By Brandon Wikman
Late season is finally here! Like it or not, it’s cold, bitter and almost mind-numbing.
Much of the country has passed through their early season archery hunting, mid-firearm blasting season, and now it is time for late season deer hunting adventure; a time when your fingers go numb, eyes water from the chilling wind, and the layers of clothes make you look plump.
The Midwest recently received a load of fluffy white snow dropped off from a storm that passes late last week. The most recent temperatures have been in the teens and wind-chill factors flirting with single digits. To some this means primetime deer hunting.
During late season when temperatures drop significantly, deer must make a boogie to food sources a little earlier than normal. This is a good thing, considering the more daylight available the better. Yesterday, I took a walk in the snowy woods searching for fresh tracks. Needless to say, I found hundreds. I find it extremely interesting to notice the slight changes of deer movement, travel pattern and key food source locations that alter after the rut.
Deer are far more prone to find a snack of corn, picked soybean field, or even a nice food plot of leftover greens. This is where late season tactics meet cold weather techniques. It is essential to locate where the mass general deer movement is at this time. Now is a period where deer shift travel and food patterns once again. Many times, seeking tracks in the snow is the very best way other than using Moultrie trail cameras. If it is legal to bait in your area, deer generally will smash it like a pancake! It is all about food, food and more food.
The next few weeks I’ll be focusing on hitting up field edges overlooking rich food sources. With the cold weather to my advantage, I’ll do my best to get out there and stay partially warm.
Next week’s article will be about how to stay warm in cold season conditions; a few tips and tricks I’ve learned from some of the best in the business.