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Like clockwork, at 8:00 a.m. on the opening day of firearms season, I received a text from my father, saying that he was climbing down from his stand and was going on a walk; this had become his yearly routine. For several years, I disagreed with my father's decision to take off walking instead of staying in his stand. Though it was not my hunting style, it worked for him on many occasions. After my father's text, it wasn’t long before I heard the blast from a distant gunshot.
December is notoriously challenging for deer hunters looking to score on a mature buck. Every year, bucks come out of the rut, exhausted and malnourished. They have experienced hunting pressure to such an extent that they are ready to lay low until rejuvenated enough to resume their regular travel pattern. Oddly enough, hunters have the same mindset when getting out in colder temperatures, trying to finish the season with a bang.
Many hunters approach late-season hunting as an opportunity at one last shot to harvest a mature buck. Although the late season is a great time to harvest them, I prefer to enter the latter portion with a different outlook.