Hunting whitetailed deer in the last portion of the firearms seasons and the end of the archery season allows the hunter to manage his property while adding some valuable meat to the freezer.

These seasons are for antlerless deer only and great care should be taken to make as sure as possible that you are, in fact, harvesting female deer and not bucks that have lost their antlers earlier than usual. Sometimes, however, finding a doe in the late season can be a huge challenge.

As most of us know, food becomes the primary instinctive driver after the rut phases run their course. Hardwood ridges and uncut grain fields provide the best sources of winter food and will likely hold many deer close.

Mike Roux and Bob Cowman show the success possible in the late season over a good food plot.  (Photo by Mike Roux)

However, in the absence of these places, sometimes a hunter must take matters into his own hands.

In the past few decades hunters and landowners have been supplementing the natural food sources on their property with specially formulated plants that give deer maximum nutrition the year round.

This not only adds to the birth weight of newborn fawns by giving gestating does the nutrition they need, but also holds deer on the property through the winter months.

There are many food plot seed companies out there and many theories about what to plant and when.

The most important aspect of food plots is to get started with them and stick with it. Experiment a little and find out exactly what your deer like.

A year ago I was able to take advantage of just such a spot here in the Midwest. I have good friends who will remain nameless as will the location of their property.

They have been managing several hundred acres for several years and are without a doubt true food plot experts. They invited me and great friend and hunting partner Bob Cowman to help them manage their herd during the last firearm season.

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