Don't Overlook the Soybean Patch
There is one tip I have learned over the years in hunting whitetails in late season snow. Do not overlook soybeans left standing on the edges of fence rows, woods, creeks, buildings wherever it might be, this is where the deer will be while the food lasts during late season. December/January will pull deer in from some distance away to feed on the easy to get to food.
I killed one of my nicest bucks off of a very small patch of soybeans that was left after rains created a waterhole before harvest season and the farmer had to combine around it when come time for harvest. This left a very small patch of beans standing the rest of the winter till spring time. The deer never bothered them until late season when we started to get our heavier snows and much colder weather. This patch was no bigger then 20 yds sq. I had 18 deer feeding on it during that time when I killed this buck.
Whenever you get a chance after your local farmers are done harvesting crops in the early fall you want to keep an eye out while driving your local roads as to where these little patches are. Another good example is when a tree comes down during a bad storm in the summmer growing months or is just dead and ends up in the farmer's field and farmers don't really know this until they harvest. Most of the time when this happens farmers are too busy at harvest time collecting their crops to mess with trees that have fallen down in their fields. They just don't have time to mess with anything in their way while running their grain, they usually go around them not chancing damaging any equipment. Time is money come harvest season and the last thing you need is slowing down while harvesting. Farmers will leave it a lot of times till just before spring, before cleaning up dead trees that have fallen.
When this happens these are perfect little magnets for late season snow driven days of hunting for deer to come to. Remember this. Standing soybeans are so easy to eat when there is 4, 6, 8, 10 or so inches of snow. These little golden nuggets are still above the snow and nothing but protein standing waiting to be eaten during rough times ahead. There's one thing Ive learned about whitetails during late season. They will travel to standing food before scratching for it under snow that is close by. I have witnessed many times deer going great distances to get to standing food left behind from farmers not being able to harvest it when running their grain. This is usually in late season. Late December and January is best for this set-up. Its a given when the temps really drop down below zero and stays there for days on end. This is my favorite time of year to kill a big buck. Super cold weather and standing food left behind. You can't beat it when the weather gets below 0.
One of best Bow killed whitetails I have was in -30 below chill factor weather. I watched him from my treestand 9 hrs before killing him. It was so cold the deer were up every fifteen to thirty minutes keeping food in their furnaces all day long. They fed all day next to where they were holed up then came 500 yds across the open field to the little patch of soybeans that evening. All eighteen of them came to it in a single file formation. He was the last one to participate in the feed before dying. Ease of food is what really killed him. Didn't have to dig for it and it was high protein for the conditions they were faced with and easy to get to. I watched this herd five days in a row before finally making my move on them. It was routine night after night after night. It was hell to pay when hunting them though.
-30 degrees was some rough kinda bowhunting !!! By far my most memorable of all the deer I have harvested that one will never ever be forgotten. Ever! You don't ever forget weather like that week was.
Study your local area's right after harvest, nail those little spots down on the topo map and pay visits to them late in the season you will be rewarded for your effort. It does not have to be much either so don't be fooled by what little there might be standing. Trust me.