John's Journal...

White-Tailed Bucks on a Cold Day

Locating Deer After the Snow

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: I talked with Dr. Larry Marchinton, well-known deer researcher who’s now retired as a profClick to enlargeessor of wildlife at the University of Georgia, who explained, “I don’t have any scientific research to back up this theory. However, I do know from my own experience that I see fewer deer moving on extremely-cold days than I do when the weather’s more stable. The day a cold front moves in isn’t as productive a day to hunt as the day before or after a cold front hits. Although deer do have to move in cold weather, I don’t believe they move as much on the coldest days as they do after the weather stabilizes.”

As Norman LeBrun, our guide, my friend Tony Zappia and I moved quietly through the freshly-fallen snow in Colorado, we spotted the nice buck we’d been after less than 100 yards from where we’d first seen his tracks. I looked at my watch just before I aimed and took the shot. Only 20 minutes had elapsed from the time we’d first seen the track. The nice 8 point ran about 30 yards before he went down. LeBrun said, “I told you he was a nice buck that wasn’t far in front of us.” I told LeBrun kiddingly, “Okay, but you said our stalk and hunt only would take 15 minutes.I looked at my watch, Click to enlargeand we’d taken 20 minutes.” LeBrun explained, “I needed 5 more minutes to explain to you why this was a buck track, and how I knew how far he was in front of us. Then you had to get your gun, your pack and your gear. My timetable was Click to enlargeexact – you just were slow.”

When cold weather hits, watch TV’s Weather Channel, and try to determine how fast the storm has moved and in what direction. Plan to reach the place you want to hunt just before the snow ends. Often you can see and bag nice bucks better on those kinds of days than you ever can in stable weather.

Tomorrow: Hunt the Coveys

Check back each day this week for more about "White-Tailed Bucks on a Cold Day"

Day 1: Deer on Cold Days
Day 2: Watch for Breaking Weather
Day 3: Locating Deer After the Snow
Day 4: Hunt the Coveys
Day 5: Use a Dirty Trick


Entry 542, Day 3