Week 11 is here and with it a joining of several factors that are finally paying off. Cold temperatures are here, it’s currently 25 degrees with a cold front moving through the Midwest. This is what we have been waiting on in terms of the late season, and this is when our preparation really begins to pay off. This episode will discuss blind setups for late season hunting.
With the onset of cold weather, food sources finally start kicking into gear in terms of attraction and pull. When the temp drops, deer are on their feet as long as the benefits outweigh the costs. Deer will feed in cold weather, in daylight in legal shooting light! only when the forage and nutrition available outweighs the cost of being on their feet and foraging. This is why it was number one important to identify late season food sources in the past two weeks adjacent to bedding areas where they don’t have to move far, and number two plan ahead to offer these food sources. Taking the time to plant beans, or corn in the spring in order to leave them standing, or planting brassicas or in our case winter rye in the early fall pays off huge come December and January.
Blind Setups for Late Season Guideline:
When picking the perfect spot for the blind you need to first identify 5 features.
1. Food Source:
Identify and take a good look at the food source and all of the features and characteristics of the area.
2. Bedding Area:
Figure out where the closest bedding area is, also consider where a mature buck might bed.
3. Funnels and Runs:
You need to identify the main funnel or easiest travel route for the deer utilizing the food source.
4. Wind and Thermals:
The wind direction and more importantly thermals are the most important consideration in relation to your blind setup location, the bedding area, and where the deer will be.
5. Hunter Access
Your entrance/exit route must be safe during the day and night, In order to keep the food source pressure free.
By looking at a map and identifying those 5 points we can see the best location for the blind.
Afternoon hunting is ideal for the late season as deer work their way out of the bedding areas on very cold days to feed on the food source, and this does occur in daylight for the most part as they simply need more time to feed. This means thermals mid-hunt will drop off the hills and follow topography like water. The goal is to set the blind up where we can access it without walking across where we expect deer for scent purposes, or allow deer in the bedding area to see us, and also needing to consider our exit in relation to deer feeding in the field.At the same time, you must make sure the wind direction and/ or the falling thermals are exiting the field in a way that for the most part deer will not catch our wind.
By going through this list of considerations it narrows down the best place to put your blind pretty fast. With ideal blind setups for late season hunting, observations in place, and required prep work like we have previously discussed you will be setting yourself up for success in either this week or the cold weeks to come!