Acorn drop timing

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croz2173
 
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Acorn drop timing

Postby croz2173 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:46 am

I have heard that the direction a hillside faces will have some effect on when acorns will drop, southern exposures being the first. Does anyone have any input on this subject?

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shaman
 
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Re: Acorn drop timing

Postby shaman » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:28 am

I have been trying to fathom the patterns of the trees on my 200 acres for over a decade. I hunt in the Trans-Bluegrass of KY. What I can tell you is that there may be a difference, but it is not a sure thing. Theoretically trees on the south face of a hill will get the most sunlight, but other things are constantly impinging on acorns. A key midsummer thunderstorm may have hit one holler and completely missed another. A windstorm may have blown down the cedars over this a-way a decade ago and opened up things up while over that-away, the cedars are still choking the oaks out. The list of factors is long.

Some of these factors can be scouted out in one season, and some? Well, after you've been on the land for a decade or two you'll start to notice them. For instance, I had one patch of oaks that rained acorn from summer clear through the end of rifle season back in 2006. That was the year I made my way to the stand in the dark through a herd of deer, and they barely lifted their heads to watch me climb the ladder. I got up, put on my bibs and coat and got ready for hunting. They did not move off until just before legal hunting. That stand of oak has not produced worth a hoot since.
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croz2173
 
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Re: Acorn drop timing

Postby croz2173 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:03 am

Thanks Shaman it was actually an old post of yours that had me wondering about this. I love being in the woods when the acorns are dropping heavy, when they arent bouncing off my head that is.

By the way have you ever killed a deer that was full of whole acorns? I got one a few years back early in the season that must have had 30 or more in his stomach. Guess he was in too much of a hurry to chew at the time.

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shaman
 
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Re: Acorn drop timing

Postby shaman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:28 am

Actually, if the acorns have dropped at all, that is the way I find most of my deer and turkey as well. Even in the spring, I'll find turkeys full of last year's acorns and fresh clover. And yes! About the only thing you'll see is that they took the time to knock off the cap.

I'm not going to say it was some other guy that said acorns always drop first on the south side of the ridge. If you are a forestry guy covering countless thousands of acres, I'm sure you'll see a pattern like that. It makes sense. However, on my measly 200 acres ( sorrry for the typo before) the oaks sometimes do perform like they should and sometimes they don't. What I can say is that generally , when you have a stand of oaks dropping, the deer are not usually far behind. The difference between what I said then and what I say now is a difference between quoting catechism and the gradual realization that my mileage has varied. Thirty years in the woods will do that to you.

The deer, too, don't always stick to plan. I have a long line of white and red oaks running down the center of my property along the top of the ridge. They represent all that is left of the old road that used to cut through from my place over to the next ridge. Along that road you'll find some of the largest trees on the place. Now, you'd think that when one of those big white oaks drop, there would be deer sign all around it. Sometimes yes, and sometimes not so. I've seen the nicest juciest white acorns drop into the old road bed and the squirrels get most of them. Then late in November, the deer finally come by and hoover up what little remains. In another situation, I've got my stand up by two old red oaks. It's been 3 seasons now since I saw a deer eating acorns under those oaks-- I'm about to give up on that stand and move it.
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Bowriter
 
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Re: Acorn drop timing

Postby Bowriter » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:49 am

In some cases, north facing slope trees will get more sun and may drop earlier. However, there is no written in stone rule that says a tree will drop at all. Oak trees do not bear every year. Some years white oaks bear and red oaks do not and vice versa. Some years a few bear, some years they all do and some years none do.

There is only one way to find a bearing tree and/or a dropping tree. Go look. Late summer+binoculars is a great way to start. Then just pay attention and always remember, just because a tree is raining acorns, that doesn't mean the deer are eating them. I kill 90% of my deer by hunting woodland food sources from persimmon to acorns to greenbriar and honeysuckle. There is no substitute for walking and looking throughout the season.

croz2173
 
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Re: Acorn drop timing

Postby croz2173 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:57 pm

Agreed bowriter, nothing beats putting the miles on, and its fun too! I'm lucky there in that I hunt a huge block of undisturbed national forest, 10,000 acres or so without a road anywhere. I dont see hardly anyone all bow season, especially deep in. Tough sometimes because there are oaks everywhere and tons of mountain laurel to hide in. They seem just wander around and pig out. I try to hunt close to the laurel where there is good browse and fresh nuts falling.

croz2173
 
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Re: Acorn drop timing

Postby croz2173 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:59 pm

BTW the deer and turkey are still finding good white meat acorns in my area, last year was a pretty heavy drop.


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