The Best Time of Day to Hunt Deer Late Season: All the Answers Here!

A lot of hunters claim that late-season hunting is impossible, as you won't be able to get as many games! While there is some truth to that, it's not entirely impossible to catch a few deer. All it takes is the right methods and tips to have successful hunts, with time being the essence.

So what’s the best time of day to hunt deer late season? Read on as I’ll be sharing to you when you should hunt deer during the late hunting season and some tips on how to do so!

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When’s the Best Time of Day to Hunt Deer Late Season?

Are you hunting late-season whitetails anytime soon? Sure, it may seem a bit more challenging, but it’s also a magical time to start hunting! But you also have to take note that it’s a bit different from the typical hunting season, especially when it comes to the time you hunt.

With that said, when should you begin hunting during the late season? We have to look into the different factors, which are:

The Deer’s Daily Routine

The routine tends to change depending on the food source throughout their year. However, this is the typical movement habits of deer:

  • Deer would begin their day a few hours before it grows dark, which is about 3-6 PM depending on where you are and the season.
  • Food is the top priority when deer are active, and though they are still alert, they can move to food sources a bit more recklessly. The more alert they are to any signs of danger while they are eating, though!
  • When daylight fades, deer are even more alert, though even if they are nocturnal, deer don’t have good night vision. However, state regulations have strict rules on the time to hunt, which you have to follow.
  • At night, deer are browsing and grazing, then going to their beddings for sleep before going out again during the early morning. They then get up at around 11-1 PM for strolling and getting a snack, then bed down afterward.
  • The deer’s least active period is around 1-4PM when they are usually at rest.

As the information shows, morning and evening are the best times to hunt deer, with the mid-day activity not being the ideal time to go out. However, you may be able to take advantage of these times, as some rut bucks would move around during the midday.

The Deer Behavior During the Seasons 

Did you know deer behavior changes depending on the season? I explain it in more detail:

  • Early Spring: Deer are moving earlier and bedding down later, looking for forage.
  • Late Spring: Deer move little and usually stick to places with the best food sources.
  • Summer: Deer would bed down most of the hot days, foraging at night.
  • Early Fall: There are more harvest and bounty, with deer eating as much as they want and going farther for it.
  • Med-Fall: This is when most hunters go out to the field, eating and resting three cycles per day.
  • Rut: This is when deer would move at odder hours, moving erratically and quickly.
  • Late Fall: Bucks will still behave erratically and become restless, with food becoming even more valuable.
  • Winter: When the rut ends and winter begins, deer will forage in larger areas, moving during mid-day for warmth.

With all this in mind, we can see the movement cycle in both morning and evening. But where and exactly when they move differs on the season. It’s important to know what deer are looking for to get our best shot, especially noting the late season.

Read more: What Do Deer Eat In The Winter? How to Feed Deer During the Cold

Other Factors Determining Deer’s Movement 

There are also other factors you should take note of, which factor deer movement during the late season:

  • The amount of light is a factor when deer are feeding, with full moons driving deer to food.
  • Temperature is a crucial factor, particularly during the fall. If there are cold fronts, these would have deer out of bed earlier, foraging for longer
  • Pressure and fear exist in deer as well, and when they know they are among humans, they move more often, changing their typical activity cycle

Wrapping It Up

Hunting during the late season can be a bit of a challenge, but when equipped with the right knowledge, it is possible. Make sure you plan ahead and follow the appropriate times deer are usually out so you have more of a chance to get that catch! Next up, you should begin learning what equipment and strategies to use for hunting deer.

I hope this article answers your question, “when’s the best time of day to hunt deer late season?” Now that you know the answer, begin planning out your hunts to this advice now!

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