How to Hunt the Late Season for Deer

The late deer season can be a rewarding challenge if you can brave the cold weather and snow, while sticking to the basics of afternoon food source movements and morning secondary rut opportunities. There are several strategies for hunting late season whitetails, and whether you are bowhunting or using a firearm, the same tactics still apply. There is still a lot of deer hunting that takes place when December rolls around, and here is how to get the job done, during deer hunting’s annual late season final push. Make sure not to miss out on this exceptional period of the hunting season, so that you can enjoy, snow, rutting bucks and frozen food sources – often all at the same time!

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 42 comments
Rob Cline jr - December 5, 2018

Good info I was just tying to figure out how I was going to hunt the late season been a crazy year Sunday is the last day of deer season where I live and still haven't got a deer but next year will be better with everything I've learned from your videos and books thank you for all the good info

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Can’t get enough Outdoors - December 5, 2018

Great tips congratulations again on that dandy buck!

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My Slice Of Heaven Outdoors - December 5, 2018

Great info again Jeff, I definitely learned something from this video

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michael gomez - December 5, 2018

There's no secondary rut.
There's only 1 rut. What you call a secondary rut is the layoff of the rut itself. It slows down.

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Dan Planck - December 5, 2018

Good vid and info Jeff

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Mcgyver's shed - December 5, 2018

I've always been shy to hunt close to or overlooking bedding areas or food sources for fear of bumping deer to abutting properties. I completely get how playing the wind and all the other usual considerations still need to be considered but…. Based on what you said here would it be fair to say that the late season offers a better opportunity to do this….or at least is it the time of year where it's worth the risk? Also, as for shooting does earlier in the season; we commonly only have 1 tag per hunter here and you have to choose between a buck or doe. If I need/want to harvest a doe then….. should I be waiting as late as possible to do that for the reasons you mentioned? Sorry for the long post but this video brought up more questions for me than I thought it would, lol. Thank you again for being so willing to pass all this knowledge on. I hope others realize how huge a help your info is considering how long it takes most to acquire it!

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Matt Kontyko - December 5, 2018

Great video! I also enjoyed the hunt where you harvested that buck, great footage! What would you say is best to plant in food plots if you want to have something for the late season when the acorns are all gone?

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Randle Richardson - December 5, 2018

This is the video I’ve been waiting on brother.

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Randle Richardson - December 5, 2018

It’s rifle time here in TN.

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Randle Richardson - December 5, 2018

That’s why I ain’t killed any does on my 40+ acre place I’ve got up from my house where I killed old broke horn earlier with a muzzle loader. I found out over the weekend that there a old big buck running around here where I live. A friend up the road seen him twice this year. He told me he’d bet money it’s got at least 20 points with all the stickers on its rack. I know it took a big one to break the horn on that one I got earlier. Maybe he will come through before season closes here. I’m goin hunt more in the eve. This place has honey suckle and briars little thickets every where good luck on the does brother and GOD BLESS you and your family Amen.

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AshtangaBoy - December 5, 2018

that is one giant 10 gallon hat, lol

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Shawn Myers - December 5, 2018

What a great deer . Wuz that a Barnes bullet that I saw u load in ur muzzle loader ???

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Tom Giovanni - December 5, 2018

I hunt an area that has been classified as a CWD county so I get the weekend after Christmas and another weekend late in January for shotgun hunting. This is my first year on this property and I'm not sure if I should set a ground blind on the edge of the corn fields or set a treestand in the "staging area" between the bedding and the food.

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Evan Foster - December 5, 2018

Ive got a big buck and a bunch of little bucks on my farm down in West TN however i have not gotten my harvest yet this season. Unfortunately missed on a buck youth hunt, still hurts me. Im gonna try to take advantage of this secondary rut as much as i can

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ga9803 - December 5, 2018

This is extremely helpful, especially since late season is going to be my money maker this year since it's been so weird weather wise and I haven't had a chance at a decent legal deer since the early season opener back in September here in Pennsylvania

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Rick Parshall - December 5, 2018

Always look forward to your vids Jeff.. one private land sit this AM and I saw a few doe family groups.. took 3shits at two different deer and missed??? Thought my Savage Axis 270 was dialed in good on paper… but that deer fever….

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travis smith - December 5, 2018

Are u coming to Michigan around spring summer time to do presentations?

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Jeff James - December 6, 2018

Is this hunt on video,I cant seem to find it

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livewire 247 - December 7, 2018

Great video and beautiful buck ya got there!! Congrats

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Jahred Klahre - December 7, 2018

Nice buck!

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KAG2020 - December 8, 2018

I can't wait until I get my 1st buck!

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Andy Higgins - December 10, 2018

Why are you handling each pellet? Open both ends of speed loader take ball starter and push entire load through at once

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Randy Trollinger - December 10, 2018

Finally a good informative video, thank you

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Hunting Fishing - December 12, 2018

Hi my name is kevin I love deer hunting pics if it is ok with you can you send me deer hubting pics to my email please can you please

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Hunting Fishing - December 12, 2018

I love deer hunting pics

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Hunting Fishing - December 12, 2018

This is my email kevmgarnett@gmail.com

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Hunting Fishing - December 12, 2018

Kevmgarnett@gmail.com

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Hunting Fishing - December 12, 2018

That's my email

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Hunting Fishing - December 12, 2018

If it is ok with you can you please send me pics to my email

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Hunting Fishing - December 12, 2018

Can you please

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fairdale8810 - December 14, 2018

Late season, mid-December and on, once the Ag fields have been harvested, what are the primary food sources? Are acorns rotten by now? Trying to figure what my deer will be doing now that the AG field (corn and beans) are harvested and oaks are empty. Thanks for any help

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CollinOutdoors - January 1, 2019

I’ve only gun hunted in the past and went out muzzleloading this year and my god is it a hassle compared to gun 😂

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Benjamin Filbert - August 22, 2019

I'm sick of all these hunting videos. No matter which one I watch, no matter which part I click on the video, it's always some asshole talking and talking and talking. I want to watch raw videos of the HUNT. It's the hunt that matters to me, not someone's commentary about it.

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Nicholas Trogden - November 19, 2019

Can you tell me more about late season December and January in kentucky rural farm areas

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Nicholas Trogden - November 19, 2019

Been watching your videos alot and have learned alot thanks

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Micah Thornton - November 24, 2019

I quit listening when you said "best time to harvest doe". Yep that's what I live to do shoot pregnant doe.

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Waylon Mark - December 2, 2019

I always have deer come in at dark 4-5 hour sits with nothing till it's too late to shoot ,I call and rattle and move locations and woods but still they surprise me idk what I'm doing anymore lol

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Fermiticus - December 5, 2019

"How to hunt late season" (on my property)….get em in bow season, because after gun season starts, they are GONE and won't show up again until Spring.

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Roberta Yoder - December 6, 2019

Not a big boy for you pass one that size during this horrible season in Wisconsin to see bucks love late season

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TMANSHOBBIES - December 22, 2019

A year ago on Christmas Morning 2018 at midnight, I had a group of BIG Bucks come to my feeder. They returned back to their pattern for food. I have NOT been getting that much pictures of deer just very small bucks and does and fawns. I'm hoping they will show up again!

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Hunting Fishing - December 27, 2019

Nice men I love you shows

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bossman2237 - January 1, 2020

Great Vidoes Jeff. Just stumbled upon your website and YouTube channel. Have you ever built a small hill hoping that deer would use it as a wind break? Supplement that immediate area with switch grass and conifers. Great videos, hope to own some land one day and use some of your ideas. Good luck in 2020

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