There are many things you can do this time of year to increase your odds of killing a buck this fall. This is the time of year you can unravel buck movement, create bedding areas and hone your shooting skills.
The woods can reveal many secrets this time of year. The leaves have all disappeared from the trees opening up the forest and allowing us to see rubs, trails and in some cases scrapes much easier than earlier in the season. If some of your bucks did make it through the season and return to your woods this fall, they just might show up at some of the places they called home last fall. You can find their hangouts by locating clusters of rubs or scrapes. And if snow is on the ground it makes it easier to spot their favorite bedding areas. Trails show up well in the snow and could lead to discovering a new pinch point. Trail intersections are always good places to hang a stand.
Shed hunting can help by telling you which bucks made it through the season and will be even bigger next fall. It may even let you know about bucks you never knew existed in your woods.
So put on your cold weather gear and go for a hike in the deer woods. Now would be a good time to check out those bedding areas too. If you bump a buck now it more than likely won't cost you a chance at killing him next fall. And seeing exactly where he likes to hang out in certain wind conditions could lead to his demise.
Winter is a great time to do a little maintenance on your hunting grounds.
Take to the woods with your chain saw and create some bedding cover. By hinge cutting trees you can create a tangle of fallen tree tops bucks love to bed in. The thicker the better. This also creates instant browse from the buds and tender twigs on the fallen branches. Then when spring comes the added light reaching the forest floor will produce tremendous new growth from seed lying dormant under the leaves.
Spreading lime or fertilizer on food plots now will ensure the nutrients are taken down into the soil with the spring thawing and rains.
Over seeding your clover plots in late winter will fill in bare or thinning spots as well start new plants when the weather finally does break.
Sharpen Your Skills
Winter is a great time to join indoor leagues at your local Archery Pro Shop. Many of the better shops now have indoor 3D shoots, 3D pop up or video archery leagues. By keeping your hunting skills sharp throughout the year, you'll be ready when fall comes and that shot at your buck presents itself.
What are you doing this winter to increase your odds of tagging that wall hanger?