It's no secret that most people in our area are sick of the snow. By this point most are thinking that they have done every outdoor recreation that they know. For deer hunters, this might not be the fact.
Winters like this one are hard on people, but imagine how the animals feel. Their ability to survive depends on many factors, the most important is being able to conserve energy. Deer do this through a few different methods. Hunters can use the signs left behind by the animals to stack the deck for the following season. On top of obtaining useful information, you can also be treasure hunting at the same time.
Have you ever been hunting the edge of a woodlot and seen deer passing through the center? You typically will go see where they were crossing, which for the most part can be hard to find. The reason for this is that deer tend to move along the edges of woodlots, and the sign left on center pathways can be minimal at times. There are a couple ways to determine where these trails come from and lead to. By using the available methods, deer hunters can identify these trails and set up shop for the next round of hunting.
When the snow of winter begins to pile up, deer tend to stick to certain pathways. The tracks in the snow can last for weeks, even months, which gives the hunter a good picture of deer movement patterns. They do this for a couple different reasons. By staying on well-used trails, the animals are able to save much-needed calories. Deer store energy in the form of fat reserves. Food is hard to come by this time of year, so they depend heavily on the stores they had amassed before the snow set in. What food is available tends to be the rhyme and reason behind such well -used trails. They are also able to escape the pursuit of predators by running away on the packed surface. Deep snow with a crust on it allows wolves and coyotes to stay on top, while sharp-hoofed deer break through. This can slow the deer down enough to enable these meat eaters to take a bite. It typically goes downhill from there, and results in you finding a pile of bones in the spring. Where do you start with such heavy sign?