Why does it seem like deer have left my Georgia lease which is planted in 10-12 year old pines?

By Grant Woods,

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Hi Grant!

I love your videos each week. I am grateful for the information and advice you give us and I enjoy being able to watch your hunts.

Up until now I have always had to hunt public wildlife management areas. I live in Georgia and currently am hunting on about 360 acres located an hour south of Atlanta. I have a few questions for you.

Unfortunately the owner of the land clear cut what was once a nice mix of hardwoods and pine thickets and replanted all pines about 10-12 years ago. So what I am hunting is very very thick. I have cut shooting lanes and cleared out a few very small meadows to plant food plots. On three sides of this property there are hunt clubs that have larger food plots and plenty of various aged hard woods. It seems the deer pass through the land I can hunt on their way to feed at the larger food plots, and bed in the thick pines that are available for me to hunt. Now that acorns are dropping the deer have left my small meadows/plots and I haven\’t seen many pictures from my trail cams in about two weeks now (save a spike and a small 6 with a doe and fawn) and wondering if it is because I have chased them out while overseeing my small plots and checking cams, if they have left to chase acorns, or if the shooter bucks have just disappeared because they have now shed their velvet and are hiding out in different areas. If it is because of the acorns I can only hope that they are consumed quickly as I don’t have access to the areas with oaks. If it is because I have spooked them while cutting lanes and planting small plots, are they likely to come back or have I screwed up my spots for this season? Another possibility could be trespassers that did some target practice on the four wheeler trail on this property. I found shells and some targets propped up by a tree. Shooting up the woods definitely doesn’t help bring in the deer. So I guess what I’m trying to get out of this long novel is how would you hunt thick pines of thats all you had to hunt? And do deer generally come back to an area after being spooked or pushed out or should I start trying to find other spots for this season? I need to entice some of these bucks to come hangout by one of my stands!


Acorns are a very good attractant to deer!  I suspect you are correct that most of the deer that use your lease are feeding on acorns on neighboring properties.  Deer feeding on acorns often don’t travel far to bed. This behavior makes them very tough to pattern.

I assume there’s not much forage or cover growing underneath the pines on your lease?  If that’s the case, there’s probably not much of a reason for deer to spend time on that property.  I suspect deer will use your plots more frequently after most of the acorns on the neighboring properties have been consumed or are spoiled.

Enjoy creation,


October 12, 2015