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Mature buck movement during severe winter weather

The Silence

PMA Member
Just preparing for my late season archery tactics and I'm thinking about the severe weather areas I know of in farmland country. A couple questions:

(1) Do older bucks tend to hole up with the majority of other deer when a winter storm blows in?

(2) Before the storm: Do the big boys tend to head into these "storm safe" areas ahead of time even if it requires them to move in daylight?

(3) After the storm subsides: Do the mature animals clear out of these special areas soon after the weather clears up for food or will they stay hunkered down until dark or close to dark?

Just trying to take advantage of one scenario where circumstances may have them up and moving during shooting light. Or any other thoughts you may have concerning hunting these types of severe weather refuges
would be really interesting.


Well-Known Member
I think weather plays a roll I have always seen after the storm breaks , typically cold sever I see them hold tight as well Most deer are beded near food like early summer they are not going far. This is a issues with stand choices. I wont hunt a morning only afternoons , right wind I also believe in the red moon just seems to work even though mother nature trumps.. Pick your days when you can see the change in weather , evenings , plan your entry and exit.. Maybe scout more then you hunt observing if you can to see what is going on. Late season is hard IMO but I love it .. Most are home on the couch :)


PMA Member
IMO late season is the best time of year if you have the food. You will piles and piles of deer flocking to your food, every night! So in my opinion I wouldnt worry about severe storms. I would worry about the cold! The colder the better. To simplify things, an ideal late season day would 10 degrees or colder, barometer over 30.2 and rising and a sunny day, with some snow on the ground. You get a day like that a the deer will move good and move early.

I am not sure what you mean by storm safe areas, but I guess my thoughts on snow storms is movement is best, the day after....

Archery equipment can be very difficult in the late season for a variety of reasons. But if you put yourself between the bed and the food, the deer will be there

The Silence

PMA Member
Thanks for your input guys. A couple clarifications. I hunt in fairly open farm country. In one area they pile into a deep ditch that has cedars surrounding it when windy, cold weather shows up.
The best areas that I've found on this one property in particular is that the bigger bucks are usually found in the most secluded, secure areas on the property away from the roads.
I rarely EVER see these big boys out in the open crop fields unless it is at last light and that during the rut. I know they're in there but circumstance have to be just right to get them up and moving.
It's possible, but trying to get in close to their beds has also proven to be a challenge since the pockets of cover they hunker down in are usually quite small or they may bed in large areas of CRP.

Jbohn, you mentioned the Red Moon. This is the first year I became aware of this and guess what happened. I went out to hunt on October 11th because I got the right wind to hunt in that location.
3 things aligned that day: (1) It was a Red Moon day with late afternoon being prime time. (2) It was the first day that temperatures dropped below freezing that night (3) I had the right wind for that
location that I knew contained mature animals.

The big boy arrived at 4:45 pm, at a scrape in broad daylight. He had traveled at least 600-700 yards from his bedding areas (I didn't have access to hunt that area) on a secure travel corridor. I believe
he's a 5.5 year old. My first mature buck. I believe the reason I even got a crack at him had to do with these various factors lined-up that day and the fact that the Lord in kind.

I'm just trying to figure out the circumstances that might put the odds more in my favor for the late season. I do think I need to put more observation time in but I'll need to be back in the cover to get a
look at any of the mature animals.

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