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Now that it is late in the season, you have worked hard in the stand. Most deer have bred, and it is time to focus on hunting deer during the late season.
We like to track deer tracks in the snow when the late-season comes around. One of the most fun methods to hunt deer is to track them in the snow. It can also be quite addicting.
Here’s how to get started:
Cut the Area
Searching for deer tracks in the snow is easy. Just walk around your hunting area, and you will find some. If you can’t find any immediately, start looking in areas where the snow has been cut.
Start by looking around the area for tracks. You can look for them like you would look for a dead animal that you are trying to find. If you know where the deer are, that’s great. But if you don’t, it’s okay to go to thicker areas where the deer feel safe from hunters.
When you find some new tracks, it is time to consider if you want to follow them. You ought to consider the following first:
If the snow at the base is frozen or the track itself has begun to deteriorate, it is most likely ancient. A fresh track will have churned-up snow around it and still be soft.
Knowing how much snow has fallen recently can help you figure out things. For example, if it snows in the morning and stops by noon, and there are fresh tracks in the snow, you know those tracks were made within the past few hours. If they are covered up, you know they were made before the snow fell. Try to find the freshest tracks you can find.
It is great to find a lot of deer tracks, but it is even better to find a lone set of tracks. This means there are more deer around, and it also means that there are more people who might see you hunting. Bucks tend to move alone, especially during the rut, so look for a group of tracks that are all by themselves. This will allow you to remain cool in the face of several deer.
A mature buck leaves a deeper and wider track than a doe. As deer get bigger, their added weight makes their hooves spread wider. You can also tell how old the deer is by its tracks. Use your hand as a rule of thumb. On average, a mature buck’s track will be 3.5 to 4 inches long, or the width of four fingers.
Now that you’ve found fresh tracks, it’s time to track the deer. Begin following the tracks in the direction they point. Retrace your steps by following footsteps a few feet off the path if feasible if you have to go backward.
When you are tracking deer, look at how the deer is walking. If it is walking in a straight line, it probably has a purpose, and you can walk quickly. Deer cover ground quickly, so you can too. If the deer’s footprints begin to swirl sideways or circle, it was most likely feasting or looking for a place to sleep. Slow down and look ahead of you if this is the case.
If you see that the deer tracks are starting to go in different directions, it is time to start being careful. A deer bedded down is always alert and can easily be scared away. If it is sunny outside, try to only walk in the shadows of the trees. Try walking quickly from tree to tree for cover. But most importantly, scan the area where the tracks lead with every step you take. Take one step and scan. Take another step and scan.
When it comes to deer hunting, slow and steady is the way to go. You must be patient to notice the deer before it sees you. You might only see part of the deer or just a quick flick of its ear. Make sure your weapon is ready to take your shot when you have the opportunity.
Tracking deer in the snow can be lots of fun. Deer are tired of being hunted at this time of year, so it’s a good time to try. You also might be tired from being on the stand, so this is a good way to relax. It can also be a great experience for kids. They can learn about hunting while they come with you on the track. Even if you don’t catch anything, they might get interested in hunting and want to do it themselves one day.
Read more: Hunt Deer in Rain and Snow.