Just be patient The December deer hunting doldrums will pass By Alan White
don’t know with certainty what the reasons are that deer activity seems to slow to a crawl during December in my southern Alabama region. Unlike October and November, December seems to be a month when we begin to see less and less deer movement and it doesn’t really get back to normal until around Jan. 10. My hunting buddies in other parts of the state report similar conditions. I’m not sure anyone knows the reason for sure. But there have been some reasonable theories tossed around in years past. I’ll explore a couple of these a little later. There are, however, certain truths in my experience that cannot be disputed. Deer hunting in Alabama in December can be discouraging and downright dull. I like to see animals when I’m hunting. I don’t really care if they are shooters or not, just let me see them. At least I’ll know there are still some live deer somewhere out there, and I’ll look forward to another day of hunting later in the season. It keeps the juices flowing. I suppose I enjoy watching birds flitter from one limb to another as much as the next guy. But enough is enough. I really shouldn’t complain at all. I remember a time when a deer track
Alan White is publisher of Great Days Outdoors magazine. To learn more, www.greatdaysoutdoors.com or call 800-597-6828.
22 DECEMBER 2011
found was the subject of conversation for a week. We just didn’t have any deer here. I should be thankful to be blessed with plenty of deer to hunt now. One theory suggests deer have been pressured by hunters so much during October and November that they become even more nocturnal than usual. That would make sense to me. Deer are pretty smart at recognizing a threat in their home territory and will adjust their habits to avoid the threat. Many hunters over-hunt certain favorite areas and create sounds and scents deer can pattern. If deer expect human activity every morning and afternoon around a certain area, they’ll simple avoid that area during those times. Deer prefer to feed at night, especially during a full moon phase and warm
temperature days. In south Alabama, we usually have many warm days all the way up until the middle of January. Another theory is that just before the Alabama rutting season, deer rest more than usual to prepare for the rut, and therefore do not move around as much. I suppose if does and bucks know by natural instinct that at the latter part of January they’ll spend most of their time either chasing or being chased by a member of the opposite sex, they would want to spend a little time building up their fat reserves. I think this year, I’ll do the same. After all, there are some really good college football games during that month. A couple of gallons of Blue Bell ice cream a week should work just fine, and I’ll be ready for the late January rut. A www.alabamaliving.coop
Alabama Living Tombigbee December 2011