If your plots grew tall last year because deer were busy eating acorns in the hardwoods, you're not alone. Deer were difficult to hunt last season because they had so much hard mast in the woods to eat that they didn't have to venture too far away from this secluded food source.

However, the main problem was that acorns stayed on the ground throughout the entire season, so deer hardly even resorted to eating green patches during the late season when they usually hit the plots the hardest.

But according to Jason Shilling, an avid bowhunter from Lafitte, the extended acorn season wasn't so much because of the abundant crop as it was that the acorns hung on the trees so much longer than they normally do.

"How long they hang on the trees depends on how many storms we get coming through Louisiana," Shilling said. "We didn't have many cool spells last season — it was a really mild winter — so the acorns didn't drop as frequently without a lot of northwesterly winds blowing."

It is Shilling's belief that fewer storms meant the acorns were able to ripen on the trees, and they eventually fell on their own rather than piling up all at once because they got blown out of the trees.

"That meant deer had just as many acorns to eat in January as they did in November," he said. "So if you were like me last season, you had to get off the plots and get over an acorn flat if you wanted to see any deer."