By Alex Comstock
As I sit here and type this journal post, I can hear the wind thundering outside my bedroom window, and I look out to a completely different view than I did just a day ago. Not more than 24 hours ago where I live here in North Dakota, we didn't have a speck of snow, and now there is over ten inches on the ground, and the temperatures are plummeting, and will continue to plummet throughout the week. Winter is here, and with the conditions present, deer will be harshly snapped into that reality as well. Nothing is more important now than one thing - food.
It is my hope that deer start hammering whatever food there is available. My goal over the coming weeks is simple, I need to figure out where deer are feeding. I have a few ideas in mind, and one thing that you can do here in North Dakota is bait. I have never hunted over bait before, and I'm not sure if I will this year. My goal would be to find a natural feeding area, and locate a buck that I want to go after and then make a plan.
As far as food sources are concerned, I know of a few corn fields that haven't been harvested, and if I can get permission to hunt around them, that could be favorable for me. Otherwise, I will have to do some driving around and scouting to locate the preferred food sources. With this being my 2nd season now in North Dakota, I have somewhat of an idea on what to look for, and I know this time of the year can be productive. Last season, I was able to find what I thought was just a grass field. It must have been oats, or winter wheat, something of that nature, because it was hammered with deer sign. I decided to set up on a corner of the field, and I had some of the best hunts of my life. In fact, I had one sit late in December where I saw the most deer I had ever seen in a sit - 42! It was pretty incredible, and I even passed a good looking 11 pointer that was all broken up. It was tempting to shoot him, but I ultimately decided against it, and ended up eating my tag.
If you still have a tag in your pocket, don't give up yet. Late season hunting can be quite productive if you get the right weather, and can find food. I've got until the first week of January to get it done, and I will be doing everything I can to finally get that long awaited first North Dakota mature buck.