I know most of you have probably already forgotten about Deer hunting and are turning your thoughts to fishing or Spring Turkey hunting. Hey, that's okay. But if you want a crack at next years Big Buck, get out and do some post season scouting.
In my opinion, post season scouting is some of the best scouting you can do. In the post season, you can find out if your Buck is still alive and more important, where he's hanging out. Many places either have snow on the ground or will have snow. This can be the best time to follow a Buck and see where he's holing up. In most cases, he'll still be in his hiding/evading mode due to Small Game hunters in his area.
The places he likes to hide, his travel routes and his escape routes will be much easier to find this time of year than when your scouting in the Pre-season. It's also a great time to snoop around your public hunting land and see where he likes to hide or where other hunters are setting up.
I've found more Big Buck escape routes and Sanctuary's by scouting when there was snow on the ground than any other time of the year. Snow almost makes it too easy...almost! And you don't have to worry about things like Mosquitoes, Snakes and Chiggers like you do when you're scouting for deer in the Summertime.
While snow on the ground is my favorite time to scout for Bucks, I've also found good areas for the upcoming Deer season when I was scouting and hunting for Turkeys. Many of the movement habits of Deer are the same ones Turkeys use in their day to day life.
Bottlenecks, feeding areas and loafing areas that Turkeys use can be the same areas Deer use. I've also located new Deer hunting areas when out Turkey hunting. It's amazing to me how much Deer sign you can find in the Spring. The Deer will normally be in their Fall and Winter patterns before greenup and it's just an excellent time to find new areas and to tweak your existing hunting areas and treestand sites.
Post season is also an excellent time to find sheds. With the exception of actually sighting a Big Buck after Deer Season has ended, nothing says that the Big Boy is still alive like finding fresh sheds. You'll typically find sheds in bedding areas and travel corridors.
So take a few days off from fishing or just get out in the snowy woods for a romp of your deer hunting area. I'm betting you'll be surprised at what you find.