We’ve once again reached that time of year when a whitetail hunter thinks to him or herself, (another year is in the books and its 9 long months of waiting to get back out there after the big one). Its now mid January and most if not all of the Midwest seasons are closed now, there’s snow on the ground, football on TV and the temps alone are enough to keep us indoors where its warm.  For the most part the statement above is true, but like some other hunters I look at this time of the year as just the beginning and one of the most crucial times of the year for a whitetail hunter.
     Some of you may be asking what on earth could one do right now to better them selves for next fall?  The answers are endless to tell you the truth; here are just a few important things a whitetail hunter can do to start preparing for next fall.  The first thing I do after the season is over is, assess what has happened over the last 3-4 months.   Where did I see high numbers of deer, where didn’t I see many deer, was there enough food on the property for the deer, was there enough cover, most importantly did I reach my goals I set for last fall.  These are all great observations you can make without even leaving the living room couch.  And after you answer questions like this, your answers and thoughts go to work. 
      For me reaching my goals is the very most important question I answer every year at this time.  This allows me to evaluate my properties I hunt and go through all my ideas that have worked, the ones that didn’t, and most importantly what can I do next to better reach my goals as a whitetail hunter.  At the top of my goals for each property I hunt is to hold and grow deer on that property.   Food, water and cover are the key ingredients that will get me to this goal.  Fortunately some of the properties we hunt already have everything you need, but others don’t.  
      When you look at what you need more of on a property it is very simple to get a head start right now.  For instances I know there one farm that drastically needs more food.  With food plots already established, I’ve been slowly making them bigger and bigger every year.  I’m simply doing with a chainsaw and an ATV.  Here and there when I get free time, starting a couple weeks ago, I head out with a saw and get a couple hours of cutting done in hopes that by the time the ground thaws I will have met my goal of what I wanted to cut. 
      Another great thing one can do this time of year is improving the cover in known bedding areas.  Once again with a chainsaw one can really make a difference in the habitat by making “hinge cuts” in designated areas.  If you don’t know what “hinge cutting” is I would recommend looking into to it, it’s the simplest way to get results when trying to improve the bedding on a property.   I’ve personally done a lot of hinge cuts over the past couple years and it really seems to be the ticket.
      These are just a couple of the many tasks one could be doing if he or she wants to fight the cabin fever this winter and more importantly, it gives you a huge head start on preparing yourself for the hunt next fall.  Not only are you improving the habitat on your property, you never know what or when you can learn something you’ve been missing while your in the woods.  It always amazes me how many times this time of year I learn something that I wish I would have known two 2 months ago.  But the fact of knowing it now will allow me to use that piece of information next fall.

      Here is handful of highlight pictures from this past season. Take a look at them and be sure to check out the shows if you missed any.  We will be airing last falls shows every Sunday from now thru the first week in April when we start our Semi-Live Turkey Hunts.   Also we will be having our first Video Produced this Spring, “Whitetail Edition I” with hopes of it hitting the shelves in April/May.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and we thank you for your support.