You can still tag a buck after the rut if you know where to look.
We all want to hunt bucks during the rut. It’s just plain fun! The bucks are on the move; they respond to scents, calls and rattles; and you’re likely to see deer you never even knew existed.
As exciting as the rut is, late seasons have some big advantages over the rut, at least in terms of patterning bucks. About the same time deer are getting over their mating urges, they’re beginning to prepare for the colder temperatures and lean food times of winter.
They tend to group up again and frequent sheltered draws near winter food sources – places that offer a buffer against the wind but also easy access to food.
When the next deer seasons roll around and you start thinking about vacation days, save one or two for a late-season hunt.
Probably the best time to locate late-season hotspots is immediately after hunting season ends. Deer sign will be fresh and concentrated, pinpointing where to focus your efforts toward the end of next season.
One word of caution, however: Avoid disturbing deer if severe weather has already set it. In harsher climates, whitetails need every bit of energy, and being pushed out of their shelter can be stressful. As an alternative, you can often locate deer shelter areas while scouting just before turkey season in the spring. Read Recent Tip of the Week:
• Stop, Look and Listen: Don’t let the excitement of the moment take your focus off the deer.