Late Season Mistakes

Today, I wanted to cover a couple late season mistakes that could impact your hunting success this December and January.


The main rut is over while the second spurt could still be around in some areas of the country where you may be hunting. I know here in Virginia, the second spurt occurred last week and it went into the beginning of this week before calming down and coming to a screeching halt. I can say that the hot weather all over the place hasn’t been too much of a help for the hunting. This leads perfectly into one the the mistakes that I have seen that could hurt a hunters chances in the stand.

Not Layering Clothing~ Too many hunters plan on being so cold during their late season hunt that they will wear all of their clothes before they head out to their stand. By the time the hunter walks 100 yards to their stand, they are in a full out sweat like they were running on a treadmill. They will then get into the tree, cool down and have their scent all over the place. As we all know, a deer’s sense of smell is too good to let that slide. I believe this is one HUGE miss that we as hunters make.

What is the solution? Layering is a key. More and more companies are making their hunting gear in a layering pattern. I personally am a big fan of Sitka Gear and have used their clothing systems for years. There are plenty others now that have followed suit such as Under Armour, Core4element, KUIU, First Lite, Cabelas, etc. Here would be a great example or recommendation of what would be good for a late season hunt.

  1. Have a wool next to skin base layer or synthetic layer such as polyester (top and bottom)
  2. Cover up with a thicker fleece layer (Top and bottom)
  3. Early season Jacket and Pant- You could go without the pant
  4. Thick outer gore tex layer that has some serious insulation such as primaloft or down.
    1. Don’t forget your hand and body warmers that you can stick on you for your kidneys, neck and hands

I would wear just the base layer or possibly up to the early season gear to my stand. I would them get dressed at the bottom of my stand, spray my scent spray all over my gear and then head up the stand. This is a very safe bet on being comfortable and saving my butt with some serious defense on scent control.

The second mistake that occurs is that food sources aren’t being focused on as much as they should be. Bedding areas were a big focus item during the rut but now that for most of us, it is over and we need to switch to another plan. The plan is to hunt where the food is because the deer need to replenish and fatten up for the winter. There are 2 areas that could be hunted with this scenario.

  1. You could hunt a food plot that still has food available for deer during the late season. This is a perfect scenario with stands right on the edge of the field if you have crop lands or farms to hunt.
  2. If you do not necessarily have food plots or farms that you are hunting, I would recommend focusing on trails that lead to food sources. Sometimes, we don’t have access to the property next door that has the food sources or we have to hunt the hardwoods. We still can find the best food sources around and hunt them because deer will gravitate towards those areas throughout this time of year.


I hope you are ready to get out in the cold and have some fun in the late season with a couple extra points to help.

~Scout, Hunt and Repeat~



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