I'm off and running again with muzzleloader hunts back to back all the way to Christmas. Hunting can be downright difficult in December as bucks crash after the rut like a marathoner after a race. As you read this I'm already hunting in Nebraska, and hopefully I'm getting a small break with late-rutting action. When that dies down, it's all about weather.
If Mother Nature cooperates, I'll be hunting in sub-zero temperatures and deep snow. It's the only sure way to get tired bucks on their feet during legal shooting light. In addition to unforgiving conditions, there are several other late-season whitetail hunting strategies you can employ:
1. Hunt whitetails near prime food sources. Think energy in cold conditions such as corn, but winter wheat, soybeans and turnips can also draw bucks in for a holiday meal.
2. Hunt whitetail transition zones between food and bedding cover. Wary bucks will be hungry, but may not show up at food until well after dark. Cut them off on the way for the best success.
3. Hunt whitetails during afternoons. Like early-season bucks, late-season bucks can be difficult to target in the morning. They will be on the fields in the dark feeding so if you do hunt mornings, look for a backdoor ambush.
4. Whitetails are smart. Hunt smart. It will be cold, so dress warm. I'm taking my Cabela's Whitetail Extreme Series bibs and parka, and if it really gets cold I'll resort to my Heater Body Suit.