Deer will be shifting to their winter food sources as the weather gets colder, so prioritize acorns, woody browse and other winter food sources. Fresh snow makes it easier to track deer, so try to get out and scout soon after the snow falls. If you know where to hunt and how to take advantage of the snow, you can harvest one last deer before the season’s over.
Winter Food Sources
Deer tend to stick with food sources that are found naturally in their diet during the winter, so there’s no need to introduce any new feed into your Feedbank Gravity Feeder now. A deer’s digestive system can’t handle unnatural food in the winter because the deer are in survival mode. If they eat too many carbs with not enough fiber, their digestive system won’t be able to break it down. Put out feed that is high in fat, protein and fiber so that the deer can digest it properly and won’t be scared away from your feeders because the food makes them sick.
Look for oak trees that still have acorns on the ground from their fall shed. Deer eat these in the fall and will continue to eat any acorns they find on the ground in the winter. Deer will also eat leaves, twigs and saplings if nothing else is available. So spread some leaves and other woody debris around your feeder to entice the deer to the area and give them two forms of nutrition. Deer remember where they can rely on food, so they’ll continue to visit your property until the season’s over.
When it’s a heavy, blustery snowfall, deer might take refuge among trees and bedding areas. Heavy, wet snow sticks to a deer’s coat and will entice them to find shelter and bed down to ride out the snowstorm. They’ll also take shelter to avoid going through thick snow banks.
Conversely, if the snow is a gentle snowfall, deer will take the opportunity to migrate to another bedding area or food source. Get ready for the deer activity by setting up shop in your Stump blind. The thick insulation will help keep you warm even when the temperature outside is below freezing. You’ll be able to comfortably stake out the deer and wait for their snow-induced activity. The windows open silently, so you’ll be able to keep them closed and keep the snow out and the sound in until the very last second. You can wait to open the window until the deer are almost directly in front of you without fear of scaring them off.
Use the Snow to Your Advantage
Fresh snowfall makes it easy to track deer. If you go out right after a snowfall, their prints will still be fresh and easy to follow and could lead you right to the deer. You can also use the snow to your advantage by creating paths for the deer to walk in. Deer want to avoid trapsing through thick snow as much as we do, so if you create a path that leads to a food source or to your Stump blind, the deer might be attracted to it and use the path for themselves.
Deer need reliable food sources in the winter and will take shelter as much as possible in harsh snowy conditions. Choose your feed accordingly, use the snow to your advantage, and be ready in your Stump blind for a successful end to the hunting season.
What late season hunting tactics do you use at the end of every season? Let us know in the comments below!