Hunters who live in states with whitetail seasons extending into January are fortunate. Deer are very easy to pattern this time of year. Their regular food supplies are scarce or gone, and they key in on food plots of winter wheat, ryegrass, clover, soybeans and brassicas. Any remaining standing corn, or corn dispensed by feeders, also is a deer magnet in late winter.
Deer like to gather in greenfields after the sun goes down, and the last hour of daylight is a prime time to catch a big buck sneaking onto a field.
In some states, the rut kicks into high gear in January. In my adopted home state of Alabama, the last week of January has historically been the best time to take a rut-crazed whitetail.
Years ago, I dropped one of my best Alabama bucks on Jan. 30 simply by hiding behind a tree bordering a large clover field. My stand was on the other side of the field, but the wind had shifted to the south, prompting the move. I put a .50-caliber Hornady Great Plains bullet, fired from a T/C Hawken rifle, square into the buck’s shoulder at 50 yards. He was trailing a hungry doe and never saw me peeking around the tree or steadying my rifle against it.
So if you're still hunting look for areas like the ones mentioned above and good hunting!
— By Larry Teague, Editor GunHunter Magazine