If deer dates in your neck of the woods have long since passed, head to one of these states for late-season hunting opportunities.
While most deer hunters live for the rut, unfilled tags or an itch for more can make the long wait until next season unbearable.
That's when late season hunting, well into the new year, can really be a boon. Maybe it's an antlerless-only season, or maybe it's restricted to a certain method of take.
Either way, a hunter who's trying to make the most of their season is stretching their active hunting across as long of a period as they can. Even if it isn't necessarily a proven time of year or the ideal conditions, you can learn a lot by watching deer movement (or lack thereof), noting what they're feeding on, and how they're coping with the winter.
If you still need to fill your freezer after the turn of the calendar, here are twelve states where deer seasons continue into January and even February.
Ohio Archery and Muzzleloader
Bowhunters have a full four and a half months to get it done in Ohio. The deer season typically opens at the end of September and runs all the way through early February. For the 2021-2022 season, that gives hunters until February 6.
And if muzzleloader is more your thing, a four-day season from January 8 through 11 in 2022 allows for filling tags in the Buckeye State.
The statewide bag limit is six deer — only one of which can be antlered — so you can stock up on venison for many months ahead.
Wisconsin Archery and Crossbow
For the 2021-2022 whitetail season, Wisconsin boasts generous archery and crossbow hunting opportunities from September 18 through January 9 in most areas and January 31 for metro sub-units. With plenty of world-class bucks in the books, Wisconsin is a great state for whitetail hunters.
Kansas Extended Firearms
Another well-known whitetail state, Kansas offers select hunting seasons into the month of January. Extended firearms season — antlerless only in some WAOs — run through as late as January 23 in 2022.
With lots of public land and long seasons, Oklahoma is an excellent choice for late season hunting. For the 2021-2022 season, archery runs from October 1 through January 15.
Hunters can tag up to six deer, two of which can be antlered.
Alabama Archery and Gun
Depending on zone, property type (public or private), and your weapon of choice, you can hunt whitetails in Alabama until mid February. With rut activity that typically occurs later in the state, you can still see some pretty great action in Alabama while most hunters are hanging it up for the year.
Mississippi Youth, Archery, and Gun with Dogs
If you have access to private land in Mississippi and want to hunt deer with dogs, you can hit the woods well into January. Archery season runs through late January or even mid February, depending on which unit you're hunting. Exact dates vary based on public versus private land and whether you're hunting bucks, does, or both.
Youth seasons also run into the new year in Mississippi, so consider taking your kids here for some late season fun.
North Dakota Archery
Although dates for the 2021-2022 season have already passed, bowhunters in North Dakota can typically chase deer for a few days in January.
Texas Special Seasons
Special late seasons run through mid January or the end of the month, depending on which zone you're hunting in Texas. Youth only as well as muzzleloader seasons also allow for whitetail opportunity a few weeks into the new year.
And if you're open to hunting exotic deer in the Lone Star State, you can continue through the entire calendar year.
Although not a quintessential deer state, Florida offers hunting opportunity much later than most. In Zones B, C, and D, general gun seasons run through January 23 or February 20 in 2022. And muzzleloader hunters can still fill tags in Zone D from February 21 through 27 this year.
Virginia Urban Archery
In 2022, Virginia urban archery seasons run from January 2 through March 27. Sure, it's not for everyone, but it's a great option for some hunters. Then the NOVA late archery season for antlerless deer only falls March 28 through April 24 in just four counties: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William
Pennsylvania Archery and Gun
Statewide archery opens back up in Pennsylvania after Christmas and runs through January 17 in 2022. In select WMUs, that date is January 29, 2022. Flintlock seasons also run through the first month of the year, and an extended firearms season provides late season opportunity for hunters in a few WMUs as well.
Delaware Archery and Gun
Another state that's probably not a whitetail destination but provides good opportunity for residents or neighboring states is Delaware.
Archery and crossbow seasons run from September 1 through January 31 for the 2021-2022 season. Statewide muzzleloader is open again from January 24 to 30, the general firearms season (shotgun) from January 15 through 23, and a handgun and straight walled pistol caliber rifle only season on January 1 and 3 through 8.
Late-season hunting, depending on where you are, can be completely different and more challenging than hunting the whitetail woods in the fall. You'll want to consider food sources, weather conditions, and a few other factors to up your odds for your success.
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