deer will feed on certain parts from different conifer trees. like cedar, for example, they will just eat the green boughs they can reach. not so much early in the year, but over winter when food gets real scarce. even this time of year, if there is snow on the ground, cold temps, and food sources are scarce, they will start eating that type of stuff.
they seem to eat just about any type of bud or berry they can find. ive seen them go after berry bushes with hard little buds on them. pretty much any kind of tree or bush with buds on it might get eaten. kind of depends on what else is available. like others said, i would also check around areas where acorns were dropping, they will check those areas out again.
i like the afternoons as well myself. i was just watching a D&DH episode that talked about how deer will bed down all night when it is very cold, and then feed more in the early to late afternoon once the temps are a little higher, conserve body heat. thats already been mentioned, but just wanted to add that I have heard the same thing.
late season around here picks up closer to the end of december. we just got done with gun season, muzzleloader season is going on right now, and next week will be a 4 day antlerless gun hunt. so the hunter pressure is still winding down, and that really throws our activity around. but with snow and cold temps upon us and the majority of hunters out of the woods, the deer will start hitting the fields anytime after about noon, depending on the weather. so i dont know where youre at or what your hunting pressure is like, but as the season winds down, keep hitting those food sources and youll start seeing more and more activity.
also, if you have access to enough land, i would give tracking a try if you have some snow. really hard with a bow, but its possible if the conditions are right. even if you dont track something down, the best thing to do is at least locate the freshest tracks around and try to figure out when they are going through certain areas, and try to be there to meet them. good luck.