With the weather getting cooler, hunting season is underway. Most hunters’ thoughts turn to that looming question, “Where are the deer?” Well, I’m not sure about where you are hunting, but here on the farm, the deer have LOTS of food to choose from this year. There is a doe that hangs around here, usually with twins. I have seen her eating green leaves off of bushes and trees on the edge of the woods. That seemed odd, considering the huge variety of available food that she had to choose from back in the woods and the nearby fields. But, then I remembered that young buds and leaves of maples, dogwoods, viburnums, and sumac are preferred high quality food for deer. Also, there is still growing clover, rye grass, wild roses, pokeweed, blackberry, and honeysuckle along the fields at the edge of the woods.
Recently, my wife and I went for a walk in the woods behind the house. With all the recent coyote activity, we each packed a handgun for protection. She had her Smith and Wesson .357 and I had my FNH 5.7. (Just in case!) This hike led to the discovery of more available food for the wildlife
The wild persimmons are ripe and falling to the ground. They provide food for many animals such as raccoons, skunks, opossums, coyotes, deer, turkeys, and also the horses
The acorn mast is so enormous and the oaks and chestnuts have dumped so much on the ground that it is like walking on marbles in the woods. Also, our ancient Buckeye trees have dropped a substantial number of excellent buckeyes on the ground. Don’t forget that those buckeyes are poisonous to humans, cattle and most animals. But, sometimes the squirrels will eat them. Let’s not forget the hickory nuts, which normally do have a good mast. They also have a record number of nuts on the ground.
Well, with writing this I realized two things - one good, one bad. The good thing is that the animals have a lot of feeding opportunities close by. The bad thing is that there is a massive amount of food deep in the woods which may keep the animals out of sight.
While asking neighbors if they have seen many deer lately, only one said he had. This guy has 100 acres of standing corn in his field and he said that “the deer are wearing it out.” So, until he harvests his crop, we know where the deer are.
After his harvest, all feeding patterns and travel routes will change. We will be ready for that with technology. That’s right...trail cameras! I can hear some of you now, “That’s what I’m talking about.” But which camera is the best? That’s an excellent question. We have a good selection here at the Kodak, Tennessee Bass Pro. You can look at them online at http://www.basspro.com. A great subject for my next blog…. Come and see us and we will show them to you or give us a call if you have any questions about them at 865-932-5600. Ask for the hunting department.