bowhunter in the woods

LATE SEASON PLANS

Dec 18, 2019

Courtesy of Bill Winke

In re-capping the rut, I targeted four bucks going into the season. 

I killed one of them (The Wide 10), one got killed by a neighbor (The Old 8), one I spooked on November 9 or 10th when I was changing stands during a morning hunt (Lone Oak Buck) and one fell off the radar (Tight-Rack II). With that as the backdrop, here are my late season plans.

After running cameras for a couple of weeks during Iowa’s shotgun seasons, I have found back one of the two that still survive – Tight-Rack II He will be my primary target going into the late season.

This buck has shown up twice in daylight during the past two weeks of sporadic monitoring – I will run a camera in one spot for a few days and then move it. I found him in spots that are about 1/3 of a mile apart.

Most recently, Tight-Rack II was on his feet in one of my best traps at 10:00 AM!  In one photo, he actually looked like he was dogging a doe.  That was two days ago.

So maybe the second rut cycle has him on his feet a bit in daylight.  I can start hunting him again Monday, so I will get right after him at that point – in this spot.

Otherwise, I will probably wait to hunt him in the other area (a food source) until it turns colder and he starts to focus on feeding more aggressively in daylight.

AGGRESSIVE VS PASSIVE

Normally, I am pretty passive with my late season plans, preferring to wait for cold snaps to hunt, but this guy seems to be looking at a few does so I am going to hunt him more aggressively the first couple of days and then back off – trying to catch him on that second cycle rut pattern.

I will basically be hunting him in a staging area (an opening) near a bedding area.  This is not really a feeding area this year because the drought killed all the clover I had growing here.

There are still some locust pods that the deer are feeding on, and hedge leaves, but mostly it is just a spot that they filter through before bedding in the morning and right after they come out of their beds in the afternoon.

However, when it comes to hunting right on food sources, I will be more patient – again, waiting until the weather turns colder.  Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

RIGORS OF THE RUT

Looks like Tight-Rack II lost his left eye during the rut.   I have seen this happen before and the bucks generally came back with a slightly messed up antler on that side.

I guess, if I don’t get him this fall and he survives the winter, we will find out.

Good luck if you still have a tag and stay tuned to my Video Blog as I try to put a move on old Tight-Rack II.

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