Winterizing Your Deer
Deer in Northern habitats fare better in brutal conditions if hunters keep herds in check while providing good cover and self-sustaining foods.
By Patrick Durkin
"If you dont shoot does and fawns, youll soon discover no amount of food-plot and habitat work can keep pace with the herds size and appetite."
unters in Northern states who want to help whitetails make it through winter in peak condition should never forget their No. 1 priority is to feed the herd regular servings of well-placed bullets and broadheads each autumn.
That might sound harsh, but wildlife biologists and habitat specialists say doe shooting must be emphasized in Northern deer woods, and its nearly impossible to overdo it. When hunters keep whitetail numbers in check, its much easier to stay on top of the other vital components of herd management. Those factors include improving thermal cover and natural forage, and maintaining perennial food plots and cold-weather food plots. When those five factors work together, each deer is more likely to attain maximum growth and experience peak health.
Spare the Bullet, Hurt the Herd
In terms of cost and cost efficiencies, the best thing you can always do for your hunting property is to spend an extra $10 to $15 on bullets, said Neil Dougherty, a wildlife consultant for North Country Whitetails in upstate New York. Dougherty recommends that once you have enough ammo, find some friends and family members, and shoot all the does you can legally harvest.
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