Usually when hunters get ready for the season, guns blazing, their heavy lifting is focused on pre- and the beginning of the season. Food is plentiful, the weather is nice, there are prizes galore (if you know what you’re doing). Hunters have put out trail cams, have planted plots, found the food, and otherwise done all the needed work to be successful. At the beginning of the season. By December, food goodies are sparse, the weather forces behavior patterns most aren’t expecting (from deer and hunters). We’ll discuss a few tips to get you thinking about the differences between early season and late December Hunting.
1) It’s cold.
This is more about people than deer. By this time, only the super troopers are still at it. The lifers, or the young gung-ho guys just starting out. This can work to your advantage in a couple of ways. Firstly, competition is less stiff. You aren’t competing with every expert, novice, and Average Joe around. Secondly, if you man up and ask for tips and information from other hunters, you may find their information to be invaluable. The hunters you will run across in December are just as dedicated as you, and may know things about the area or the deer in that area that you don’t. Ask and you shall receive.
2) Find the food.
This isn’t a new idea. What is new is where to look for said food. You aren’t going to be looking for acorns. Those will all have been eaten by this point. You’re looking for late blooming fruit, and fruit that has fallen to the ground like persimmons and wild apples. Deer love honey locust and honeysuckle in the lateness of December, so get good at identifying it if you are unsure of what it looks like. Before dawn or a couple hours before sunset are your best bets.
3) Walk around.
Blind and stand sitting is great for warmer weather hunts where you have all the time in the world, but it could be helpful to add still-hunting to your repertoire. Still-hunting isn’t what it sounds like. You actually move around so much more than if you were in a blind because still-hunting requires you to walk around. With so many less hunters out in December, you have a higher chance of being undisturbed and able to safely walk around. This allows you to be the hunter, stalk your prey. You’ll have to get good at disguising your noises and scents and pausing and waiting at just the right time, but it could prove to be beneficial. It’s also a great form of exercise.
Hunting is hunting, but being able to be flexible with what you need to do will lead you down the path of nabbing some monster bucks!