Planning For Muzzleloader SeasonDecember 20th, 2013 by Adam Keith
For many whitetail hunters we’ve reached the late season post rut phase and it’s time to switch gears! We’ve been hunting trails, bottlenecks, and food plots lately but as we set aside our Prime bows and pick up our muzzleloaders for the opening of primitive season Saturday we’ll take a little time to talk about our strategy.
As you’ve heard me talk about recently the second rut is generally sometime during December here at The Proving Grounds. It’s caused by female fawns reaching approximately 60 or 70 pounds which triggers puberty and makes them receptive, and as every deer hunter knows, a hot doe is the number one attraction for a whitetail buck. The greatest thing about the second rut is unlike a mature doe who seeks cover when she becomes receptive, doe fawns go about their normal schedule. They are still going from cover to food, regardless if they are receptive or not.
Checking our Reconyx cameras recently I’ve noticed several bucks nudging doe fawns around food plots, even a couple hit list bucks! This makes them very prone to following hot doe fawns into a food plot during daylight hours! Even better!
Another great advantage of late season hunting over early season is frost. This time of year here at The Proving Grounds we usually receive a frost every morning, and this frost can be extremely heavy at times! During the cold weather months deer obviously are very concerned with staying warm, and like you and I when we’re trying to stay warm we don’t typically eat ice cream or any other frozen food! Putting this in hunters terms, deer don’t usually feed while there is a heavy frost on; they can be seen feeding mid morning (like the doe fawn we caught Trashman chasing last year) or they’ll feed more heavily in the afternoons.
Late season is one of my favorite times to hunt whitetails! You can usually be more successful hunting in the afternoons than mornings, and if you find a lot of doe fawns using the area, hang tight because a hit list buck will most likely make an appearance there.
Saturday afternoon, weather permitting, Grant and I will take to the field in hopes of finding that hot doe fawn with a hit list buck not far behind! Good luck to everyone headed out and be safe!
Daydreaming of whitetails,