By Cody Altizer

It’s tough to type, but it’s the reality of the situation I’m face with.  The best hunting of the year is likely over.  Yeah, I know.  Unless your property is loaded with food for late season (which mine is not), there’s not a whole lot to get excited about for the late season.  It’s cold.  The deer move less to retain calories.  It’s cold.  The deer move less.  Bucks aren’t acting as goofy.  The deer move less.  And it’s cold.  That’s basically what I experience every hunting season starting about mid December.  There’s a little late rut action to look forward to, but other than that, the hunting is pretty slow.  But this post isn’t geared towards late season hunting tips, information or stories.  I’m hoping this post will serve as a wakeup call to most.

As I was scanning through my News Feed on Facebook the other day, I noticed a lot of posts from hunters who had either tagged out or, were like me, and aware that the best hunting of the season is long gone.  I can’t remember their posts verbatim, but they went a little something like this, “I already can’t wait until next year!” “Bring on the November 2013!” “Next season is going to be my best season ever.  I can’t wait until opening day 2013!!”

Wait, what?

It’s hardly even December 2012 and apparently we’re already looking forward to flipping the calendar forward a full year?  I guess it really shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, because it’s simply the result of the world in which we currently live.  We are a society that demands instant success and gratification.  3G is too slow, 300 feet per second isn’t fast enough to kill a deer, and what in the world did I do to deserve my Twitter feed not loading correctly one time out of 100?!

I’m guilty of it, as I’m sure we all are, but I can’t imagine wanting to skip past everything it takes to get us to another hunting season, especially while we’re still in the middle of one!  I know, the late season is tough.  But those biting winds and that cold weather really test your mettle, and you’ll find out a lot more about yourself outside of hunting if you have the discipline to tough it out.  Yes, the deer are moving less, but this is an opportunity to sharpen your skills in the woods.  Identify a hidden late season food source.  That horrendous looking clear cut will probably hold a lot of deer in late December.  Push a little deeper in the timber to find where a mature buck may be bedding.  He’ll be moving less, but he’s not stationary.

There are endless opportunities to enjoy a successful late season for the hunter willing to look for them.  Wishing it away isn’t a good place to start.

– Cody Altizer