As the rut seems to fade with the daylight, December arrives and throws a chill towards hunter still looking to fill tags. Although it’s not the ideal time to hunt, December can and does make for some interesting hunting.
1. Hunt where the Food is
Whether you are hunting over bait, food plots or natural food like acorns, you are already giving yourself a good chance at seeing deer. Because of the cold weather December throws at hunters, deer will flock to food in preparation of winter. Bucks especially need food to recover from the rigorous beating they put on themselves during the Rut.
Typically my hunts are restricted to the first and last three hours of daylight. Any deer traveling to food sources will do so close to dark due to the amount of pressure that has overwhelmed the woods for the past two months or more.
2.If you count 28 days from the peak rut in November, you can put yourself in the secondary Rut which usually lands around December 5th through the 12th. Any does that were not bread during November will come back into heat for a second or third time. Some fawns in the area, those that were not mature enough to breed during November, will come into their first estrus during the secondary Rut.
Although the secondary Rut is not as action packed, it will happen and you can capitalize on some Rut hunting tactics during this time. You may even witness some bucks freshening and tending scrapes during this time.
3. Be Vocal oftenAs the secondary Rut approaches, I like to call periodically with an Estrus Bleat or a social Doe Grunt. Understand that bucks are going to be very worn out and they will not be running ramped trying to locate Does. If they happen to come across a Doe however, they rarely will pass up the opportunity to breed one of the last Does available.