How late is too late to get to the woods?

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4khorn
 
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How late is too late to get to the woods?

Postby 4khorn » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:47 am

Now that I am working a day job, my opportunities to hunt on weekdays are going to be limited. I may be able to hurry out after work during the early season though. My question is how late do you think is too late to get to the woods? I hunt feeding areas so most deer movement I see occurs in the last hour of daylight. I shouldn't have trouble being on stand by 4:30.
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pgchambers
 
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Re: How late is too late to get to the woods?

Postby pgchambers » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:34 am

You should be fine, at least until the time change. I've gotten out after 5:00, and still had deer at last light in the early season. In fact, last night we watched deer pouring into a bean field around 7:30. We had been messing around in the area setting up a blind and cutting branches all the way until 6:00, and the deer still came. Just tag out early, and no worries, right?
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Jslotter
 
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Re: How late is too late to get to the woods?

Postby Jslotter » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:20 pm

I personally like to sit at least 4 hours when hunting. I don't really like to rush to my stand either if Its crunch time to beat the sun. If you can get in and get out quickly and not kick up the woods in the process, hunting late in the day into early evening shouldn't be a problem.
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Cut N Run
 
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Re: How late is too late to get to the woods?

Postby Cut N Run » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:20 pm

As long as you don't get busted going in, 4:30 should be a good time to get on stand. There is still plenty of daylight before the time changes on a sunny day. An overcast day might be another story, especially if rain is forecast for that night. I find that the deer move earlier if there is cloud cover and rain likely.

I killed a doe the first day I hunted last year at 6:15 PM (on a sunny day). I went after work and got on stand by 5:15 PM. Because I was able to hang the stand the day before and did not have to go very deep into the woods to get to it, getting set up quickly and quietly was pretty easy. The deer just happened to pass that stand site on a trail in easy range and gave me an good shot.

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shaman
 
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Re: How late is too late to get to the woods?

Postby shaman » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:24 am

It depends.

Here are the factors I'd be looking at in making the determination:

1) Time of the beginning or end of legal hunting.
2) Method (bow, gun, etc)
3) Type of stand or blind

In the mornings, I've killed deer up to 11 AM. However, the vast majority have come in the second hour after the start of legal hunting. In the evening, The largest number have come in the last half-hour before the end of legal hunting.

Bow? Look I haven't been more than a few feet up a tree with a climber and had a nice buck come in. If you hunt off a climber, I would say that you need to add a half hour to whatever calculation you make. On the other hand, if you have a ladder stand or ground blind that you can slip into without a lot of sound. Gun? no penalty there.

If you're hunting with a gun and the deer are feeding 200 yards away, slipping in an hour before end of legal hunting is quite reasonable. It is not the best, but it will work. In the mornings, waiting until a half-hour after sunrise is not the worst thing you can do to your hunt.

Bow or primitive smokepole? You'll want extra time. You'll need an extra half-hour at least.

What's optimum? Again, it depends. I prefer to be up in my stand just at first light in my ladder stands. I can wait up to a half-hour extra for the ground blinds. In the afternoon, I go out between 2 and 3 hours before the end of legal hunting.

I recently finished compiling my deer log-- thirty years' worth. (there's a link on my weblog). One thing I found is that I've never bagged a deer between 11 and 3. That's true. It's due to a lot of things, but mostly it comes down to being a father with kids, and needing to deal with being a family man. A noontime hunt during the height of season is quite reasonable. Deer move all the time at midday. In fact, there are a couple of spots where you can almost be assured of a deer sighting at that time.
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Big Horse
 
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Re: How late is too late to get to the woods?

Postby Big Horse » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:19 pm

Any time during legal hunting hours is good. 20 minutes in stand is all it may take.

My shortest hunt ever, i climbed in stand, sat down and looked at my watch... I heard something over my shoulder, a doe waswas coming. I drew, shot the deer, and watched her fall. I sat back down in my stand and .looked at my watch. 4 minutes had passed. All time in the stand is good time. You never know. Good luck.
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69Viking
 
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Re: How late is too late to get to the woods?

Postby 69Viking » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:24 am

Big Horse wrote:Any time during legal hunting hours is good. 20 minutes in stand is all it may take.

My shortest hunt ever, i climbed in stand, sat down and looked at my watch... I heard something over my shoulder, a doe waswas coming. I drew, shot the deer, and watched her fall. I sat back down in my stand and .looked at my watch. 4 minutes had passed. All time in the stand is good time. You never know. Good luck.


This says it all! If you get on stand before shooting light is gone you always have a chance. The deer that is half a mile away walking down a trail towards you insn't going to hear you go up your stand and then quite possibly will walk right by you 10 minutes later. I once shot a doe about 7:05 am but hit her in the spine. I had to climb down and shoot a second time at 7:15 to put her out of her misery. I then dragged her out of the food plot and around the corner where the ATV trail was. By that time I'm sweating so when I climbed back on stand about 7:25 I decided to sit there and drink my Mountain Dew before heading in to clean her, it was in the 20's that morning so no worry about spoiling. At 8:00 when I finished the Dew and decided to climb down out of the shooting house I looked up one more time at that food plot and wouldn't you know a thick 6 poing buck walked out on the same trail as that doe. Even though I had fired two shots out of my 30-30 and her blood stained the food plot he walked in and started feeding. Didn't take me long to raise the 30-30 and shoot him too! 2 deer in less than an hour, I was pretty stoked! You just never know what's going to happen so if you can get on stand get there!
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deerstalker85
 
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Re: How late is too late to get to the woods?

Postby deerstalker85 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:44 pm

I agree that stand location makes the difference on this. If you can get in and out of the stand without busting through a bunch of woods you will be fine to go anytime you can. I purposely have multiple stand set ups for situations like this. If I am going to have to walk in late, or maybe missed the alarm and overslept :oops: I go to my trusty ladder stand on the edge of a food plot. I walk in in a fashion that allows me to see the entire food plot through some cedars so I can spot check for activity before I go to the stand. If there are deer in the plot and I am rifle hunting...great now I don' t even have to get on the stand. If I am bow hunting, I may wait them out in the morning, or just set up on the ground as close as I can get without spooking them. My climbing/hanging stands in the deep woods though, different story. These are for getting there at least 45 minutes before daylight in the mornings, and several hours before dark in the afternoons.
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