What about the off season?
The more I hunt, I find that "off season" is really relative. Here in Tennessee, we are after deer for September-January and turkeys for March-May. That really only leaves us February and the summer months to twiddle our thumbs and wait. The last two years, my primary focus during these times was habitat improvement. We were taking out trees, putting in food plots, working on stable mineral supplements, and trying out best to improve our odds.
This year, that has changed. I will still try to maintain my plots, but more often than not I'll be doing less prep and more hunting. Why?
Lots of coyotes.
My favorite property, a mere 25 acres, has more coyotes on it this year than deer. I found three dens on the property, and one was recent enough that it had fresh dirt mounded at the entrance.
Now I love to bow hunt. But archery does have its limitations. And given that this kind of hunting to for the sole purpose of eradicating a predator species, my New Breed Eclipse and DCA hunters are going to get a break for a while, and my 6.8 SPC AR-15 is going to go to work.
So remember this "off season," getting your deer food is good. But more important is making sure your deer don't BECOME food for other predators. I don't want any other animals laying their paws on my precious back strips while they are still on the hoof!