For the unfortunate hunter who has yet to bring home a whitetail deer, the twelfth month of the year can prove to be a very auspicious period. December is one of the most notable months of the season to tag a real beast of a deer buck, but it is also one that is frequently greatly underestimated. Successful deer hunting in December generally comes down to identifying the little differences in deer behavior during this season and designing a plan to take advantage of those differences.
The upper Midwest is home to several states that have designated gun (rifle, handgun, and shotgun) and muzzle-loading seasons. In other words, we have three times as many chances to succeed as in the prior or subsequent months. Given this opportunity, we have some tactics that might help you to tag a buck in December.
A deer magnet might be attracted to an unfrozen water source, creek, or drainage ditch when the surrounding native flora is turning brown, local crops are drying out, and many water sources have frozen.
December has brought with it a severe cold that has blanketed most of the deer country, making food scarce. Deer become slaves to their stomachs as a result of this reduction in the amount of food sources available, which forces them to rely heavily on the remaining food sources for survival.
A smart approach to staying ahead of the buck movements is to target areas where deer can fill up on energy before a chilly December cold front, as they must build energy reserves to withstand hard winter weather!
A buck's need for energy management should be a major consideration for your December hunting efforts, whether you are avoiding bedding areas during the chilly daybreak temps or keying on specific feeding locations at any time of day. Deer need to both build and conserve energy levels during December.
As December progresses and secondary rut activity diminishes, bucks are approaching near-physical weariness. It is not uncommon for a deer buck's daily activities to be greatly restricted because of the severe struggles it endures and the arrival of harsh winter weather. Because of this, to get a shot opportunity, a hunter with an unfilled late-season buck tag frequently needs to locate a buck and hunt closer to his core area.
Broadly speaking, your chances of trapping a deer during the day increase with the proximity to his bed that you may comfortably occupy without drawing attention to yourself.
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