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Hunting December Whitetails: 3 Tips

If you find yourself chasing whitetail bucks in the bitter cold this December, here are a few tips that may help you be successful.

[caption id="attachment_5785" align="aligncenter" width="300"]winter whitetail Photo via Wikicommons. By[/caption] With the cold of December fully upon us, and firearm seasons behind us in most states, you might find yourself in a stand pursuing whitetails. December can be a great month for scoring on big whitetail bucks for several reasons. One, the cold temperatures might drive bucks into longer feeding sessions, upping your odds for seeing them during legal shooting hours. Secondly, hunting pressure typically has eased a bit so a buck is more likely to be caught unaware, and thirdly, does who did not get covered in the November rut will come back into estrus and trigger a smaller, but potent, secondary rut. If you plan on braving the cold this December, here are 3 tips to help you succeed.

Food Source

One great thing about hunting in December is the food sources are typically easy to locate. Much of the natural vegetation has died out, so deer are more likely to spend time in a picked cornfield. With the corn picked, deer will also move out of the field into timbered areas, or other areas of cover. Knowing where and how a buck will travel to and from his food source, and moving your stand accordingly, can up your odds of success.

Bedding Areas

As previously mentioned, bedding areas have changed by December. Deer that holed up in cornfields all fall are now driven to find new areas of protection. On cold December days look for areas that have a southern exposure with protection from the biting winds. Like all of us, deer will gravitate to these warm areas to soak up what little heat the sun has to offer. If you’ve ever been out in the woods and have found an area like this, you know exactly why the deer is there.

Manage the Cold

The third thing to remember in December is not about deer, but about hunters. I would guess that more than a few hunters leave the house amped up for a good December hunt, only to return to the house prematurely for a number of reasons. The number one reason is hunters get too cold. Make sure to dress appropriately for the cold temperatures. Sitting in a stand can be one of the coldest places to be on a winter morning, so dress to be comfortable. Dressing warm means to dress in layers. Layers are what trap heat and help to block the wind. Another piece of advice is to bring a thermos of coffee, or even a warm snack like soup or chili. These treats can boost the spirits and help extend those chilly winter sits. Hunting whitetails in December can be challenging, but the rewards can be great. If you are heading out keep these tips in mind and they may help you score on a nice buck this winter.
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