Quick Tips for Last-Minute Whitetails

by
posted on January 23, 2021
quick-tips-for-last-minute-whitetails_lead.jpg

The rut may be over, but your season doesn’t have to be. If you’re still looking to fill a tag before the bell tolls, these tips can help.

Focus on Food
Just like it is for you, a hearty meal is nearly irresistible to whitetails during the late season from December through January and beyond. Deer are recovering from rutting activities and need to replenish and store fat to make it through the coldest part of the year. Locate the available food sources, or create your own where legal, and get ready to fill your food stores as deer do the same.

Look for food sources nearest to potential bedding areas and dense, wind- and weather-blocking cover. Deer will be conserving energy in the warmest place they can find when it gets cold, and won’t be covering as much ground as they were during the rut.

Wildlife Institute Kraze Flavored Attractant

Standing crops like corn and beans will be hit hard again this time of year, and, like the early season, you should be able to set your clock to afternoon/evening feeding times.

If no crops exist in your area, focus on acorns again, or hunt your previously planted late-season food plots. Turnips, winter wheat and radishes are like deer candy this time of year. Where legal, strong-scented edible deer attractants, like Kraze from Whitetail Institute, can turn on a hunt faster than you can put it out and make it to your stand.

Up Your Stealth Game
Now that the craziness of the rut is over, those lovesick bucks that were running nose-to-the-ground last month with a single focus will once again become wary of sights and smells that don’t belong. To take advantage of every opportunity you have left in the woods, you need to increase your scent-control methods and make sure your stand or blind is well hidden.

Wildlife Research Center Earth X-tra Concentrated Masking Scent

Hunt the wind, and make sure you have an entry and exit strategy that minimizes your scent dispersion and the chance of bumping any deer from their beds. Use cover scents, like Earth or Pine Masking Scents from Wildlife Research Center, and make sure your camo and gear are free of a season’s worth of human odor by washing them in a scent-control detergent and spraying down before you hit the field.

Add some extra cover to your hide, be it a treestand or ground blind, with dead limbs or available evergreens. With the woods now bare, your view—along with a buck's—is increased, so back cover is important to hide your outline and any movements, especially when snow is on the ground.

Add a few zip ties to your pack, and on your way to the stand make sure to collect a few good evergreen branches should you pass them. Once you get to your tree, it's a quick and quiet job to brush up your hide by zip-tying a few branches to the metal side rails and back brackets of your treestand. 

Latest

Know How Sharpen A Knife Lead
Know How Sharpen A Knife Lead

Know-How: Sharpen a Knife

Other than a gun or bow, a knife is about the most important tool a hunter may carry. Of course it must be sharp to be useful. Here’s how to put a good edge on it.

Mossberg International SA-410 Product Safety Recall

Mossberg International, Inc. (Mossberg) has recently discovered a potential safety issue with certain Mossberg International Model SA-410 Shotguns which may lead to personal injury and/or damage to the shotgun.

West Virginia to Allow Airgun Hunting for Big Game

The Airgun Sporting Association, the trade organization of the airgun industry, announced that West Virginia will soon be allowing air-rifle hunting for both small and big game.

First Look: Antler King Red Zone Food Plot

Antler King’s Red Zone food-plot mix is designed to give hunters an opportunity at a trophy buck no matter what season they hunt.

First Look: New Binos from Covert Optics

From alpine slopes to desert floors to the whitetail woods, Covert Optics 8X42mms and 10X42mms are made to help hunters dissect the details of wild landscapes to uncover a prospective target animal, or accurately size up a cruising buck in the distance.

Ruger Reintroduces the Marlin Model 1895 Trapper

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. has announced its reintroduction of the Marlin Model 1895 Trapper.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.