In the Wild with Greg Wagner

FINDING DOES IN THE LATE SEASON by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
December 29, 2009, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Deer, Hunting | Tags: ,

All photos courtesy of Katie Stacey of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Nebraska’s Late Firearm Deer Hunting Season targeting antlerless whitetail deer in the Season Choice Area-Numbered Units opens on Friday morning, New Year’s Day and continues through January 15. And, if you’re wondering where to find those whitetail doe groups with the deep snow cover and cold temperatures, here are some of my suggestions, being a longtime late  season deer hunter.

– THE FRONTS. Weather fronts, and particularly weather-makers, seem to really affect deer movement in the late firearm season. Deer will feed heavily a couple days prior to the arrival of a cold front and then for a couple days after one.

– THE LATE AFTERNOONS. The early morning hours around sunrise can be downright frigid this time of year, and deer know if they wait the temps will warm up. Deer also realize that they can conserve body heat by waiting to move to feeding areas late in the day. Hunt those late afternoon hours to the end of legal shooting time (30-minutes after sunset)!

– FOOD. Deer need lots of high-energy foods, everything from corn to acorns, this time of year to maintain body heat. So, find a food source the deer are consistently using and the trails leading to these major food sources. Position yourself accordingly in a treestand or ground blind for a good, safe shot.

– SOUTH SLOPES. If you’re hunting bedding areas, check the south-facing slopes or any areas facing South. These areas tend to be warmer as they are sun-exposed and offer protection from cold, bitter north winds. Whitetail doe groups tend to prefer these types of areas in winter.

– THEIR BEDS. From my field experiences, whitetails periodically leave their beds during the day to stretch their legs, urinate, groom and perhaps browse. I make it my business to locate these secluded bedding areas as well as the main trails leading to and from them.

I hope these suggestions aid you (as they have me) in harvesting a whitetail doe or two for the freezer in the late firearm season.

Good hunting, see you out there!


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…seeing a good number of deer feeding during the “heat” of the day right now – early/mid afternoon…as Wags mentioned, when the day is at its coldest – in the early morning – the deer are most likely to be where they are the warmest…can’t say I blame them, I have had some difficulty leaving the warmth of the down comforter as well…


Comment by aehershberger

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