The Hunt is Right Around the Corner

With exams slowly approaching, it can only mean one thing. Christmas break hunting is on the horizon! As temperatures continue to drop it’ll be one advantage I lean on now that the rut is mostly over. There are three areas, as a hunter, that I will be focusing on when I get into the woods.

1. Oak Groves

With some unforeseen obstacles that have limited foliage on my lease this year, the deer are constantly eating acorns. This year unlike the past three, I hunted mainly in the woods during Thanksgiving break. Typically I like to hunt fields or even travel corridors from food sources to bedding areas, however, this year the best option seems to be getting back in the woods where large oak are and setting up near major funnels. The acorns are in abundance this year which allows the deer to not have to travel as far to find food during the daylight hours.

2. Water Sources

This may be a no brainer, but it cannot be overlooked. Especially in the late season mature bucks are going to stay in a smaller area, and those areas are going to be close to a food source and a water source. This could be a creek, a pond, or a trickle that comes off a lake. Whatever the case may be this offers protection for the deer because predators are forced to cross these natural boundaries in turn offering an advantage to mature bucks.

3. Thickets

It’s late in the season, and bucks are tired, and don’t want to move unless they have to. This is when they find high grass, thick trees, or brush that they can get low to the ground and not be seen. Many bucks won’t move until you’re right on top of them. This happened to me over Thanksgiving. I took a path to my stand that I don’t normally take because it’s pretty long, but due to the wind I new it was my only option for this prime spot. I had walked several hundred yards almost to my stand when something to my right jumped up and rushed at me. I turned around to see a 3 and half year old deer coming at me only to veer of five yards in front of me. This deer wasn’t going to move until I was nearly in his bedding area.

These are three places I personally look for this time of year at my lease in central North Carolina, and I will continue to pursue until that mature buck is down.

-Nathan Unger

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