Photos by Lance Krueger
You've heard the cliché: Whitetails know their turf like you know your living room. But when someone rearranges the furniture, you might go to sit on the coffee table. It's the same with deer, says Keith Beam, who primarily hunts in Nebraska and Kansas. "When a farmer cuts a cornfield, it changes the whole immediate environment, and it takes a little while for deer to get their bearings. You need to seize the moment."
A lot of farmers leave crops standing well into the late season, so knock on the door or give them a call to find out exactly when they'll be harvesting and be ready to go as soon as the combine changes the scenery. "Grab a ground blind, build a brushpile, or dig a hole out in the field near where you've seen deer entering the standing crop."
A new covering of snow has the same effect. "It's the perfect time to put on some snow camo and set up right where they feed," Beam says. "The bottom line is the best time to set up in a hot late-season feeding area is when the whole field changes its look. Deer will walk right up to you."
Trick out a snow blind
"If you want to be comfy in a pop-up even when there is snow on the ground, tear a cheap white bedsheet into foot-wide strips and wrap it around your hide like a white-and-camo barber pole." Snow doesn't usually cover everything on the landscape (the undersides of tree limbs, for example), which means you don't have to make the whole blind white. "Just hide its outline and get in."