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How To/Pro-Tips

Late Season Groceries

Food is the greatest single factor in late season deer hunting success. With winter coming on everywhere frigid weather already settled in to the northern states, deer are trying to "fuel up" for a long winter. The farther north you go and the colder it gets, the more pronounced is this last minute feeding frenzy. Agricultural crops, particularly corn, are great favorites as deer food. These fertilized grains are loaded with nutrients and carbohydrates that help deer build up the fat reserves they need for winter survival. Winter greens, both wild and agricultural, are also a draw. Even while concentrating on nutrient-rich grains, deer like greens for variety and vitamins. Winter oats, rye, clover and alfalfa are well utilized by late-season deer. If, in the earlier parts of the season, you were frustrated by a heavy acorn crop, go back now. If it was really heavy there are bound to be some nuts left. Deer love this carbohydrate and fat-rich natural food.

Big End Scopes

Deer are most active during periods of low light. This means "light-gathering" ability is a very important factor in a deer-rifle scope. Light enters the scope through the objective lens and a big objective lens lets in more light. However, magnification limits the amount of light passing through the "exit pupil." (The payback is that higher magnification offsets this by presenting a larger image.) To determine the exit pupil's diameter, divide objective diameter (mm) by the power. A 4X scope with a 40mm objective lens has an exit pupil of 10. The eye's pupil only dilates to 6 or 7mm, so an exit pupil the same size or larger will max out your eye

Bucks And The Acorn Connection

Oak trees of some species are found all over the range of whitetail deer. This is good because deer love acorns. However, they love some acorns more than others. White oak acorns are preferred because they have less tannic acid than red oak acorns. White oaks bloom and bear nuts every year. The red oaks bloom one year and produce acorns the next. Hunter success is the reverse of acorn success. When acorns are abundant and widespread so are the deer. With deer spread out and not required to move very much to feed, hunter success drops. However, when the acorn crop is diminished by a late spring frost, hunters who know where to find alternative foods cash in. Remember red oaks bloom the year before they produce acorns, so a late spring frost doesn't damage them. Also, some white oaks may have escaped frost damage. Either way, the hunter who knows where to find acorns when acorns are scarce is in a very good position. -- Bob Foulkrod

Common Sense About Scents

Dousing yourself in doe urine won't guarantee you a big buck. In fact, that's one of the things you should not do. Proper use of deer scent is very important for success. With any of the deer-specific scents -- general deer scent, doe estrous or sex scent and buck urine -- the attracted deer comes looking for the scent source. You don't want to be "It." There are many scent dispenser systems that can be hung on trees near your stand or even better, where you want the deer to pause for a shot. Place the deer-lure scent on the upwind side of trails or fresh sign and position yourself downwind. If you use boot pads or drag rags to cover your trail, take them off and hang them just like a scent dispenser. Use a cover scent at your location. Using a dispenser, rather than wearing the cover scent, is a good idea. Walking into a restaurant wearing skunk scent won

Always Check Your Zero

Regardless of how reliable your favorite rifle has always been, stuff happens. A knock here and a ding there can knock the sights out of alignment. Damp and rain, cold and dry, a weekend in a cold deer camp, a few days in a warm home

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