Have You Ever Killed a Late-Season Buck?
|Rack Report Details|
|Time of Year:||December 2016|
|Place:||Linn County, Iowa|
|Weapon:||Firearm Shotgun, Muzzleloader|
We've all had that buck that seems to hang around all the time. They're always frequenting trail cameras and stand locations. Ultimately, they live very close by and spend most of their time in that area. Grant Olson of Whitetail Properties found himself hunting such a buck this season.
This is a buck that I had on camera early in the year, Olson said. The buck had been a regular on the property early in the fall. With a small acreage, the deer spent time on many other property owners, too, [though]."
This particular buck was new to the farm in 2016, but it spent the majority of its time there. Once December rolled around, it was hitting the turnip plots hard. Olson didn't hunt the property very much so as to keep from pressuring the deer.
He was surprisingly visible in the daylight, Olson said. But just in the specific places he felt unseen, or protected.
That's a very good piece of information from Olson. He's exactly right. In many cases, bucks will show their faces in daylight — but only in certain locations. Knowing where those spots are can mean all the difference.
I have a small standing cornfield that is the late-season destination food source for the deer in the area, Olson continued. With the shotgun season winding down, the snow starting to pile up, and the temperatures going below zero, the cornfield became the [preferred] food source. I had seen the deer a couple of times early in the week without an opportunity for a shot.
That all changed as the season came to a close. The day Olson finally tagged this buck was a brutal one. Temperatures were -15 degrees. The wind was blowing out of the west at 5 MPH. The deer were pounding the food.
On the last Sunday of shotgun season, the high temperatures were -15 degrees, and the deer headed to the corn early. The deer would feed out of the turnip plot, and then end up in the corn. All the deer that I could see, headed to the corn a full 30 minutes before shooting hours were over. I was able to make a 65-yard shot and anchored him with it.
The buck barely went anywhere. And Olson had his deer. The hunt for the homebody buck was over.
Having the opportunity to see a deer, and not get a shot opportunity, is a great rollercoaster ride, Olson said. Will he be here tomorrow? Did someone else get him? All those questions run through your mind every day. It was a great experience. I will most likely never shoot another deer this wide again. It is so rewarding to plant the plots and have them work how they are supposed to.
Bonus Read: 7 Best Late-Season Food Sources for Deer
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