Late Season Bow Tactics Discussion: IA + Midwest

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Late Season Bow Tactics Discussion: IA + Midwest

Unread postby MATexbow » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:51 am

Have had the blessing of a whole season hunting as a resident in Iowa, a dream I never thought possible until I got temporary employment for the past 8 months. Everything worked out and suddenly I had a whole season to make it happen. Had many close encounters and a few heartbreaking opportunities that didn't pan out, and now I have one last shot to make it happen, Late season bow from Jan 5th to the 10th.

I have never hunted late-late bow season and I have a basic understanding of some of the principles: Food-Bed, will stay on that pattern till they are bumped, its feast or famine in terms of finding the deer.

Some of my more pressing questions that I would love to ask and make this thread a place of discussion for: What do people normally see in terms of food sources deer are keying in on during early Jan in the midwest? are they still hitting cut corn? are they mostly targeting natural browse? I know the HP guys like locust trees late season.

When bow hunting at this time of year, is ground game more effective because of how little cover there is in the tree? Do folks like to approach it from a tracking first to ID activity and then hone in on a kill spot?

Would love to hear what more experienced late season hunters are thinking, and figured a few of us would be on with the holidays upon us!

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Re: Late Season Bow Tactics Discussion: IA + Midwest

Unread postby UntouchableNess » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:10 am

Food-bed is my experience. Toss in some bitter cold to get them moving prior to sunset, which doesn't look like it is going to happen this year.

The neighbors were harvesting corn this past weekend, and they still have some fields to go. The smell coming off fresh cut corn will draw deer in. You might look to find some. One of our fields was harvested late November, it might still be drawing them in, I might give it a sit during late ML.

A couple years ago, the neighbor had a brassica plot. The corner of the property I hunt was between it and bedding. I saw evening movement of the local deer herd almost nightly.

For late ML, I'm going to be hunting some brushy creek bottoms and waterways surrounded by ag. The deer have been pushed out of the river bottoms by shotgun season. Weather is really nice so they don't need heavy cover. Out in the open ag ground, they can see for some distance, which gives them some comfort. One approach I'm planning is using a fence line to conceal movement as I get to the top of a hill that over looks a brushy waterway. Sneak in mid-afternoon, sit with my back to the fence, and hope something comes out of it while there is still shooting light. I rarely take the bow this late in the year, but I was able to stand in a blow down tree in this fence line a couple of years ago and arrowed a doe as she passed by.

Good luck!
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