Stay The Course and Stay in The Hunt

Capitalize on the Second Wind

By Will Bowen | PUBLISHED January 1st, 2024

I’m not speaking from any type of high-level experience here, but in running and other endurance sports, you hear athletes talk about the magical “second wind.” You’re gutting it out and inevitably you are about to hit the wall when suddenly you get that late, sudden burst of energy. It comes out of nowhere and often times gives you just enough momentum to finish the job. It’s 100% a real phenomenon, and if you ask me it happens in hunting as well. 

I was lucky to find a little bit of deer hunting success in Arkansas this season but the hunting in my home state of Missouri has absolutely kicked my butt. I’m not talking about just missing on close calls either; I’ve barely even seen anything here. It’s been nothing short of tough and I haven’t even hit the woods here in the last couple of weeks. But I’ve been starting to see more deer on the roads again and I’ve been on a heck of YouTube hunting video binge. I think I’m getting my second wind and the hankering to give it a good late season try is growing. 

With all sorts of tags in my pocket, now is the time to capitalize on this feeling. I have roughly one month of archery season left and a late season muzzleloader season sprinkled in. It isn’t a ton of time, but it’s plenty of time. I have had late season success before, and I can tell you it’s entirely possible to save a season in the last few weeks. Here is how I plan on capitalizing on my second wind: 

Scout A Lot

The spots that were good in October and November aren’t necessarily good now. The primary food sources the deer were targeting have more than likely changed. The hunting pressure has also probably lessened. In other words, a lot has changed in the deer woods. So, in order to put yourself in the right place at the right time, you have to scout, and I mean scout a lot. Any fresh sign that you can find is a piece to the puzzle. Fresh tracks and feed sign are probably the ticket now considering that deer are heavy on feeding patterns. Know what they are eating, where they are going, and when they are going there.

Hunt A Lot

This is just simple math. More time in the woods equals a higher chance at success. Volume hunting is warranted this time of year. I’ve harvested several good bucks around Christmas or later and this was the strategy I employed. After scouting and finding the primary food sources, all you can do is: pay attention to the wind and hunt as often as you can. If you have the time, you should go. What do you have to lose this time of year? 

Pray A Lot

Harvesting any deer is going to have some luck involved; I don’t think we can pull it off just based on our own merit. Whether it’s through prayer or attitude, a little positivity goes a long way this time of year. Deer season will beat you down if you let it. Hunting happy will pay off more than you realize. 

This is the home stretch guys, it’s time to capitalize on your second wind! Go get em’!

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