Hunt food sources for better deer hunting

Most hunters are aware that, during the rut, bucks are not too concerned about feeding. The boys bulked up during the pre-rut and are ready for love once the rut moves into gear.

However, does and fawns are still eating on a regular basis, and where the does go the boys will follow.

So hunting food sources is a good idea.

Does that mean food plots are best? That depends.

During the 2014 season, the woods were full of acorns.

At the same time, deer feeders were full of corn with hunters in nearby stands.

But they mostly twiddled their thumbs, since the woods were full of deer making circles around oak trees as they filled up on nature’s bounty.

In September, there appeared to be a good acorn crop in many areas, so we might see a repeat of 2014.

This is where some scouting will go a long ways in determining stand locations. If there are acorns in the woods and they are on the ground when the rut is going on in your area, leave the green patches and feeders in favor of hunting in the woods.

If however, there are no acorns where you hunt, then hunt the green fields or feeders.

However, keep in mind that if you have made several hunts to a specific plot — perhaps even killed a deer there — it might be best to leave the permanent stand and get in a climber, ladder or ground blind.

Generally hunting food sources during the post-rut can be successful, but not necessarily.

With everyone having corn feeders available for deer and green patches with quality forage of all kinds, the animals might just feed at night and do little moving around during the day once the breeding is over.

In Area 2, bucks are often losing their antlers in late December. But in Area 4, late January is usually the post-rut time, and hunting can still be good.

If you hunt in Areas 1 and 6, late is great, so stay with it until the very end.

Tier 1 DMAP hunters have the opportunity to do some deer hunting in February, and deer activity is still high during these days.

About David Moreland 243 Articles
David Moreland is a retired wildlife biologist with LDWF, having served as the State Deer Biologist for 13 years and as Chief of the Wildlife Division for three years. He and his wife Prudy live in rural East Feliciana Parish.

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