Not only does Chuck Porter of Sumter see and take squirrels during the middle of the winter, it extends his productive hunting and scouting time considerably.

“I learn a lot about the woods for a variety of species when squirrel hunting with the leaves are off the trees,” he said. “During this time of the year, you can see the subtle hills and dips that are often hidden when the woods are flush with greenery. It is these subtle topography changes where deer like to walk.

“During January, I see plenty of places deer were using in the late season that will be remembered next December.

“It’s a great time to also pick those new stand sites for deer hunting and pre-plan your strategy,” he said. “It’s also a great time to listen for turkeys. It’s not unusual to hear turkeys gobble beginning in mid-to-late February, and you can get an idea of where they are and how many you have on your property. But the deer and turkey information is just gravy, if you know what I mean. The squirrel hunting alone is worth it, but the side benefits are great.”