5 Tips For Whitetail Winter Hunting

Winter can prove to be a difficult and frustrating time for the hunters out there. The movement of the deer starts changing drastically during the cold months and conditions start getting unbearable all of a sudden. However, it will be a sensible idea not to give up.

In the following paragraphs, we have mentioned the top 5 guidelines for whitetail winter hunting which will come of use to you.

1. Bedding areas are important

It is a fact that deer tend to spend a considerable amount of time bedded all through the year. During the rut, they are more active and do not spend much time resting; however, there is a change in this pattern when the days start getting shorter and the temperature begins to fall. There is a reduction in the movement of the deer during winter and the metabolism also begins to become slow.

It has been shown by research that approximately 90% of their time is spent bedded during winter. They likewise look for sheltered areas which help to safeguard them from the drifting snow and the cold wind. Consequently, you should make it a point to concentrate on these bedding areas where they are more likely to assemble.

2. Hunt throughout the day

It is a fact that deer do not make much movement during the cold winter months, and therefore, it is vital to spend a considerable amount of time in the forest. It has been indicated by research that they go on feeding during dusk and dawn even in winter; however, in the northern climates especially in the coldest regions, the bucks feed during the middle of the day when there is an increase in temperature.

Although quite a few hunters do not like to stay in the forest due to the cold conditions, in case you are patient and sit all through the day, there is a higher possibility of getting the deer while they might be feeding out there. It is imperative to have the proper gear. In case you’re able to withstand the cold, it might be possible for you to come across a good buck in the long run.

3. Understand the sources of winter food

During winter, the “homes” of the whitetails have changed significantly. The crops have been harvested and the leaves have fallen, and their home has become totally different. As a result, it is quite natural for their feeding efforts to be different as well.

Although it is going to vary depending on the place where you are hunting, on most occasions a whitetail will be altering its source of food and also feed during different times of the day. The movement of the whitetail is going to become less at this time to a great extent since there is much less daylight during winter. The bucks will not be trailing much during the early season since they would be spending energy for no reason whatsoever.

As a result, it will be a sensible idea to focus on areas where there is proper bedding coverage along with sufficient winter food for the deer. Spend some time researching the area and try to figure out what vegetation is going to obtainable for the deer during winter. There is a high possibility for you to become successful in case you focus on these smaller regions.

4. Be equipped with the proper gear for staying out all-day

It is a fact that winter hunting is definitely not meant for the fainthearted. You might have searched for all the best spots where high carb food will be available, where there is a proper source of water, as well as bedding areas. In spite of this, you might be required to spend a considerable part of the day waiting patiently.

As a matter of fact, the bucks are going to spend 90% of the time during the day resting, and they will come out for meeting their requirements only for a small period of time. This implies that you have to be patient and you must remain resolute through uncomfortable temperatures. Below, we have mentioned several essential gears which will allow you to get through these bitter cold hunting days.

• Satellite phone – You have to stay smart so as to brave the cold. It is important to stay in contact since you have to stay outdoors in freezing temperatures for a considerable period of time. A satellite phone will provide you with a 24 hours connection without any need of leaving your post.

• ProHuntVest – It is important to remain warm while waiting patiently for several hours in the cold weather. In case you use the ProHuntVest, there is never any possibility for you to freeze again. It is going to become warm within a few seconds which will allow you to focus on hunting.

• Balaclava – This particular gear is responsible for providing comprehensive facial protection. It is important not to expose your skin too much while enduring the bitter cold. A balaclava will enable you to cover your skin which you might forget eventually.

5. Look for water sources

Apart from shelter and food, water is another essential thing which the deer always depend on. In fact, there is no shortage of water sources in the other months of the year. However, during winter, most of the water sources become frozen due to consistent freezing temperatures.

In case the water sources are fewer in number, it will be easier for the hunters to come across a buck out in the open. It is quite natural for any deer to make an incorrect move for quenching their thirst given that they desperately need water.


After going through this article you should be able to comprehend why winter is so different, and how you should change your hunting patterns as well. Snow and cold does not imply that it is the end of your whitetail hunting. Let us hope that the above-mentioned guidelines will definitely help you to keep your hunting hopes alive during the cold winter months.

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.