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After the rut

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After the rut

Post by SlowBow on Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:19 pm

I know I tend to back off the deer hunting after the rut. Here in Maryland, our firearms season kicks in the weekend after Thanksgiving and runs two weeks, with a week break and then a few weeks of muzzleloader hunting. You can imagine what kind of pressure this puts on the public land. With deer on ice, I usually break out the shotgun and head for the duck marsh, or some cut corn to look for doves.

How many of you continue to bow hunt into the late segment of the season, and do you have any tips that could help those that do?
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Re: After the rut

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:57 pm

Tips: Yes - what I recommend is not being held hostage to areas that get gun hunted at all. We do hunt some properties that have gun dates but very few. I feel every day I spend in a bow only area is an investment in my future hunting - since I allow so many animals to walk. I hate the idea of trying to grow deer only to see them get blown away during gun seasons.

and if I pass and a bowhunter harvests some of these deer I let walk I am happy to help that hunter drag it out. Smile

So specifically after Thanksgiving - Blackbeard hunts the first weekend in December - Thur-Fri-Sat One of the very best bow only adventures and there is room for all of us. Start your search on the Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge website.

The West Virginia Bow Zone. The WVBZ is 4 bow only counties and the results are obvious. Archery Only allows game to flourish - the quality of the bowhunting holds up through Jan 1. Within a days drive for most folks east of the mississippi - I think it is the best quality bowhunting for deer in the east. VERY rugged. Only serious dedicated bowhunters who are good woodsman should consider this.

City Limits: we are very fortunate here in NC. We have an active state bowhunters org working all the time. One of the recent good developments is around 20 towns have gone to formally creating themselves (the town inside city limits) as "bow Zones" - where any licensed hunter can use unlimited doe tags - we buy 2 at a time for $10 -------------- also these towns have changed old laws prohibiting the processing of animals in your yard - so hunters cannot be stopped from dressing game or hanging them in the yard -------------- another change is formally allowing you to shoot your bow in your yard. Obvious here to be friendly and gain trust of neighbors - but the law is on the bowhunters side. And lastly all of these towns offer an "winter bow only" season of about a month. Hunters can use any of the 6 tags that come automatically with their license or use those extra doe tags I mentioned earlier. This can keep you in the woods into mid Feb. Inside city limits bowhunters can be very beneficial lowering deer/car collisions.

Generally I don't like late seasons because I do not want to risk our buck crop getting harvested as fawns and worse bucks after shedding antlers - but inside city limits we SHOOT!

We also have a BCRS program here in NC - which is essentially a program where you can become "certified" and "insured" which in turn gets you invited to more 'bow-only' properties that you could possibly hunt. Urban hunting lacks some of the qualities that make "great" hunting - but in your total mix it can be beneficial - one if you like to shoot a lot of deer - and also for that transition period of Nov 1 thru Dec 1 when gun seasons are going wild. Frankly I could not care less to shoot a deer pushed accidentally by another hunter and prefer to stay on archery only properties.

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Re: After the rut

Post by bowonly on Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:32 pm

Here in Louisiana there are less than a handful of public hunting areas that are archery only so I contend with the late season nocturnal deer. Since the deer are now moving barely at all during legal shooting hours I tend to try to sneak into the fringes and sometimes even invading their bedding areas. This is risky and usually only works for the first or second hunt, but sometimes it pays off big.
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Re: After the rut

Post by Backwaters Bowhunter on Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:20 pm

I just keep hunting. Thick stuff is where the deer wind up here. Thick creek bottoms, pine thickets, cut over, places most people don't want to go.

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Re: After the rut

Post by iamsam68 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:12 am

I like to hit thick stuff off the beaten trail. Bucks are still moving here. Have not been able to get out but I have been getting a lot of windshield time and have still been able to see bucks nose to the ground during the day. http://fox6now.com/2013/12/07/kenosha-county-sheriffs-deputy-hits-12-pointer-in-squad/

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Re: After the rut

Post by hoyt on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:02 pm

The last gun season in the area of Shawnee National Forest I hunt will end this Sunday...not that it matters much..didn't hear a shot this morning. But, bucks will continue to look for does around here into Feb.

I got more daylight pictures of bucks on my cams last season in Jan and Feb than any other time.

I hunt till it's over last part of Jan..when I can stand the weather.

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Re: After the rut

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:10 am

Blackbeard last weekend 200 bowhunters tagged 130 deer and 20 wild hogs on a 3 day weekend hunt. 6000 +/- acres primitive campsite w showers and walkin coolers for deer. Wilderness hunting no foodplots/baits - no farms. Bow Only since the ealry 50s. 75% game bagged is amazing success for any hunt and for public land nothing else comes close.
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Re: After the rut

Post by PineywoodsBow on Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:27 pm

bowonly wrote:Here in Louisiana there are less than a handful of public hunting areas that are archery only so I contend with the late season nocturnal deer.  Since the deer are now moving barely at all during legal shooting hours I tend to try to sneak into the fringes and sometimes even invading their bedding areas.  This is risky and usually only works for the first or second hunt, but sometimes it pays off big.

x2.


Stalking them in their beds is the only way this late in the season.

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Re: After the rut

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