I’ve always been a huge fan of the late October through early November window for killing specific bucks - LATE SEASON can be just as good if not better!
With mature bucks being wore down from the rigors of the rut, it’s time to feed again in order to survive! I can’t put enough emphasis on this fact - food is more important now than at any other time of the year! This is going to make these older bucks predictable once again. During late season, you have to find the food and when you do you will find the deer, period!
One word of caution: Although these animals will return to a somewhat normal routing moving mainly from security cover to food sources and back, they will be on HIGH alert! Make a mistake on a late season giant and it might just be game over. You HAVE to make the most of any opportunity you get because it might be the only one you get. This is why I think the Red Moon could be more significant now than any other time of the season. Not too many second chances this late in the game, you have to stack the deck in your favor and get it done the first time in!
This is not the time to skip any steps. Go through all your gear, making sure everything is working properly and is deadly quiet - bow, clothing, stand, everything! Pay strict attention to your setup in the tree, making sure you are not sky-lined, even if it means hunting lower than you normally do. Pay even closer attention to your entry and exit, going out of your way to avoid bumping any deer on your way in or out of your stand. After being hunted for 3-4 months deer will not tolerate any human scent, so you better be on your A game with your scent free regimen!
Finally, plan your hunt around the red moon. After 40 years of chasing big bucks with stick and string, I would bet the farm on a Red Moon evening over any other to catch a giant moving early. If you get a good weather pattern on these days, all the better. Hunting a preferred food source with a perfect wind on a Red Moon night with a weather pattern that increases activity is the perfect storm for late season success!