If conditions are right, late season hunting can be just as exciting and productive as the rut. The key to late season hunting near a food source is to fill the field with what I call “confidence” deer. Confidence deer are basically all the deer that enter a field before your shooter is willing to expose himself during daylight.
With winter weather settling in across much of the nation, it’s time to take inventory of food availability in your area. Even if you had success with a food plot or left standing crops, keeping a supplemental feeding program active during the next few months will help your deer hit the ground running in terms of growth once spring green up occurs.
I hunted our lease in Nebraska this weekend and shot an old warrior we know as “Bowser.” Here is how the stars aligned and I was able to catch this mature buck on his feet in daylight.
Every year that I hunt, I hear reports from other hunters that usually sound like this: “You better get in the stand, they are rutting like crazy right now.”
Outside of the breeding season, deer are crepuscular meaning they are mostly active in the morning and evening. That pattern, however, changes during the breeding season. A buck could walk past at any time during the day, and if you are back home eating lunch you may miss your only opportunity at a trophy buck. All day sits can be mentally draining, especially if you are new at it. Here are some tips to help keep you in the stand and in the game.
When I am planning for a hunt, the biggest factor I consider is the direction of the wind. Everyone knows that white-tailed deer have an excellent sense of smell but it never ceases to amaze me how a deer 100 yards away can pick up on the slightest bit of human scent even though we are 17’ up in a tree.
While I was attending graduate school at Auburn University, I ran 6 trail cameras year-round within their 430-acre captive research facility. My study involved capturing newborn fawns and using their DNA profile to determine which bucks in the herd were siring fawns. For me, it was important to know what bucks were still alive during the breeding season so we could include them in our analysis of parentage.
Every serious land manager will inevitably deal with failure at some point throughout the year. Whether it is drought, disease, equipment failure, or any number of other negative possibilities, the sign of a good manager is one that learns to deal with adversity and comes back smarter or stronger because of it.
Acorns are raining down across much of the U.S. right now, so it is a great time to talk about pulse resource availability.