American Hunter - December 2013 - 46

until that day in late December last season.
I was as excited to finally get a shot
at Loppy as any buck I have ever shot-
including some with much larger headgear.
That is the power of the late season: You
can see bucks you have not seen for years-
nocturnal old buggers that only come out
in daylight a few times per season.

The Key Role of Food

If not pressured hard, bucks will fall into
feeding patterns that bring them out during the daylight shortly after the rut ends
in late November. However, if they are
being pressured (or recently were pressured during the general firearm season)
you will need to wait a couple of weeks for
the deer to give up their nocturnal ways.
Either way, food is an important key.
If you don't have a highly attractive
food source in your hunting area, the
late season probably won't be much fun.
It really is that simple. During the late
season, it is all about the food. If you have
the food, you have the deer. If you have
the deer, eventually breaks in the weather
will bring them out in daylight.
I plant quite a few acres of food plots
on our farm each year. It isn't too hard

to pull off, even on a budget, if you are
careful about what you plant, and how
you plant it. Truthfully, my food plots
aren't all that useful during the rut. I
often hunt near them, and they do hold
does in the area, which is important, but
I could have decent rut hunting without
the food plots.
However, my entire late-season strategy
revolves around those food plots. That is
when the effort and cost are fully rewarded.

How to Hunt with Cameras

You can learn a ton from placing a trail
camera on your best food sources to
determine if and when bucks come out.
Many of the better cameras on the market today have what is called a field scan, or
time-lapse, mode that allows you to take a
photo at set intervals during certain times
of the day. For example, you can set the
camera to take a photo every  seconds or
every minute for the last hour of daylight.
When you go back to study these photos
you will start to see patterns develop. It is
a simple strategy: place the camera, set the
mode, check as often as possible. When
you start to get daylight photos of a nice
buck, move in and hunt him.

Six Good Days

After  years of hunting nearly every day
of every season, I am convinced that there
aren't as many good days as I had thought,
or hoped. The early season has maybe one
or two, the rut has three really good days
on average each year, and the late season
typically has two, again on average.
The trick, of course, is predicting which
six days these will be. I have gotten much
better at predicting them now. I can get you
pretty darn close. But let's zero in on the
purpose of this article: the late season.
If you skip the late season, you potentially give up one-third of the best days
of the entire season. I am not saying you
can't kill bucks on other days, but if you
take those six and give me all the rest, I
am likely to place my bet on you!
It is simple. Find good food sources in
areas that have experienced no more than
moderate hunting pressure in the regular
firearm season and be there every time
the temperature breaks warm or cold and
you will see some action.
Without these critical factors, late-season hunting can be drudgery, even torture.
With these factors in place, it can be the
best hunting of the entire season. ah

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American Hunter - December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2013

Contents
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover1
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover2
American Hunter - December 2013 - 1
American Hunter - December 2013 - Contents
American Hunter - December 2013 - 3
American Hunter - December 2013 - 4
American Hunter - December 2013 - 5
American Hunter - December 2013 - 6
American Hunter - December 2013 - 7
American Hunter - December 2013 - 8
American Hunter - December 2013 - 9
American Hunter - December 2013 - 10
American Hunter - December 2013 - 11
American Hunter - December 2013 - 12
American Hunter - December 2013 - 13
American Hunter - December 2013 - 14
American Hunter - December 2013 - 15
American Hunter - December 2013 - 16
American Hunter - December 2013 - 17
American Hunter - December 2013 - 18
American Hunter - December 2013 - 19
American Hunter - December 2013 - 20
American Hunter - December 2013 - 21
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 24
American Hunter - December 2013 - 25
American Hunter - December 2013 - 26
American Hunter - December 2013 - 27
American Hunter - December 2013 - 28
American Hunter - December 2013 - 29
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 31
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 33
American Hunter - December 2013 - 34
American Hunter - December 2013 - 35
American Hunter - December 2013 - 36
American Hunter - December 2013 - 37
American Hunter - December 2013 - 38
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 40
American Hunter - December 2013 - 41
American Hunter - December 2013 - 42
American Hunter - December 2013 - 43
American Hunter - December 2013 - 44
American Hunter - December 2013 - 45
American Hunter - December 2013 - 46
American Hunter - December 2013 - 47
American Hunter - December 2013 - 48
American Hunter - December 2013 - 49
American Hunter - December 2013 - 50
American Hunter - December 2013 - 51
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 53
American Hunter - December 2013 - 54
American Hunter - December 2013 - 55
American Hunter - December 2013 - 56
American Hunter - December 2013 - 57
American Hunter - December 2013 - 58
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 60
American Hunter - December 2013 - 61
American Hunter - December 2013 - 62
American Hunter - December 2013 - 63
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 65
American Hunter - December 2013 - 66
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 68
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American Hunter - December 2013 - 70
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American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover3
American Hunter - December 2013 - Cover4
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