6 States for Late Season Bowhunting

By Josh HoneycuttDecember 28, 20158 Comments

Despite the spring-like weather we’ve experienced throughout much of the holiday season, the late season has officially arrived. And for hunters still itching to punch deer tags, ample opportunities abound. A quick roadtrip to some of the states mentioned below could put you in the hot seat for some late season bowhunting action.

These states all have loads of agriculture that concentrate late season deer in focused areas. Scouting for and finding deer is accomplishable, especially when the mercury plummets during colder weather. Consider these six states during the late season.

Some of the best bucks of the season will be killed in the late season. Will it be you?

Some of the best bucks of the season will be killed by persistent hunters in the late season. Will one of them be yours?

Ohio

This is one state you don’t want to forget about. It doesn’t have a gun season during the rut. That results in more mature bucks making it to the late season.

Ohio is cranking out some big deer. That said, harvest totals have declined every year for the past five. It’s a bit crowded with 400,000 hunters. But that isn’t as bad as some states.

A resident can hunt deer for $43, while a nonresident can hunt for $149. All in all, Ohio is a great late season choice. Give it a try this winter.

Kentucky

The Bluegrass state is looked upon very highly in regard to deer hunting. It supports a herd that is about 900,000 strong. In contrast to other midwestern states, Kentucky has seen increasing harvest totals the past five years. The state set a new record in 2013 with 144,409 and the second highest total last season with 138,898 deer. They’re already on track this season to surpass last year’s numbers.

Kentucky residents must pay $55 for license and tags, while nonresidents are charged $260. Approximately 300,000 deer hunters chase whitetails in the Bluegrass state each year.

Signs of the times. Late season deer hunting can be tough. Scout areas with less pressure to find your buck at the buzzer.

Signs of the times. Late season deer hunting can be tough. Scout areas with less pressure to find your buck at the buzzer.

Oklahoma

As are many midwestern states, harvest totals have been on the decline. The statewide population has been up and down for the last several years. Deer population estimates show similar data.

Resident deer hunters can hunt for $45. Nonresidents pay a much higher fee at $280. Altogether, I think the state is balanced well with approximately 190,000 hunters. One good thing about this state: Approximately 60 percent of the buck harvest is composed of 3½-year-old bucks or older.

Illinois

Not many bowhunters have bad things to say about Illinois. While they don’t estimate deer populations, it is apparent that they do have good numbers. Grant it, many Illinois deer hunters will say deer populations are way down right now. But, all in all, it’s hard to beat. There’s also a late-season CWD program for extra opportunities.

Approximately 625,000 hunters test their skills in the deer woods each year. Resident hunters must

A tag punched in the late season will likely be the most rewarding success of the year.

A tag punched in the late season will likely be the most rewarding success of the year.

purchase a $44 license and nonresidents must pay $524.25 to hunt the Land of Lincoln.

Mississippi

Mississippi’s deer population is estimated to be 1.75 million, with hunters harvesting approximately 280,000 deer annually. You won’t hear much buzz about big bucks being killed in Mississippi, but you better believe they are there. And with several archery only opportunities extending into late January, and even mid-February in the southern part of the state, ample time remains for a late season whitetail roadtrip.

Alabama

Alabama is another great state with ample bowhunting opps for late season hunting. Archery only seasons for Alabama extend throughout January and even into February 10 for the southern zone. Heck they’ll even let you chunk a spear at deer in this late season. Non-residents can grab a 3-day All Game hunting license for $131.45.

Don’t throw in the towel just yet! You’ll likely have the woods to yourself in the month of January. Hit one of these states for late season bowhunting, and score big.

Josh Honeycutt
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