It remains extremely dry at The Proving Grounds. No rain is predicted in the seven day forecast. I’m amazed at how well the Eagle Seed Beans are holding up. I attribute this to the hardiness of Eagle Seed Beans and the organic content of the Antler Dirt that is apparently holding moisture from the last rain event. There is a food plot that borders one end of my yard. My yard is totally brown while the soybeans are green and erect. Perfect – I like working with food plots and dislike mowing the yard!
However, the beans are beginning to wilt during the hot afternoons. I’m sure the palatability and quality of the forage is decreasing as the drought progresses. I’m thankful the drought is occurring now versus at the beginning of the antler growth. Their survival or growth potential is strongly related to the quality of forage and level of stress they experience during the early summer months.
A serious drought during hunting season can provide some advantages to hunters. The obvious advantage is that water is a limited resource that deer require daily. There is very limited water in plants during a drought so deer are dependent on standing water. Standing water is usually very rare during droughts so scouting should be easy! That doesn’t mean that hunting will be easy.
Because water is limited, predators and prey are forced to frequent the same water sources. It seems mature bucks are always alert when approaching a limited resource where predators and other competitors frequent. I’ve started placing some cameras to monitor the few ponds that are still holding water at The Proving Grounds. I’ll check them next week, and if the activity merits I’ll begin placing stands/blinds near the water sources.
There’s usually a bright side to every situation. Currently, the bright side is the rare reflection of water.
Growing Deer together,