by Sean Wuller
As the end of the Whitetail hunting season draws to an end here in Iowa, some of us still have some tags that are burning holes in our pockets. While sitting around at our deer camp with our land managers & hunting buddies, we decided to come up with what we felt were our top 3 late season tag filling scenarios that we collectively like to use. Hopefully these tactics will help you fill your freezer and possibly put a mount or two on the wall this season.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD:
When talking about our late season successes over the last 10 years, collectively we decided that it all starts with the late season food sources. Between the six farms that we manage & hunt, food sources are scrutinized from season to season and are strategically located, in our minds, at the optimum locations for year round hunting success. This is great if you have
the ability to put your own food plots in and manage the land, but what about those of us that don’t have that ability?
Finding and locating the most favorable food sources, such as recently harvested beans or corn, standing beans or corn, alfalfa, turnips, rye or winter wheat fields, etc. is the first step in this plan. Once your optimum food source has been located, and heavily traveled trails have been identified, the use of a scouting camera will increase your success 10 fold in most cases. Trail cameras should be used, and monitored with the same wind conditions as you would hunt in. This minimizes the potential of blowing any deer out in nearby bedding or staging areas. Once the reconnaissance on your trail cameras has located some potential harvestable animals, stand/blind locations are critical for maximizing your
Here are three scenarios for hunting late season food sources for stand/blind locations:
- This tree stand is all I’ve got:
If you are a diehard and only hunt out of tree stands, hats off to you tough as nails men and women. The location of the stand and your “90%” wind direction will ultimately rule where you will set up. Getting as close to the edge of the food source as possible with great back cover as not to silhouette you in the skyline is key. I typically locate my stands 20-30 yards off of the “highway” trails that deer leave when coming from bedding/staging areas and heading to food sources. This stand location is typically an evening sit. With wind in your favor, and a properly positioned stand, it’s only a matter of time.
- “Hay” a blind:
With the recent advancements in hay bale style blinds, looking the part in the field has been made easier. If you are hunting in a field that has hay bales in them, or even corn stubble bales, positioning yourself amongst them is a no brainer. If the bales have left the field, don’t worry this tactic may still work. If you don’t have a hay bale blind, making your pop up blind look like one is not that hard, but should be done prior to getting into the field. Most pop up blinds have straps or holes that you can shove items like corn stalks, grasses etc. into them to help cover them up and disguise them. Another option if sitting in the middle of the field all alone isn’t appealing to you, is to locate your blind on the edge of the cover, just as you would with a tree stand, making sure that you are “grassed in” will increase your chances of not being noticed.
- Ground & Pound:
So, you don’t have a tree stand or a pop up blind, no biggie, Mother Nature is to the rescue. Building a make shift ground blind is easier than you think. During the midmorning/ day lull, with wind in your favor, harvesting downed trees, cutting cedars, etc. and building an impromptu ground blind can be just as effective, and in some cases better than other options. The use of a tarp or landscaping fabric to keep wind down can help as well. When constructing the blind evaluate how you will shoot out of it, whether on your knees or from a chair, in order to position your window locations properly. Again, you are hunting as close to the food source as possible without interrupting the bedding/staging areas.
To read Sean’s full article, click here.
Published in the January 2015 issue of The Iowa Sportsman.
About the Author
Sean Wuller is a licensed Land Specialist with United Country Trophy Properties and Auction in the state of Iowa. Sean is a marketer by definition – he loves it and understands it. He has been filmed for many TV shows and led the marketing department at Big & J Industries. Sean also has an extensive background in construction as well as development of both residential and commercial property.