Rifle season is long gone. The rut is finished. Duck season is in full gear. And the cold of winter is here.
Sure, late season Arkansas deer hunting is tough, and it can be a little harder to make yourself take to the stand this time of year. But if you’re considering hitting the leftover holiday eggnog instead of getting out there to bow hunt, you may be missing your best chance to harvest the monster buck you’ve been waiting on all season.
During January and February, there are fewer Arkansas deer hunters in the woods than any other time during the season. That means promising conditions for the serious bow hunter. Here are a few tips to take into consideration for taking that late-season buck:
1. Comfort Zone – The deer, pressured heavily for the last few months, begin to settle down and get back in their normal routines. Try to remember all of those heavily traveled deer paths you found back in August and September and set up close by, or head back to your early-season bow stands. As the deer get back into their comfort zone and normal patterns, so should you.
2. From Breeding to Feeding - Because the rut is long gone, and bucks are trying replenish their body fat lost during breeding, setting up between bedding and feeding areas is your best bet. Find the most wholesome remaining food source, or hunt bait or a food plot. Also, don’t forget about water. Hunting a water hole can be just as successful as hunting food sources.
3. Sit and Stalk – Though Arkansas is generally pretty mild, many parts of the state will see cold weather and even a bit of snowfall during January and February. During periods of below freezing weather, deer will conserve energy and often move during the warmest part of the day. Stay out all day and use a combination of still hunting and stalking.
Stay on the stand during the middle of the day and afternoon. Get up and stalk early and late. You’d be surprised how effective this can be on getting you hot on a deer’s trail, especially if there is snowfall.
Have a few late season Arkansas deer hunting tips of your own? Come inside the Arkansas Hunting Forum and share your knowledge with hunters from around the state.