I normally see twice as many bucks per hour of sitting in December as I do in November or October. Probably more than half the bucks in my area have been killed by then, yet I see more? Why?
I think it is a combination of three things, a lack of perceived hunting pressure by the deer, great cover and browse, and ample food sources adjacent to heavy cover.
Here I show the video of the deer I saw on my first two December hunts this year.
The centerpiece of my effort of course is the habitat I have created on my property, in this case my 130 acres in Hillsdale County. But I could completely ruin this hunting spot in only a day or two without the use of extreme scent control. From the main stand featured in this video, I can expect to have deer on all sides of me throughout the sit, and I can and do see them walk in on and across by trail in. I could ruin that with just one stroll without extreme scent control on my boots.
I hear so many hunters complain about declining deer sightings as the year progresses. Yes, habitat is important, but Scent Control is the X-Factor that can undo all your good habitat efforts.
Hunt this area for a day with poor scent control, and you will probably see it clear of mature does for several days afterwards. Yes, you will see the occasional fawns and yearlings, including yearling bucks, but most deer will be moving near the edge of dark, and avoiding any locations where fresh human scent has been laid down.