Have you ever noticed how important food is to all critters? Bass fishermen concentrate their efforts on identifying what bass are feeding on that day in the area they are fishing. Many trout fishermen are even more tuned into what their prey is eating. They select flies based on what insects are hatching at that moment. This technique is called matching the hatch.
Deer hunters should pay just as much attention to the current food selections as trout fishermen. There are currently beautiful wheat food plots at The Proving Grounds. They are lush! However, I don’t believe deer have consumed one blade of the wheat yet this fall. The reason is there are currently plenty of acorns. If I selected a stand overlooking wheat last week, I’d would have only seen a deer if it was traveling through the food plots (based on Reconyx trail camera images). However, I harvested one of my hit list bucks by paying attention to what deer are currently consuming – acorns. Does are traveling to eat and mature bucks will be checking out the does.
When I go trout fishing I see some insects buzzing along the water’s surface. I rarely catch my limit of mature trout. However, my buddies that are skilled trout fisherman recognize different species of insects and know which ones trout are most likely to strike. I approach deer hunting the same way. I’m most successful when I know what deer are most likely to consume and where they are finding that food source.
Just like the skilled fly fisherman that cast his fly between the overhang that is providing trout cover so they can approach the food, I wish to place my stand where deer are likely to travel while in route to the food. Knowing what food deer currently prefer and where they prefer to feed on that item is the key to hunting pre, during, and post rut. How you hunt the food source may vary (distance from cover, etc.) with the time of the year, but the knowledge required to understand the current preferred food doesn’t change.
Growing Deer together,