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Hunting Late Season Food Sources

by John Mueller 22. December 2008 12:56
John Mueller

Hunting late season food sources can be very rewarding and also very frustrating at times. The deer have been hunted for months and are extremely wary about coming out in the open during daylight at this time of year. A lot of times they won’t show up until right at dark.


It’s also very easy for them to spot the hunters in the trees this time of year. All of the leaves are off the trees and there is no cover left for the hunter. With it being extra cold this year we tend to move around a lot on stand and the deer pick up this movement. Next thing you know you’re BUSTED and a snort and waving tails is all that’s left.


I have also been caught sneaking into my stands this year. The deer tend to bed close to their food source in the late season. This conserves energy by not having to travel very far in the snow and cold temps. So we need to take extra care to avoid being spotted on the way to our stands. Walking in the middle of fields away from the woods line might be one way to keep from being spotted. Another might be sneaking up a ditch or in a creek bottom.


Last weekend I hunted over my turnip plot. I took the long way around the top of the field and walked straight into my stand from the middle of the field. I wasn’t spotted by any deer that I know of. The deer have really been eating the turnips since the weather turned cold.




The deer have really been hammering my trunips lately.



I had this button buck come in early in the afternoon sit. He fed for quite a while from 10-20 yards in front of me. It was funny hearing him crunching on the turnips. I’ll let grow up a few more years.


This little button buck was crunching on the turnips 10 yards in front of me. He gets a free pass for few more years.


A half hour or so before dark I could see a group of does slowly making their way to the food plot. They would nibble a bit here and there then scan the woods for any danger, move a few yards closer and scan the woods some more. Forage in the leaves for anything edible and sample the air for any foreign odors. Standing in one spot for what seemed like forever looking for anything out of place. I thought they were going to follow a trail upwind of me into the plot, but they all headed downwind of me. When the first one hit my scent stream, she locked up and went on full alert. Started stomping her foot and stuck her nose as high as she could into the air. One more wiff of me and she started snorting and bounded about 75 back into the woods. Once a safe distance away she continued blowing for another 5 minutes before they all took of over the hill, flags waving. That was the end of that hunt.


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