It’s been another very hot day at The Proving Grounds! The thermometer on my truck showed 103 degrees. The native vegetation and food plot crops are showing signs of drought and heat stress. Unless the weather pattern at The Proving Grounds changes before fall, quality food sources will be limited and therefore the few good sources of food will be prime whitetail hunting locations! Acorns are not quality food for deer because they are extremely fibrous and tough to digest. However, deer find them very palatable (tasty) and readily consume acorns from most species of oaks.
Scouting for acorns is a good technique whether you hunt 40 or 4,000 acres. Ideal deer hunting can occur when oak trees are few and far between. This usually occurs when agriculture or other land use practices limit the amount of habitat that is forested. Another situation that produces great hunting is when only a few oaks in an area produce acorns. When these conditions exist, patterning deer may be as simple as locating the trees that produced acorns and hunting near them without spooking deer.
However, if oaks are common where you hunt, it can be extremely difficult to see deer during years when all the oak trees produce acorns. This is because deer can eat and bed within an extremely small area. Hunters simply can’t approach these areas without alerting deer! It’s tough to get between the feeding and bedding area when they are literally just a few yards apart.
One nice characteristic of acorns is that they take months to develop. Therefore hunters can scout and place stands during July and August, well before deer season, with confidence that acorns will be present at the same location during hunting season. Knowing which types of acorns deer prefer during the early (from the white oak family) versus late (from the red oak family) season can be a key to hanging stands in locations that fit your hunting schedule. I hope you get some time to scout for acorns soon. Limit disturbance during deer season by scouting and hanging stands now!
Growing Deer together,