Deer Hunting Tip: Target Thickets For Late-Season Bucks

Photo by Lance Krueger

By the time the late flintlock season rolls around, the deer have been hammered," says Foulkrod, a Pennsylvania native. "All that's left for them is to go where most hunters won't and wait it out."

So he heads for impenetrable swamps and hackbrush thickets, often on public land, to find a holed-up buck. He picks a large dense area and spends all day quietly hunting the edge of it. "I go really, really slow, one step at a time, and I pick apart the brush with binoculars. I don't even worry about the wind, because these deer are not going to move." They're in there, he insists; you just need to spot a buck and find a shot through the vegetation.

If you can't get a shot, be patient, Foulkrod says. You know where the deer is, and you want to keep it that way. So don't move in. "It'll drive you nuts, because you may see a good buck, but it's too thick to shoot. If you wait him out, though, he might get nervous enough to stand up or reposition. Otherwise, just come back the next day when he may be in just enough of a different spot that you can shoot him."

Look Harder
Don't assume there's not a deer if you don't see one right away. "Change your angle. Get down on a knee or on the ground," says Foulkrod. "And when you find one, look even harder, because there's usually another one or two--maybe the buck you've been looking for."