Rut prep turns deer to natural foods

Every year I am amazed at how a deer seems to know what type of nutrition he needs at certain times of the year. It seems like flipping the light switch off: The deer just stopped eating rice bran and other high-protein feeds the first weekend of November from the Felicianas and north into Mississippi (Interestingly, it seems like the deer near the flooded river and south around Mount Pleasant and Baton Rouge are still eating the bran/protein).

After a full summer and early fall of hammering the protein, deer somehow know they need carbs and fat. This all coincides with a ton of acorns falling, providing a great food source for the deer this time of year when they need to fatten up to get through the rut and the winter. Also, everyone has now planted food plots and have corn feeders out, all of which the deer love.

Deer activity, from all the reports I have received, was awesome everywhere the weekend before Thanksgiving. There were lots of great reports of plenty deer movement and some people starting to see some sparring. Also, a few rubs and very few scrapes. I think the deer are just warming/practicing up for the month ahead, but things are starting to fall in place.

Now, as good as it was, it seems like the dramatic increase in human presence on the day before Thanksgiving pushed back movement times to dark in a lot of areas that have four-wheelers, hunters, kids on holiday, etc., cruising all thru the woods. The key to overcoming that is to try to make you place the quiet safe haven that they can get away from all the commotion.

Mississipi River bottom areas, on the other hand, are having an incredible year due to the high river levels. I am hoping that it stays up, as I am going Dec 10 to hunt Giles Island for eight days.