When someone mentions the words Colorado and deer in the same sentence, what pops into your mind?
Mule deer, right? That doesn't have to be the case. Colorado also offers some pretty good hunting for whitetail deer.
The South Platte and Arkansas river bottoms in the eastern part of the state offer the best habitat and right now is the best time to start preparing for next season.
Whitetail deer are creatures of habit. If they were in an area this year, they'll be there next year and sign is easier to find with bare trees and snow on the ground.
There are three things you want to look for when scouting: tracks, scrapes and rubs.
This is probably the most easily identifiable sign and they're easier to find when there's a fresh coating of snow on the ground. Most any trail you find will lead between feeding and bedding areas.
Follow the trail both directions to get an idea of the deer's movement patterns. The packed down, frequently used trails you find are most likely made by does and young deer. Check 10 to 15 yards on either side of this trail and there may be another trail that isn't as worn down. This will be the trail bucks use.
Male whitetail deer tend to have their own trails that parallel the main trails. During the rut, bucks walk downwind of the does' trail to scent check for deer that are in estrus.