Gun season 2023 is now behind us. Whether you filled a tag during the gun season or not, you're likely asking the question, Now what? If you've still got a few bow tags in your pocket, your in luck! There's still plenty of time to chase whitetails in WI! But the bad news is you might have to work a little harder for them. In this episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast, Josh and Pierce discuss hunting after the gun season pressure.
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This time of year, I'm making sure to layer smart. I start with a set of base layers, either the Casper or the Bangor, which I have found to be very comfortable and moisture wicking. Next, I'll have on either my Elkins mid weight top and bottom, Or my Saskatoon heavyweight top and bottom. Either way, I'm also going to be bringing my Saskatoon vest and because the hunting often gets better when the weather turns nasty this time of year, the Winstead rain suit lives in my Hickory pack all the time.
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What is going on, everyone? Welcome back to another episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman podcast, which is brought to you by Tacticamp. This is your home for all things outdoors in the Badger state. I'm your host, Josh Raley. You've got our other host, Mr. Pierce Nellis on the line. Pierce, how you doing? Doing great, man.
How are you? I'm good. I'm good. I'm glad to, I'm glad to get on here early in the morning on a cold, on a colder morning. And share a cup of coffee. Like this just feels right. Like, I've got a hoodie on. You've got a sweatshirt on. We've both got some coffee rocking. It just feels right. [00:03:00] It really does. It really does.
I forgot to even text you yesterday, man. I'm looking out the window and I've got like two and a half, maybe three inches of snow out there. What? Do you really? Yes, sir. Saturday night brought the heat. It's a real deal going on. Yep, it feels, it may as well be the dead of winter at this point. No kidding.
It's, it's comfortable though, you know, it's, we haven't. Dove too deep into like the teens yet or anything like that. So you're not like totally freezing It's like just enough snow to cover everything but not so much that it's a pain to like Trudge through over a shovel or anything like that. Like I'm I'm a okay with this.
Yeah, that's like the perfect amount of snow Yeah, you know before it's absolutely before it's getting up to your shins and it's just miserable Right, like you miss the shoveling, dude Not one, okay, I miss the first snow of the year. [00:04:00] I miss the first like, oh, let's break out the snow shovels and let's shovel as a family and let's go sledding.
And like, yeah, I miss some of that stuff, but for the most part, uh, I do not miss getting up at 5. 30 to go shovel my driveway just so I can get out in the morning. Yeah, that's fair. You know what I really don't miss? I don't miss shoveling my driveway and then the plow coming. And because the way our driveway used to sit, I may have talked about this on the show before.
Because the way our driveway like went down at a normal angle and then just kind of plunged down to the street and the street came over and where the curb is kind of plunges down to. And it would create like a three and a half foot mound at the end, because everything from our street, like from the direction that they were pushing, everything from the street just filled in this giant hole at the end of my driveway.
And it would literally be ways deep on me. Oh, man. Yeah, like, like had a big [00:05:00] snowblower, snowblower can't get through it kind of thing. Oh, geez. Miserable. You let that stuff sit there for a minute and harden up and all that. It's the worst. It's the worst. I had instances where there was one day that I shoveled the whole driveway, I get done, I turn around, my wife's standing, she had just opened the front door and was like looking at me, you know, like admiring, like, oh yeah, you did a good job, and I'm like, whew, glad that's done, and literally the plow comes behind me as I'm looking away, and just dumps this mountain into the, into the bottom of my driveway, and she just died laughing, and I just, I literally almost just fell over and died, like, Like no laughing at all, just upset.
So that was, that was awful. But another thing I don't miss is going out at five 30 in the morning, shoveling everything, going in, taking a shower, getting the kids ready, getting dressed for work, blah, blah, blah. Go to walk out the door. Oh wait, there's another two inches of snow Mm hmm, [00:06:00] and I'm not gonna shovel it cuz I gotta go but I am going to drive over it So that this afternoon when I get home, it's friggin frozen to the concrete and I have to pull out the scraper And scrape it off instead of, you know, just shoveling it like a normal human being.
So no, man I miss a lot about, yeah, I miss a lot about Wisconsin, but shoveling snow is not one of them. That was like a 10 minute rant on shoveling snow, but. Anyway, no, you know what I did this morning? I went outside with my wife and we went for a walk after I dropped the kids off at school.
Cause we're both working at home today, which, you know, we obviously didn't do much of in Wisconsin. Both working from home both have a lot of appointments. So we were like, Hey, we're going to, we're not going to get to connect. Like let's connect this morning, go for a walk, 39 degrees, a little bit chilly, not too bad.
It's probably 42, 43. When we were out there, I had a hoodie and some light sweatpants on, you know? And yeah, man, just rocked it around the block a couple of times. It was great. [00:07:00] That does sound great, dude. Absolutely. Sounds great. I'm not going to lie to you. If you like winter or if you like cool weather, but you don't necessarily like, you know, snow, real cold temperatures, but you want like the feel like the, all the leaves are off the trees and it, you know, it looks like a change of seasons without the snow, the climate where we're at, dude.
It's unbeatable. Man. Unbeatable. Un. So do you gotta, let me ask you this then you get out of shovel and snow. Do you have to mow the lawn year round then though? Dude, we've got, I don't know what kind of grass it is, but even in the heat of summer, we, we mow it once every week and a half to two weeks. Okay.
I haven't mowed since probably September, I was to say before the Rutt. , yeah. Yeah, definitely before the Rutt . But I, I don't, I haven't mowed since September, October and I won't mow again until May, probably April. Sure. [00:08:00] So, no, we still don't, we don't have to. That's pretty nice. It is. So like further south, man, when I was in Louisiana, we mowed.
Year round, like nonstop during the, during the summer, we would literally mow sometimes twice a week, because if you, if you got to, like, if you let it go all the way one week to the next. You're, you know, a lot of it's knee high. You're bogging down the, the mower at that point. Are you kidding me? Kneehigh?
No, no. Like, not all of it, but like the, the taller, you know, patches of it, the taller ones with the with the little black seeds on the stems that kind of come up in v off like that with the little black seeds. Like those would be kneehigh easy by, you know, sat by the following Saturday if you mow on a Saturday morning.
No kidding. It will definitely be bogging down your mower bad, like real bad. But that's Baton Rouge for you. You know, it was just, it's just how it was, man. All of the grass, the more snakes you got to worry about too. Count me out of that one. Yeah, it was, it was, that was a [00:09:00] wild place. So like we had a friend who was a who was a a mail delivery guy and he would often just send us pictures and be like, Hey, look at this gator in somebody's front yard.
Gee, like, why is that there? Nobody knows. Is there water around? Nope, just hanging out. Yeah, just there looking for puppies. Yeah, cool, man. All right, so, uh, Pierce, man, we are we're sitting here post gun season, right? Sunset on gun season. Yesterday. Yeah, we got some guys out there with the muzzle loaders.
Chasing things around this I feel like is the official start of late season I feel like you can't call it late season till after gun season Muzzleloader may be a little early just you know that first few days of December I feel like if you're in a place you got a lot of does maybe You know, maybe you still have a target buck that you're after.
You could still probably see [00:10:00] some rutting activity. Maybe you've got some fawns coming in over this next week or so. You could still see some bucks nose and does around that kind of thing. You're not going to see what we saw, you know, second week of November. You're, you're, you're not going to see your, your midday cruisers.
Probably. You're not going to see your hard chasing that kind of thing. Most of the time. But we're right on the cusp of late season. So I think that's what we're talking about today. Is that right? Are we chatting late season? Yes, sir. We are chatting late season. I figured partially this is a, a selfish pursuit of mine to get as much of your thoughts and opinions on what I ought to be doing here for the rest of the year.
Yeah, in terms of trying to fill that archery tag, but I know I'm not the only one who's still sitting on an archery tag. Hopefully folks who are listening to this, you still got a day or two around the holiday stuff that you can maybe slip out in the woods here and see about sending an arrow, frost covered [00:11:00] arrow at that big buck that's maybe still walking around in your property.
So, yeah, I really just wanted to get your opinion here and get some of your thoughts on all right. Gun season's over. These deer have been run ragged for the last month, month and a half. You know, throughout their rutting process and throughout just, you know, being hunted like crazy. I mean, depending on where you're at, but.
Yeah, I, I really, I wanted to, to get your thoughts, you know, first and foremost on what so it's, I mean, it's November 28th, what are the deer doing now, in your opinion, are they in recovery mode? Are they trying to establish sort of a pattern for winter? Yeah, still rutting cause we're kind of at the tail end of that bell curve still.
So what do you think in there? Yeah. So I'll preface all of this by saying I'm not a late season expert. I. Like growing up, we didn't get a late season. Our rut, we closed the season as our deer were in like the full swing of the rut, you know? [00:12:00] So growing up, our season ended January 31st. They extended our season now.
Our best day of hunting over the last several years has been February 4th. Right? Like that's when we see the running activity. So before we were missing the rut, like our, our season would close before we ever got to the real heart of the rut. So we didn't get like this late season kind of thing. We were always building up to the rut beginning in October, right?
We're always working our way there. That to say, I have worked really hard the last couple of years to understand late season. As we moved to areas that did not have, you know, a January, February rut. I started working really hard, started talking to a lot of people saying, okay, how do we get to how do I figure out what these deer are doing?
And this is the best I can understand it in Wisconsin. Number one, the deer is, it depends a lot on the property, but there is some [00:13:00] recovery time. It feels like after gun season, like it feels like after gun season, if you're on a property that's, you know, hammered hard opening weekend, and then that's it.
Okay, whatever the deer got pushed around. They may be in some thicker cover, not a big deal. But if you're on a property that got hunted hard for that nine days, you know, you've got a committed deer camp, you know, like we, we were there all week, you know, kind of thing, those deer, it seems like are going to take a few days to recover afterwards.
It seems like they're in shock right now. Like that's what it feels like they're doing. Is they're hunkered down, they're recovering. And honestly, for me, it always seemed like my cameras were just dead for the, for those couple of days. yoU know, right after the gun season, once things kind of begin to settle out, you know, three, four, five, six days, even after gun season closes down, here's what I think I've seen.
I have seen number one the deer are hanging closer to higher stem count cover. [00:14:00] And that's for a couple of reasons we can go into here in a second. Number two, they are typically, from what I noticed, flooding to a specific ag field in the area. It doesn't matter if you have six or seven cornfields that look good around you, you'll go driving around, which I always did a lot of, and it's like, okay, none in this field, none in this field, none in this field.
There's 60 in this field. Okay, why? I don't know. Next week, they'll be in the next one down the road. Why weren't they there two weeks ago? I don't know. They just weren't, you know, so it seems, I don't know if that's a herd mentality that's starting to kick in a little bit. They're like, oh crap, you know, we got to figure out where the food is.
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know if they're hitting the best field first, maybe the one with the easiest food first, whatever. sO they're going to be doing some of that. I have also seen quite a bit of bucks hitting food sources in the evenings, kind of early. And nosing does around, you know, they're just [00:15:00] and it's weird.
It's almost they're just out there harassing them. You know, it's not it's not even like they're like running hard. They're just they're like being a pesky younger brother, just like walking over and poking everything with their nose and then walking away. And so it seems like those are some kind of key things right now.
A little bit of recovery mode, moving to high stem count cover and then really seeming to gather up in specific ag fields. And so that informs how I begin to approach the late season, if I'm going to be hunting late season. So with that high stem count stuff, do you think that's? More of a, a thermal cover type of thing.
Do you think it's more of a, I just want to be hunkered down where bullets hopefully can't get me and I can escape the orange army until I'm feeling secure that everybody is out of the woods like they were run like they were the year or the week prior. I think it's a couple of different things.
Number one, I do think the pressure [00:16:00] has got them pushed in there. Number two, we've had a couple of good hard frosts at this point and. Yeah, the cover has significantly changed, like even from November 5th to December 5th, the cover change in the woods is unreal. Like if there were leaves up, they're gone.
If there was grass standing, you get a couple of good snows, it's gone. And so they're retreating for the cover aspect. Number two, I think they're retreating for the food aspect too, because if they want, you know, good, solid food sources during the day, they're going to be hitting some of that younger regeneration of what I'm thinking of in this like really high stem count, kind of brushy, stemmy kind of stuff.
This is the time of year, man, when I love to be around Red Osier Dogwood. Like if you are in a marsh kind of setting or a wetland setting. Red Osier Dogwood is prime cover and [00:17:00] it's prime food. It's, it's good food a lot. It's good browse, but this time of year seems to be when they're really going to hit it because all the little buds, all the little STEMI stuff at the end, that's going to, you know, make up a decent amount of their diet.
And I think they're in that stuff because that's a daytime food source. They're not having to put themselves out there in the ag fields. You know, as much in daylight. I see, and I don't know about you on this. I see almost no activity in ag fields in the morning for, for good bucks. Yeah. You see, see a couple of those, whatever, not a big deal.
It's in the evenings. It's almost always an evening game when I see large concentrations of deer. And when I see good bucks this time of year. It's almost always with a large concentration of deer. And that's one of the reasons I mentioned the big fields. Like, yeah, you'll drive past every other field. It may have two or three deer in it.
Like, okay, whatever. But it seems like it's the one with 60. Like that's where the big ones are. And they seem to be tolerating each other pretty well. [00:18:00] That time of year too, you know. I, I got good video the last winter that I lived in Wisconsin. Of two just giants. And they're 30 yards apart eating in a field.
I stopped the car. They stopped and looked at me, you know, kept eating. Yeah. I messaged the guy, Hey man, can I Turkey hunt your place? You know, I'm not, I'm trying to get my foot in the door. And he's like, nah, man, I'm a big, I'm a big deer hunter. So, you know, I can't really have you out here Turkey hunting.
And I was like, all right. Yeah, I understand that you want to try to keep the peace. Like, but if you're a big deer hunter, then you need to know, like. There were two giants out in your field the other day, you know, like and I, I laid eyes on him and he was just like, yeah, man, I, I know they're out there like.
Can't wait for next gun season. Oh, no. The dude's not a bowhunter. He's not a bowhunter. He's got a field that is lined with these tall, bigger, like, [00:19:00] conifer trees. Right? Mm hmm. Because he's on the road, and there are gaps in the conifers in a couple spots where you can, like, go and where I could, like, glass the field, you know?
These bucks are within 15, 20 yards of hangable trees, like, trees he could get into with a tree stand. And he's not a bow hunter and I'm like, dude, dude, I'm telling you. I just saw, you know, 240 plus inch deer in your field, go buy a crossbow. Like, I don't care what you do, like go, go buy something, but get out there.
So anyway, that all of that seems to be, you know, what goes into it. Evenings are big, you know, concentrations of deer are big. Yeah, and we can get into the scouting part too, if you want to get into that here in just a minute. But yeah, that was a perfect segue right there because I was just about to ask.
When you are setting up on these fields, obviously it's, you know, if it's one thing, if you're somebody who's on private land, you've got a nice, you know, big blind that you carry, you know, a redneck or some sort of a [00:20:00] tower blind that you can set out in the middle of the field or, you know, near the field edge that you can slip in there at, you know, one o'clock, turn on the, turn on the little propane heater, turn on the Mr.
Buddy Yep. Yep. And wait them out, but for, for those who are, you know, maybe rocking a mobile setup or you know, going to, you know, well, let's focus on the mobile setup right now. Yeah. Folks who are, if somebody is hunting public land or you know, just capable of moving a tree stand, what's your thought on set up there?
Are you hunting the field edge? Are you trying to scout to figure out where they're entering? Are you trying to set back off the field edge? What's yeah. Yeah. So. What's your thought there? I'll be honest with you. Number one I don't, I don't want to hunt a lot in the late season. I don't, I don't want to spend a lot of afternoons out there just sitting and hoping.
So, you know, crucial would be riding the roads quite a bit, trying to figure out, okay, do we have daylight [00:21:00] movement? Follow that up with phone calls to private landowners, and I'm not going to crap on public land too much, but public land in the late season in Southern Wisconsin, where I hunt sucks. The deer are not, they're not on it.
Like, they're just not, they're not on it this time of year. They've moved closer to food, which, you know, a lot of our public lands don't have any food on them, as far as ag fields, and they've got, they've just gotten busted out by pressure. And a lot of the wetland stuff that I like to be in, you know, if you've got pockets of red osier dogwood and some other things still standing, maybe they're bedding there.
But, honestly, a lot of that grass and stuff is knocked down. And so there's just not a ton of standing cover. So they're almost always pushed what feels like to the edges. Right. And those edges are just typically where the property boundary is, you know, so they're, you know, property edges. So I'm going to get in and I'm going to do a lot of boots on the ground.
If I can get a fresh snow, that's like you were talking about just a second ago. Two or three inches, [00:22:00] enough to really see some very recent signs, some recent tracks, try to figure out what the deer are doing. My very first year there in Wisconsin, I went into all my honey holes where I had had success during the rut in November.
And I mean, I had laid eyes on some giants, right? Like that first November there. And it was about two weeks before I was able to get out again. It was really snowy. This is after laying eyes on giants, or I guess after gun season. And by the time I was out there, there was a lot of snow on the ground. So I could see there had not been a deer sneeze in that area.
Like there were no tracks. There was nothing. They had all up and moved. And so that's pretty critical finding where the deer are this time of year. So lots of evening drives to look at those ag fields, lots of phone calls to landowners, because the nose that you got early in the season might turn into yeses.
And they have for me. They might turn into yeses. Hey you know, Mr. [00:23:00] So and so Bill I know you said I couldn't deer hunt your ground earlier. You said you had a group of guys out there deer hunting. I'm wondering now that gun season has passed, which is what 90 percent of the people really care about, I'm wondering now that gun season has passed, if I can get in a couple of late season hunts.
And they're thinking, are you really gonna get out there? It's friggin 12 degrees. You know, are you, are you, how often is this guy really gonna do, are you really gonna trudge through the snow? Like, all of these things add up to, I think, making it easier to get permission for that late season hunt. Okay? Mm hmm.
I've had several instances of this, of, of no's that turned into yes's. And you know, these are, these are properties either maybe I maybe I had turkey permission, but not deer permission or whatever. Their buddies that they were letting hunt got done. They hunted the rut with a bow and they're done.
Or they hunted a gun or with, with guns as a as a deer camp or whatever. And now that crew is done. Well, you can get in there with a gun now and [00:24:00] just, just present it like that, or with a bow now, like just present it. Hey, you know, you got anybody late season hunting, just curious. And it's like, well, no, nobody's out there doing that.
You're dumb. If you want to, it's like, Oh, do you mind if I give it a shot, you know, and start trying to find some of those private pieces where, where the food is actually going to be. So lots of driving around, finding those spots and yeah, I'm going to sit a lot of field edges. And a lot of that's because you just can't get in quiet, man.
There are so many times that you're just, you're just going to blow it out. And where you find the deer bedded, you're going to find a lot of deer bedded. And so. To me, the risk is too great. I would rather, I would rather sit back, wait for a good weather day, you know, find where 40 deer are hitting a field in an afternoon, go out, hunt that field that afternoon or the following afternoon or whatever, and try to set up like that rather than go trumpet through the woods and [00:25:00] be like, oh yeah, I'm going to play the bed to feed game.
It's like, that's a, that's a hard one to play this time of year. It really is. Yeah. Totally. So on the, you mentioned weather there on that note, what do you classify as good late season weather? Are we still looking for a cold front to, you know, a big temp drop to push deer onto food? If it's warmer, are you maybe going to stay out of there?
What's your thought there? My preference honestly has been to say either or any change. So if it's been warm. And you get a cold day, like maybe that day of the like heavy snow or like the cold just moved in that first evening, I'm probably going to drive in glass, right? The second day, I'm probably going to get out there and make a move.
Cause I think you got you know, two, three afternoons that are going to be good after that. And I really like to hunt those sunny bluebird days. And I know a lot of guys don't like those [00:26:00] in the late season, but dude, it seems like I get, I I've seen a lot of. I, I have yet to kill a big Wisconsin late season buck, but it sure seems like those are the days that I see him, right?
You know what I mean? Like there, those are the days that I saw him at a hundred and couldn't get a shot or whatever, you know. Or, you know, you've got cold, cold, cold, cold, cold. All of a sudden you got a day, the high got up to 35. Like to me, that's a good day to be out in the woods. I don't know if they're just feeling a little bit frisky or what it is, but it's like, okay, there's a lot of movement, it seems.
But if you, and we've talked about it all season, if you've got that long stretch of stagnant weather, the high is, you know, 22 for seven days in a row and the low is 14 for seven days in a row. It's like, I'm probably not, I'm probably not doing anything. I may be out, I may be out driving to scout, you know, with the kids or whatever, grab some hot chocolate, throw them in the back seat and let's all go for a ride, pass around the [00:27:00] binoculars.
But I'm not going to be, I'm not going to be sitting unless I find good Intel to, to go on. Gotcha. Absolutely. I think one you may have even left off there is right at the start of a little snowfall. Right. In my back, man, back in the heyday, when the old Wisconsin holiday hunt was not antlerless only.
Oh yeah. Oh, man, that was, I mean, I had some of the best hunts of my entire life, right? That last couple of weeks of December there you know, right. I remember there was one Christmas Eve. I'm sorry. Not Christmas Eve, new year's Eve. And man, the snow had started falling at like two 33 o'clock or so.
And, you know, at that time of year, it gets dark at four. Like I'm going to get up there. I'm going to get set up and all that stuff. I remember looking down [00:28:00] into the bottom just seeing this tank like just freaking coke cans for bases Walking up this gully And I couldn't get a crack at him or anything like that But man, it was just like the scene that deer through the scope with all that snow kind of just you know Flashing in front of everything.
It was like this is freaking Like deer hunting at its core like this just feels right Just want to take a quick minute to let you know that the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast is brought to you by Tacticam. Makers of the best point of view cameras on the market for hunters and anglers. They're on the cutting edge, making user friendly cameras to help the everyday outdoorsman share your hunt with friends and loved ones.
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Well, Tacticam makes all of that a breeze with their line of mounts and adapters. This fall, I'm going to be using their stabilizer mount on my bow with the 6. 0 camera and their bendy clamp paired with the 5. 0 wide camera for a second angle and to make sure I don't miss any of the action. To learn more and check out their full line of products, head over to their website, Tacticam.
com and share your hunt with Tacticam. First of all, it blows my mind that there was a time when the holiday hunt was not antlerless only. Dude, it was awesome. That, to me, a high powered rifle in late, in the late season, in the Midwest, blows my mind. Like, people talk about the South and, oh, you can hunt the rut with a gun, that blows my mind.
I'm like, no, no, no. You get to hunt when it's zero degrees outside with a gun in some places. Muzzle loaders that shoot 250 yards. So that to me blows my mind because every buck in the world is [00:30:00] going to be up on his feet. Cause he's gotta be, or he's going to die, you know? Right. But that was shoot. That was probably, that was right around earn a buck time still.
Right. Like, so that was back in that time when I was a dude, I remember being in like elementary school and driving around on back roads to basketball practice and stuff in the evening. And dude, you'd have a full moon night or something like that. And you'd look out. I think there was one night we literally counted like 130 deer out in like one concentrated.
I mean, not like a massive cornfield, but like, it was like big enough, but dude, just every freaking deer in that Valley. And I was like, okay, we have a lot of deer around here. I get it, dude. Okay. First of all, we need to do an episode on earn a buck. Ooh, we need, we need to do that, but I'm going to bring Doug back.
So yeah, for sure, dude, he, he's passionate about it. Are you, when you say the snow, you know, getting that snow starting, are you talking about any kind of snow starting? Are you talking like I'm on the front side? [00:31:00] Of a big front coming through. I like any kind of snow. Okay. I think any precipitation tends to get things.
Yeah. Get things going. Now, granted, I might be a little biased because my grandpa told me that you know, since I was a little kid about how like you gotta be hunting when there's when the snow starts to fall and like get out there right as it's about to start i mean it's like similar to like waiting for the rain to stop right yeah you know in early season stuff like that you know just time it up that way because snow you know with the exception at least snow you got to worry about Your blood trail being covered, but not washed away.
Right. And so I think, you know, especially if you're rifle hunting or, you know, if you're late season or, you know, what have you at, at the very least, as long as it's not like you're going to get, you know, three inches in the next hour and it's going to totally cover everything. Okay. Maybe stay out of the woods then.
Cause that just gets a little dicey at that point, or be dang sure of your shot. Right. But I mean, for the [00:32:00] most part, if you're only getting. An inch or so, or if it's just going to be a little snow shower, I've seen that kick deer up and get them on their feet to go out and feed like, I mean, more often than not, you'll find them somewhere like on the hoof.
Yeah. And I think if you've got a spot scouted out, that's a good, that's a good move. Or like, cause those are the days that I'm going to be like, Oh, it's starting to snow. Kids get in the car. You know what I mean? Just, just because for me, it was so, so I've got what, seven or eight different properties that I can turkey hunt.
And so any given week, it's like, which one's got the deer on it, who knows, you know, there, there may be one or two that, you know, have deer on them for most of the season, but then the next late season, they're not on that one at all. And so it just, it seems like a weird, like, I don't know. I always feel like I'm starting from, from scratch.
You know, if I haven't hunted in a week. And I'm starting to get some snow. I'm not going out there just to sit yet. [00:33:00] Cause I want, I want that confirmation, but if it does start snowing, be like, Hey, all right, everybody in the car, let's go, you know, let's go through the Culver's drive through and we're going to eat dinner in the car tonight, you know, and go check this out as the snow is starting to fall.
So yeah, that's a, that's a really good point. That's a really, really good point. But those aren't the days that I like to hunt though, because I always feel like if you get up, if you are out there that first night of the snowfall, you got deer in the field. Mark that sucker, come back the next day when the weather's nice, you know, and it's, and it's a little more comfortable.
That's when I, I've got intel and I'm more comfortable. Then I, then I kind of go for it now. Sure. Does that always pan out? No, absolutely not. Another thing that I will say has been pretty successful. So there's one property that I've hunted and there is a plant. It's on the edge of a marsh and there's a plant.
It's not. Duck potato or arrowhead leaf or whatever, you know, hunting public guys have, have talked about, but there's a plant that is [00:34:00] green that once it starts to snow and it's growing right on the edge of this marsh on this private piece, I have no idea what it is because the time, by the time I, I see it, it just looks like dead celery laying everywhere.
You know, it's all flopped over and stuff. It's not quite as thick as celery, but it is STEMI kind of like that that have a big leaf on it. You're a little bit bigger. Yeah. A little bit bigger leaf on it, but by the, like, by the time I see it, it's just kind of like dead and mashed down everywhere, but dude, I've seen the deer standing at it, like a feed trough, like all around it in the late season.
And I've had a lot of luck with that on, you know, that really concentrating the deer movement. So you look at, again, so on this one side of this ag of this field or of this property that I can hunt, it's like a 70 acre. Ag field, right up against the marsh. There's this little strip of this stuff. That's like 30 yards long by 20 yards deep, you know, so 60 square yards that concentrates the deer, like [00:35:00] crazy.
And they move back and forth. They'll move up into the ag and then they'll come back over to this and then they'll, you know, kind of all around. Yeah. So that to me, you know, you find something green like that, that they're keying in on that time of year, that can be really, really good. Sure, I have no idea what that plant is either.
I'd love right. I know I know exactly what you're talking about And I I I think I can picture it, but I'm also like I have no clue what that is Okay, so you see that stuff like in in the fall or like early season or anything like that I mean it almost seems invisible at that point But I don't know if it's because this is still green in the midst of all this other dead stuff or what's going on, right?
And it's like nothing has touched it, but it's right it but I've seen it like dug up almost You know, by the deer, like they've pawed away the snow, they're trying to get to it. So I don't know why it's holding green when nothing else is and why it's still there. So if you're listening to this and you know what I'm talking about, it's not duck potato.
I know what that stuff looks like. It's not arrowhead plant or whatever that stuff is the hunting public talks [00:36:00] about. It's not that. I know what that looks like. I've found it in other places. This is something different. It looks kind of like celery stalks with bigger leaves at the top. If you know what it is, hit us up with a DM on on Instagram at the Wisconsin sportsman pod.
Absolutely. Sweet. Absolutely. Let me, let me ask you here about buck betting. In the late season, are you still noticing bucks bedding separately? Are they still going out to those same kind of isolated points? Or do you notice them hanging out with the herd quite a bit more? I'll be honest with you, man, from what I have seen.
And it could just be the way that I scout. So I want to preface it with that. It could be the way that I scout. It seems to me like the bucks are starting to hang with the herd a little bit more. And I don't know if they're just trying to keep a tab on the does, like just in case any of you jokers come into heat, I'm here, you know, or, or what it [00:37:00] is.
But I have not noticed a return to like that secluded buck bed where it's like, you know, he's the only one that pops out of that end of the field and all the other deer came from over here. It sure seems to be like, okay, all 40 of them came out and the buck was like five minutes behind them all from the same direction.
So now that's not to say I haven't found late season buck beds because I have. But I haven't targeted them, if that makes sense, like if, you know, and, and the majority of what I would think of is like, okay, cause there doesn't seem to be a ton of rubbing going on either. So I don't find a lot, you know, you find those concentrations of like 20 beds in a late season bedding area kind of thing.
You find one that's just gigantic. There's no rubs around it or anything, but it's like that had to be a buck, right? Like that's a 250, 300 pound deer. Laying in this thing. And so yeah, and I know there, I'm almost hesitant [00:38:00] to say what my experience has been because so much of the knowledge out there is that, oh man, Buck's just off by themselves.
They're grumpy old men. In a lot of cases, they are early season. But it seems like late season, they've mellowed out. Like, it seems like they're, they're the most tolerant of social pressure of any time of the year. And I think that's out of necessity during the summer. I think you see them tolerant of each other, but I don't think you see them tolerant of large doe herds.
Right. And the. Rut, they're not tolerant of each other at all. They're only around the does for one thing. Late season, they're tolerant of each other and they'll be standing right in the middle of 25 does. Right. Feeding. So, it, it seems like right now is the, is the time for that. I'll probably get the, the buck bed beast mode guys being like, No, that's not how bucks [00:39:00] act.
It's like, alright, cool man. Have fun with whatever you're doing out there. But, I'm just telling you where I see deer. Come on and tell us about it. Well, yeah, come on and tell us about it. Please do. Because like I said, I'm not a late season expert. I'm just telling you what I learned because dude, I threw my eggs in that basket, like I struggled my first couple of years in Wisconsin to get a deer on the ground.
And so, and I wanted to hunt late season so bad because I grew up watching it. You know what I mean? Like I wanted to be out there in the snow. Like I wanted to be a Wisconsinite and like do the whole thing. And so like, you know, I was starting from scratch, like this is ground zero, I got to figure it out for myself.
One thing I will say though, I learned very quickly. I was out one day, I think it was like negative four, and Doe comes out. She, she walks through the ag field all the way down the edge to the spot of that green stuff that I was just telling you about. Starts feeding. I draw my bow back. This is going to work perfectly.
I'm three feet off the ground in my saddle, [00:40:00] right? This is crazy. I'm thinking, um, draw my bow back and dude, the noises that my gear made. Just about to say negative four. Sounds like the worst time in the world to pull back your bow, dude. And this was when I just got it too. So this bow was like brand spanking new, right?
Like just set up for me. And I draw back and it's like And it's a Matthews, you know? It's not like a junk bow that I'm expecting to make these noises. But it's like you could just feel it. You could just feel in the bow itself. It's just like, no, I don't want to do this. You know? So I drew back and I whiffed, missed, missed.
Oh, so you didn't spook the doe with the, with all that noise. No, no, she was, so I, I also, yeah, this was, I shot right under, I didn't range her. I should have ranged her. I didn't. Ended up shooting right under her. I was about 40 yards from her. So. That's a poke. [00:41:00] Yeah. So it's a poke. And you got to figure out what I was wearing too.
So I wasn't wearing Huntworth at the time. And so I had like the layers of goodwill gear, right? And it was just, it was not good. It was not good. I was, I was dead on left to right. And it just right behind her legs or, you know, right behind her front legs, you know, kind of between her front and her back legs would have been, would have been a great shot if it was about four inches higher.
Yeah, yeah, it's not a bad miss though. No, it's not it. I was like, okay, that would have been a heart shot Like yeah, I was just just off of a heart shot, right? Do you have to go digging for your arrow in the snow? No actually because I was like three feet off the ground Right, and she was 40 yards away.
So my trajectory was like super nice So it was just kind of like, you know kind of skipping almost Yeah. Across the top of this kind of harder packed snow. Yeah. So like, no, it was like right there, you know, , it was very convenient, , [00:42:00] weirdly convenient. But yeah, so I missed her and, and that was a, that was a real bummer.
But you live and you learned. Yeah. Feel like it's what? Story of my hunting life, man. Live and learn like I'm, I'm ready to have learned. All right. Like I'm ready to have learned a lot. Yeah. At what point can I put this in the, in the action? Do you ever see do you ever see deer eating? Like say like the last couple of winters, you know, it's been cold, but I feel like in December it's been, you know, maybe you've had a little bit of snow, but then it melts off and then it kind of comes back.
Are you ever seeing deer still eating like acorns or anything like that? Cause like this year with such a massive acorn crop, like there, there's no way that they've eaten all of them. You know what I mean? So is it you know, the kind of thing you think that they'll still be non on some of them. I don't know if acorns spoil or how quickly they do or what exactly goes into that, [00:43:00] but yeah, I'll be honest with you in the north.
I have not. Okay. I have not in the north. Now down south, I see that quite a bit. I see deer returning to earlier dropped red oaks. Typically your white oaks. I don't really see that simply because I think they're. They're basically rotting or sprouting or something like that. By then they're, they're gone.
Right. The red Oaks though, and I think this is like, from what I've read, it's because they have higher tannin levels and those higher tannin levels help them keep for longer. And so you know, there's some, there's some thought behind it too of like, well, that's maybe one of the reasons that deer prefer the white oak acorns is because they know they can scoop them up.
The red Oaks, you know, they've adapted to understand or, you know, when, however, a deer understands things, they can leave the red Oaks for a while and the red Oaks will still be there. We see that a lot in the South where the deer will kind of return to some of those red Oaks that have dropped and are still, [00:44:00] still out there.
That's fascinating. Yeah. That's cool, man. I love when you like make a connection like that and you see that, you know, certain animals or deer, like they, when you, when you're able to see like that, oh, they, they realize that like, I don't have to eat this right now. I'm gonna eat the good, you know, sweet, sugary white oak acorns right off the bat because one, they taste better and two, they're going to go bad.
And then I'll have those, you know, I feel like it's like the red acorns are like the stale, crusty old Beat up protein bar you've got in the bottom of your hunting pack that , you know, you don't break out till late season either, and you're like, God, do I have anything left in here? But , yeah, you don't want to eat it, but you will.
You know what I, that's exactly, that's probably kind of how they are. It's like they don't want to eat it, but they will, you know. Exactly. . But again, I like it. I, I, I wanna reiterate though, just in case somebody has, has had an opposite experience, I have not seen that in Wisconsin. I have seen that here in the South, so I would, it stands to [00:45:00] reason that they would do the same thing, right?
Right. One would think folks listening, if you're a late season warrior or you know, somebody who is please reach out to us, we would love to pick their brain as well as uh, you know, just bounce some thoughts and ideas off of them. I've said that every year that I've hosted this podcast, no one that I know of is like, yeah, dude, late season's my time.
Unless, unless, unless they're the late season guy that has the food plot that has the state, you know, the sure. I don't know of anybody who's like, yeah, man, I'm out there grinding on public and I'm getting it done late season in Wisconsin. Like those, those guys just aren't, they're either not a lot of them out there or they're, they don't want to talk about it.
I think it's probably the latter. You don't want to talk about it? Yeah, that's, that's my thought. But I don't know, who knows though. Cause it's, you know, we do have, I mean, the Orange Army is the, whatever, [00:46:00] largest militia in the world every single year, and then after that hunting pressure just kind of...
Fizzles right out. I mean, lean into it as well. You know, you got the diehard bow hunters, diehard gun hunters, and then nobody talks about the late season guys. Right. I will say this. I think there's an opportunity here and I'm going to have to run here pretty quick. I think there's an opportunity here. If you don't have a muzzleloader, if you will hunt that 10 day muzzleloader season in Wisconsin, you've got some real chance of getting on some good deer because.
The season drops off big time and I send a guy a couple years ago to, to a spot and I was like, look, man, here's where I had luck during the rut. Like, you know, go, go check it out. He goes in there with his muzzle loader, climbs a tree, high stem count area. And it's an area that it's one of the exact areas that turned off for the quote unquote late season, like once the snow really got on the ground, but he got on [00:47:00] there like the second day of muzzle loader or third day of muzzle loader.
So the area had gotten hit real hard for gun season. He gets in there with a muzzle loader. He climbs a tree. He's there for 30 minutes. Big buck steps out. He shoots and misses. With the muzzle loader. He wasn't sure of the shot smoke went everywhere, blah, blah, blah. I think you've got a good chance, man.
There's like that little tick before true late season kicks in. It's muzzle loader season. They've had a couple of days to like reorient and figure out, okay, people aren't out here like they were. And then I think you got that little bump of, of movement. So anyway, I agree, man. You got a muzzleloader, get out there.
You got a bow too, get out there. Yeah, if you got a bow, get out there. A buddy of mine, he Hunter, his dad shot a buck. I think it was like the last day of gun season shot or smoked a buck. You know, really nice buck, but he didn't have his his bow [00:48:00] tag with him or anything. And so he got out there, filled a rifle tag, and then it was like, I'm gonna run home and grab my bow.
Went back the next day, sat in the same stand, ended up filling his bow tag as well. It can be done. Dude, that's such a flex filling your bow tag and during gun season. These guys have stupid deer on their property too. That's the one caveat, but that's all right. That's all right. So yeah, Pierce, last thing I want to talk about, man.
I we just had black Friday. Yeah. Oh man. Did you did you do anything? Did you get anything for black Friday? sHot a couple of ducks. Okay. But no, I did not. I didn't get it, dude. I came so close. My girlfriend sent me a screenshot of the Cabela's website of a rifle. I was looking at, she said, Hey, this is on sale.
Could be a good time to jump on it. And I thought about it. I thought about it. I thought about it. And around. 8 p. m. [00:49:00] after chewing on it and going back and forth between the two, I was like, all right, before we pull the trigger on this, what expenses do I have coming up here? Just so I can be responsible.
And then I was like, Oh, how about everyone else's presents for Christmas? So I held off, unfortunately, and I didn't do anything, but What about you? Cause I happened to get a text from you with a screenshot of a order confirmation while I was in the duck Marsh. Oh yeah. A little toy. Did you get some ducks by the way?
Yeah, we got two. Okay. All right. Yeah. Slow day, but um, yeah, dude, I broke down and I bought an e bike. Merry, merry Christmas to me. No, I, I got it. So it's going to be in large part for, for doing Habitat consulting. Yeah, I'm working with Whitetail Partners Sam Bilhorn does Whitetail Partners Wisconsin.
But if you're listening, we have team members that cover basically the entire [00:50:00] eastern half of the United States at this point. We're broken up by state, but we cover regions. And I am Whitetail Partners Georgia. And, you know, we're on a lot of properties every single year, and I've got to make the most efficient use of my time when I'm there.
You know, a lot of it works by, Hey, you know, Mr. Landowner, I'm going to spend this many days on your property. And I don't want to spend a ton of time just walking. You know what I mean? Like that, that is money. That is cost to the landowner if I'm just walking. So I wanted a way to serve our clients better.
I also wanted a way to hunt this big private piece or this big public land piece down the road from me better. And I found a deal for 800 off on black Friday of this e bike. And it was a lower end e bike. You know, it's not a quiet cat. It's not a Rambo. You know what? All you guys with the Rambos and the quiet cats and all that stuff, like those are great looking bikes, but I'm not that guy.
You know, I'm just, I'm not going to [00:51:00] drop five or six grand on an e bike. It's just not going to happen. And I've driven some equivalent e bikes and they're very, very nice. But I look forward to being able to give people a report here in a couple of weeks. The e bike should be here Wednesday. So, yeah, yeah.
Hopefully by next week I can give a report and say, you know, this is what I think of it because I spent a thousand bucks. Mike, the bike was on sale for 9. 99. It's normally 17. 99. So I'm looking forward to being able to bring to the listener and say, Hey guys, don't worry about, you know, a 6, 000 e bike because these are just as good.
And I will tell you this, I've seen the backend pricing on e bikes. I know a buddy who has started an e bike company. His are a little too high end for me. But he can create for about three grand retail, 3, 500 retail. And at 3, 800 retail, he can create what Rambo does for 8, 000. [00:52:00] So like, I know the markup on those is stupid.
I know those people have to do marketing too. Like I get it. At the same time, I sure would love nothing better than to say, Hey everybody, 1, 000 e bike works just as good as the others. Go get it. You know, like that would bring me so much joy at this point. Yeah, I don't know why. Maybe I'm just, I'm pumped.
I I'm, I'm, I'm not going to say I'm as pumped as you are to, you know, for you to get that thing, but dude, I am pumped to hear the report on that. Cause that thing's going to be a freaking weapon on public land as well. Especially that giant tract that you have near you down in Georgia. Not to mention, are you going to bring that thing up to Wisconsin?
So. Wisconsin public lands are not friendly to e bikes. Iowa public lands are though. Oh boy, okay. Especially a couple that are not terribly far from [00:53:00] somebody that we know. Wink wink. I had some guys during turkey season who were blowing past me on e bikes. Really having a frigging great time doing it. And so, um, yeah, I, yeah, I'm pretty pumped.
The e bike for Turkey season is going to be clutch. That's going to be wild. That's going to be insane, dude. Like I don't even, I don't even know where to start with that. But yeah, You need to figure out some sort of a mod to like rig up a game cart to the back of it so that you can try and get a deer out of there as well.
You don't have to rig anything up. They make them. Oh, really? Yeah. They make them, they're pre made, they're, they're 225 bucks for the trailer. Drop the company name, link, and whatnot. I will, so I, the, the, the company that makes the trailers is a different company than makes the bike. So I, [00:54:00] once, once I get the bike, once things are good, I will let people know the name.
I found them on Instagram. The process has been good so far. They're American based. Which is good. Yeah. They've got everywhere. Like problem, call our customer service number. You'll get a human being who's based in Texas. You know, so like for me, that's a, that's a big deal. Like, the fact that you have your customer service telephone number everywhere and you're like, call us for anything.
Have a question about which bike? Call us. You know, and so anyway, yeah man, I look forward to reporting, but we gotta wrap it up. I've got another got a little call here for Whitetail Partners. Got one of our team members I'm gonna be chatting with, but Pierce, thanks for the, thanks for the conversation surrounding surrounding late season.
Do we want to send people to Revo? I think we ought to. Yeah. I think we ought to. I think we should too. Still got, yeah. Still got a Black Friday deal going. I think for the next couple of days here but you can get up to 70 percent off over at Revo Sunglasses, revo. com. We've [00:55:00] talked about them multiple times on here.
If the sale does end and you're creeping up on the holiday season and you weren't able to jump on that deal, you can still get 30 percent off with the code Wisconsin Sportsman 30. Like we've said, these. Lenses, frames. Can go up against any other big sunglass company out there. And any of the other ones that you're, you may be worn or your buddies have, or you've seen the ads for rebo, I would probably pick them over those guys, nine times out of 10, they are fantastic.
Absolutely fantastic. And like we said before, they got a frame and a lens for just about everything. So go check them out. Use code Wisconsin sports 30. If you're late to the black Friday sale and yeah, go enjoy them. Sweet. So yeah, Christmas is coming. Check out Revo. Also check out our other partners, Huntworth Onyx, obviously Huntworth is an, or Onyx is an awesome gift to give.
And then [00:56:00] obviously we got Tacticam. If you like somebody, get them a 6. 0. If you like them okay, but not that much, get them the get them the the Solo Extreme, you know. Save a little bit of money. I think all of them have good deals running right now, too. They do, yeah, they pretty much all have, they all have good deals going on right now.
Huntworth, I know, had some crazy deals going on, and if you are going to be hunting late season, go check out their heat boost technology, their graphene infused clothing. It's super, super warm. So yeah. And for me, the Net Gator, dude, has been a game changer. Net Gators are unreal. Like, is that not the most slept on?
Oh, dude. Like, just warmth gear out there? I just left it on for the entire rest of my trip. After we talked about it. I just left it on all the time. And it was, I would layer accordingly with other stuff, but the Gator stayed on. Did you have the thick one on, or did you just have a lightweight one? Thick.
That's all for this week's episode, as always, thank you so much for tuning in. If you dig this show, be sure to subscribe to this [00:57:00] podcast, wherever it is that you get your podcasts. While you're at it, if you could leave me a five star review, I would very much appreciate that. You can also follow along with my outdoor adventures on Instagram at the Wisconsin sportsman or at how to hunt deer.
That's also the best way to get ahold of me, suggest topics, guests, or questions that you'd like me to explore on the show, Big thanks to our partners, Tacticam, Huntworth, and OnX. Please go support the brands that support this show. And if you're looking for more great outdoor content, check out thesportsmansempire.
com where you'll find my other podcast, the How to Hunt Deer podcast, as well as a ton of other awesome outdoor podcasts. And until next time, make sure you make the time to get outside and enjoy the incredible natural resources that are ours as Wisconsin sportsmen.