This is the first year i have hunted exclusively only public land all deer season (they banned hunting on the private I've been on the past five season). Could have killed a truck load of young bucks throughout archery season and never been able connect with doe but have seen well over 20-25 but this late season i am really struggling to locate deer. Every time i find them in the deepest furthest back areas of the public, two days later it gets driven and the deer move off or on another piece of the public. My question is how do you guys bow hunt public this time of the year? do you find fresh sign the day of your hunt and hunt over it that night? cannot figure the deer out because of all the drives on the weekend. or should i wave the white flag and just start getting ready for turkey hunting? Thanks.
You have to keep on the fresh sign. Deer are slaves to their stomachs and bucks especially this time of year have to feed heavily to recuperate from the rut. Find what they are eating and hunt the cover nearby. Deer when they can are bedded close to food. Good luck!
Thickest cover you can find, find the areas that don't get pushed
Hunt edges n borders. They will be where you don't expect them. Near rds etc.
This time of year its all about food and safety. Most of the deer Im seeing are herded up. Green fields with cover and afternoon sits. See if you can find anything green. I have quite a bit of Honeysuckle on my property and this time of year the deer are all over it. A rye field would be your best best with good cover close by.
I have been far off the beaten path. Seems everywhere on this wma gets driven. Never thought of hunting fields because of the easy access. Last time I scouted didn't see to many green fields left if any.
Like cook said, focus on evening hunts. Deer are being driven still and with them being herded up you have to hunt the thick stuff or right on the thick edges. That's where the deer are spending there time this time of year. It provides security and protection from the cold and wind.
"When it absolutely, positively must be destroyed over night" U.S. Marines.
Don't ask me I spent 5 hours in Bayville didn't see a tail. I hunted thick woods next to a swamp nothing!
You have to be where the deer are. Drive around and find where they are "yarding" up, backyard feeders, thick cedar or bedding areas on private land close to the wma you are hunting. I have always found that pressured deer that reside deep into a particular woods in late season are extremely hard to hunt as they are scared 24/7 and do not move much in daylight. The deer that reside very close to the roads in small thick areas usually overlooked by most hunters will hold deer. I have found and killed a couple big bucks in late seasons within a "stones throw" to some wma parking lots. If you find deer, make a good plan to get in and out without disturbing their safe spot.