In most archery seasons and some early gun seasons, whitetails’ preferred food sources are changing as many plants start to dry out. If there’s one sure bet about deer, it is that they prefer the most succulent foods available. It doesn’t matter how many deer you saw feeding in the edge of a pasture back in June. If that grass is starting to dry out, the deer are looking elsewhere.
Many soft mast crops such as persimmons, dogwood berries and other berries and fruits become available during early hunting seasons. In some areas, maturing crops such as soybeans and corn are attractive to deer. Many forest plants remain succulent into the early fall.
The bottom line is that, until rutting activity kicks in, food sources are your best link to deer activity. During this rapidly changing period, deer food preferences change, and you need to know what’s preferred next and where to find it to stay ahead of the game. Move with the food and you’ll see more deer.