John's Journal...

White-Tailed Bucks on a Cold Day

Use a Dirty Trick

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: I talked with Dr. Larry Marchinton, well-known deer researcher who’s now retired as a professor of wildlife at the University of Georgia, who explained, Click to enlarge“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.”

From studying wildlife, we all know there are no absolutes. In many northern states with large cornfields, deer often will bed out in the open fields, even in cold weather, because the corn may provide the energy and the heat they need to stay warm. But perhaps older northern deer, because they’re accustomed to the cold, too will bed in the middlesof big fields to enable themselves to see and smell danger coming from greater distances than they can when in thick cover. However, I’ve always known that to take the biggest and the oldest age-class bucks during the cold times of the year in really-thick cover where no one in their right mind wants to hunt during cold weather, I need to prepare a stand site. I’ll cut shooting lanes either in the summer or in Click to enlargeSeptember and October in these types of areas. Then when cold weather comes, I can sneak into these thick-cover areas and have a really-good chance of taking a nice buck.

Click to enlargeAlso, deer have to drink water regularly. If you’re hunting during a severe cold front that lasts several days and freezes-up all the water sources, use the sledge-hammer tactic to harvest a nice buck. Before bad weather comes, identify trails that cross creeks, ponds and/or other places where deer go for water. Than after a major freeze-up, move to these spots with a sledge-hammer, and break holes in the ice close to the bank to allow deer to get water. Often the deer will find these sledge-hammer water holes before they refreeze, and you can concentrate deer at them, including a big buck. Cold, bad weather does inconvenience the hunter. But, remember that bad weather doesn’t really bother deer that much because they live in it all their lives.

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 5