Photo credit: J.J. Guy Longtin

10 pro tricks for hunting late-season whitetails

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#5 KNOW THEIR DRINKING HABITS

Deer don’t need open water in the winter. Sure, they’ll drink from an open source if it’s available, but most often they’ll just eat snow to stay hydrated. Deer don’t require a lot of water anyway, and they’re less likely to expose themselves in the winter than at any other time of year to quench their thirst. They’ll just lick the snow right where they’re bedded, or as soon as they get up from their daybed. The resulting marks in the snow can be quite evident, sometimes resembling the outline of a one-foot-diameter flower.

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If there’s a crust on the snow, however, and there happens to be an open water source nearby, that’s something to keep on your radar. Scout out any open springs or streams for evidence of deer traffic, then set up accordingly.