Tips & Tactics

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

By Ken Piper

The quickest way to a buck is through his stomach.

Deer hunting might not be easy, but we hunters tend to complicate it more than we should. Whitetails are pretty simple creatures. They want food and water, shelter and, occasionally, love. While we often focus on the love aspect, it’s actually food that drives all other considerations.

If you focus on food throughout an entire hunting season, you will get your buck. The difficult part of that equation is a whitetail’s food sources change throughout the fall.  Falling acorns, maturing and harvesting crops, and the loss of greenery as fall pushes toward winter all affect where deer will be found and how they travel throughout a property. This ever-changing cycle of desirable food is why deer managers plant multiple plant species in their food plots – so at least something in the plot appeals to deer throughout hunting season.

Food plots, where present, make up only a tiny percentage of a whitetail’s diet, however, so it’s important to learn what deer eat where you live, and when they eat it. While acorns are nearly universal throughout the whitetail range, other key foods are region-specific. A few other nearly universal deer foods include greenbriar, grape and brambles.

Your local county Extension office can be a great source for preferred deer foods in your area. Get to know them, and look for these foods on your property. When you figure out where the food is, finding the deer is a whole lot easier!

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd