It ain’t over yet and since the Fat Lady won’t sing until after Feb. 1, you’ll still find me archery deer hunting.
The most significant change to my tactics will be the use of a ground blind instead of using a tree ladder stand.
Blinds are safer and more comfortable, though it seems the deer are taking their good old time getting used to the contraption.
However, I am not sure whether the deer are blind-shy or what. Up until the blind was placed I had seen lots of deer from the tree stand. Since it went up, I have not seen a single animal.
The same goes for John Grantham of Lake Metroparks. John has switched to a ground blind after spedning the fall in a tree stand. His results are zero deer seen, too.
I do continue to use corn as the lure, though; the deer eating between 100 and 150 pounds of the grain per week.
Fortunately, the price of corn has dropped by more than 30 percent.
The greatest challenge facing the late season archery deer hunter is enduring the cold and sometimes boredom.
It is noteworthy to keep in mind that only 15 percent of all deer killed by archery tackle are shot after the start of the various gun and muzzle-loading hunting seasons.
So, yes, there are fewer deer and they are all the more wise after months of archery and gun hunting.
But late season deer can be vulnerable and I’ve found on more than one occasion that late-season hunting is a great way to top off the freezer with venison.
Remember too that the antlerless-only deer tags can still be used in Urban Deer Zones, which in Northeast Ohio includes Lake County and Cuyahoga counties as well as Geauga County west of Rt. 44.