The snowfly effect

Bucks&Ducks

5 year old buck +
This is a very simple and probably stupid question but ........What is everyone's experience on how the snow affects deer patterns and movement. On our property, the deer seem to do a lot less moving with snow on the ground. They rarely cross grassy or open areas. Our theory is similar to leaves dropping they change patterns. Once the snow is on the ground the deer move towards the larger hardwoods, pine and swamp areas. We tend to leave the swamp areas as sanctuaries but were thinking about putting stands right on the edge or in the swamps for years when we have snow cover? Any thoughts as to how the movements change once snow flies. Any areas to focus on as far as stand placement?
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
It varies with the amount of snow. One to three inches may not change the feed sources.

When snow gets around knee high to a deer, they tend to move towards conifers and I feel standing corn is the best feed source.
The 13 plus inches of snow this week indicated this to me. Deer went immediately to a winter pattern.

snow melt/settling and they can move back into hardwoods and perhaps start to feed on shorter feed sources.
 

bueller

Moderator
When the snow starts piling up by us the deer move into areas very close to or even within their food source. Usually that is not on our property, however come March when the green rye is starting to show through the snow they come back :D
 

strawhead

5 year old buck +
We are trying to "relearn"(deer habits) years of deer migration. It is sloooooowly happening. 20 years ago we had more deer. More mature bucks. Less food plots and less habitat improvement. Less local activity after Nov. 1. The snow over 6" seems to be a huge obstacle. We are on our 2nd year of LC WR mix. It is helping our situation. Not largely though. It was a huge draw this past spring. We are going to try some new things to encourage more after the snow usage.
 

Bucks&Ducks

5 year old buck +
Like strawhead, we seem to have a huge change on our property once the snow hits the ground. So while every area is different. What type of areas are they moving to once the snow is on the ground? Evergreen for thermal cover? Swamps for cover? Are they still feeding in fields are are they feeding on more browse? Do you guys think the change is due to staying warm or using cover as they stick out in snow covered areas more? Each area is probably different but I am just trying find areas to focus on hunting and what I can do habitat-wise.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
I'm in the same boat you guys are. Our property has the best food, the least pressure, and quite a bit of cover as well. Once the snow hit early this year, your deer COMPLETELY changed their patterns.

They are still on the same food sources, but appear to be staying much closer to the food and not traveling nearly as much as they were prior to the snow. That makes them tough to hunt when they are bedding 50 yards away from standing corn and beans.

I need to come up with a new plan... Not sure what that plan is exactly, but it needs work!

-John
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
I'm in the same boat you guys are. Our property has the best food, the least pressure, and quite a bit of cover as well. Once the snow hit early this year, your deer COMPLETELY changed their patterns.

They are still on the same food sources, but appear to be staying much closer to the food and not traveling nearly as much as they were prior to the snow. That makes them tough to hunt when they are bedding 50 yards away from standing corn and beans.

I need to come up with a new plan... Not sure what that plan is exactly, but it needs work!

-John
Wait until the wind is up in the afternoon and move to your stand. Hope the wind dies down before dark and you get some deer movement.

If you do not have a stand in place, just sit on a stool. Wooden stools are quieter and it works best with a firearm when exposed on a stool on the ground.
 

chummer

5 year old buck +
Deer migrate to my area once the snow starts. They love to bed on the sides of the river. They stay until the snow is gone in April, then they move back up the "hill".
 

chummer

5 year old buck +
Seems like a good place to complain. Calling for 3-4' of snow at my place by Wednesday. Bye bye what is left of the deer heard. This snow will be here till mid April. That is going on the 18" that fell the last two days. And for an extra kick to the balls, another "significant" snow fall for Friday. Mother Nature does not want me growing fruit trees, or the deer herd!
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
Chummer-you should move to Minnesota. You would fit right in.
 

chummer

5 year old buck +
Chummer-you should move to Minnesota. You would fit right in.
I almost did. I had a chance for a nice promotion 12 years ago to move to MN. I was all in, walleyes and deer, my two favorite things. Wife said no way so I quit my job and started my own business. Now I tell her I have all these friends there. Between that and my apple hobby she is probably willing to send me there by myself.
 

chummer

5 year old buck +
chummer, as sad as it is to say, I think if you moved here you might think it is "deer nirvana" compared to hunting your place on Tug Hill :eek:
I am sure I would but it is not all about the deer. It really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Well at least for 5 months out of the year.
 
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