In areas where baiting for deer is legal, most hunters don’t have to be coerced into hunting over corn. Mike Johnson at the Clinton House Plantation suggests that if you are going to use bait, don’t bait out in the open. Find a thick area where deer will feel secure when you break out corn late in the season.

“Corn is a great, late-season food source,” Johnson said. “For one, it’s portable; you can dump it out about anywhere, and deer love it because it’s high carb and helps them generate a lot of heat for when it’s cold and they want to put on fat.

“This is not the time of year you want to dump out corn in the wide open. A big deer is going to stay next to heavy cover. You find a spot where he thinks he’s safe, and he might come to eat corn sometime other than after midnight.”

Johnson said corn can be used to alter deer movements from long distances. The best strategies might be to hunt deer movement rather than trying to shoot one standing in a corn pile.

“Another thing is you don’t have to be able to see corn to be hunting corn,” he said. “If deer are moving to corn, you can back way up and find the travel routes and catch them on their way to it. Too many hunters want to shoot deer standing over a corn pile. How many deer are out there waiting for dark to fall before they come to it? Back track and you’ll find those better deer.”