Deer loves apples, pears, plums, persimmons and all sorts of other kinds of soft mast. Find these trees, and you will find great deer hunting spots.
Here are some insights that will put you on the fast track to success this fall. They come from one of Deer & Deer Hunting’s pioneer Southern contributors, Kent Horner. An Alabama boy, Kent became a master bow and gun hunter, and was a big DDH contributor in the 1980s and 1990s.
1. Because of the whitetail’s dependence on soft mast, hunters can cash in on hot early-season action by placing tree stands near trails leading to soft-mast plants.
2. Learn the location and ripening dates of soft-mast sources in your hunting area.
For example, in northeastern Alabama, persimmons usually ripen about the third week in October, after the first hard frost. Overgrown orchards, which are common in abandoned farms in the Southeast, are whitetail magnets.
3. As fall progresses, fermenting fruit gives off ester, a volatile, pleasant-smelling plant chemical that often draws whitetails long distances.
Besides wild pears, plums, grapes, apples and blackberries, other seasonal soft=mast crops attract deer throughout the season.
By locating these mast sources, hunters can improve their odds of crossing paths with whitetails. While planning for this year’s deer season, learn which types of soft-mast plants and trees grow in your favorite deer woods. Then, visit your local library and learn more about the individual fruits and when they typically ripen. Finally, devise a game plan and hang stands accordingly.
Before long, you’ll have a hunting strategy that puts you one step ahead of other hunters—and deer — in your area.
Learn from the best: PLANNING FOR PERFECT FOOD PLOTS