● We’ve come full circle in the whitetail season. Deer are focused primarily on food again, as they were before the main rut. If you’re not already keyed in to what they’re eating, you’ll stare at empty trails, so spend the morning speed-scouting the likeliest grub. Once you’ve nailed down the hot feeding sign, focus your search on buck spoor. Often there will be fresh scrapes and rubs right on, or just inside, the field edge. Deer tend to bed close to the feed now and are especially wary. If you’ve got good cover and are an old pro at hanging a stand quietly, go ahead and take a perch. Otherwise, set up on the ground in a ghillie suit, or if the ground is covered in white, use snow camo or a snow-pattern ground blind (which you can typically set up and hunt immediately without getting busted). For most of us, these setups are quieter and, compared with hanging a high stand in leafless timber, less apt to get you spotted by a bedded buck. Position yourself just downwind of where the best entry trails mix with the hottest buck sign, and get there early in the day, especially if temps are very cold. Post-rut bucks are notorious for early-afternoon feeding.