over the past decade as numerous companies have produced quality, lightweight, portable blinds that serve hunter needs. These manufactured blinds work well for the ground hunter, and are tough to beat.

However, you can create a blind from the natural items found on the property you hunt. I have had success hunting late in the season from blown down trees, ditch banks and just sitting a couple of rows deep in a standing cornfield.

If you can locate a blown down tree near the edge of a picked agricultural field, you may be on to something. Crawl inside and give it some time. If no deer materialize, quietly slip through the woods until you find another promising looking spot and settle in for a while. Carry a saw with you since you may need to cut out a place to sit and shooting windows.

Years ago, I decided to try ambushing deer that were feeding in a picked bean field by hunting from inside a cornfield. It was a great decision. On the first evening, I shot a nice eight-pointer. Since that hunt, I have slipped into many cornfields to hunt deer. Use the standing corn as a blind, especially now because if you can find a standing cornfield this late in the game, you will likely find a lot of deer using it.

Deer use ditches like highways. If you can find cover along a ditch through open country, you want to give that spot a second look. And you can stay hidden on your way to spots like this by walking down in the ditch. Try to position yourself on the opposite side of the ditch you think the deer will travel, so when a shot materializes, the deer won’t be right on top of you.

See you down the trail…

Brandon Butler


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