© By Othmar Vohringer
During the rut bucks chase does day and night and there is no predictable way to determine where they will turn up next. After the rut is over bucks stay in one core area where they can find sufficient cover and food in close proximity. As an additional bonus bucks become more tolerant of each other and it is quite common that several bucks share one core area. But make no mistake late season bucks are no easy pushovers. Even at that time of year bucks are still weary. The bucks that survived the early and rut hunting seasons are skittish and have little tolerance for human intrusion in their core area.
While many big bucks have been taken by stalking them I don’t regard this as the most effective late-season hunting tactic. Granted there it is a special experience to track a buck in the snow and getting close enough to it to shoot it. A much more successful late-season buck hunting tactic is to set up a treestand or ground blind. To find a promising stand site some careful scouting is necessary. Look for a thicket, the thicker the better, in close proximity to a food source. If there is snow on the ground it is not hard to find well-worn trails leading out of the thicket to the food source. Hang a stand or set up a ground blind somewhere in between the two locations, possibly not to close to the bedding area (thicket). Make sure the wind is right and that the stand is far enough away from the thicket that the bucks cannot hear you approach the stand when you walk through the crunchy snow.