Late Season Food Sources?

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halebp
 
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Late Season Food Sources?

Postby halebp » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:33 pm

I know a few of the other threads touched upon late season hunting, but they still seemed to be focused on second rut.  It seems to be a consensus among most hunters that in late season, it is usually best to hit the food sources.  I was wondering what everyone's thoughts on specific food sources here in Ohio or elsewhere would be for the rest of the winter.  Also, any other late season tactics or patterns....

Demoderby4
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby Demoderby4 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:53 pm

CORN, thats what my dad i have focused on in the past years and we have tons of action during the late season when overlooking corn, i recommend that over anything. A close second would be beans if their are any still standing, deer will dig for em if their is deep snow, those are the two i focus on and have had great results, just last weekend i almost got my 2nd doe of the season overlooking a corn field. Or if you want to be tucked into the woods, set up off of trails coming out of bedding areas and trails going in/out of the food sources they are hitting up, i just focus on food this time of the year, if the 2nd rut is on and the does are eating, the bucks will be out to feed too....Welcome to the site! You will find a TON of info from these guys its a great place to learn!!!

barkriver
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby barkriver » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:56 pm

If you have corn you will have deer. What I try to do is set up on runways between bedding and feeding areas try to get as close to the bedding area without disturbing it this way if the deer move late you should still have enough daylight. This will only work if you have several hours to be in the woods it is great if you can be on stand with about 3 hours of daylight left in the day. 

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Washburn
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby Washburn » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:28 am

Depends where you hunt. For example, I hunt big woods with no huntable ag fields. Deer may travel a good distance to reach some standing corn and green fields. I don't know for certain.

But many deer on the property I hunt stick in the woods. Focusing on food in the late season is only half of the equation. If you think about it, it's not about eating more food for the deer; rather it's managing calories. Deer need to balance the amount of calories burned up seeking food, versus the calories they gain by eating. The cold weather alone burns up more calories, even if a deer is bedded. Today there is a foot of snow on the ground and it's -13. Lots of calories being burned just to stay alive.

What I find where I hunt is the deer bed for longer periods of time during cold and snowy weather. They still browse and feed, of course, so early and late stands still work well. But they sit tight for much of the day and night. They even move more during mid day when the sun is out and the daily high temps are reached.

So since I don't have a bean field or a standing corn field to hunt, I pretty much hunt like I do all year. Transition areas and travel corridors between bedding cover and feeding areas (which now are oak stands).

Washburn
"As the light grows dimmer and the trail begins to fade, my sweetest dreams are those of yesteryear, at deer camp."

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mag30079
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby mag30079 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

Where I hunt the corn is long gone. I see the deer eating maple leaves and winter wheat. From there then they'll start hitting the pines pretty hard.

halebp
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby halebp » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:46 am

Thanks for the suggestions and the welcome. 
 
A little more... Where I'm hunting, the corn and beans are also gone, and I don't believe there is any standing corn anywhere nearby.  The main understory is honeysuckle, not many oaks (and no acorns this year).  The hardwoods consist of some beech and chestnut.  The reason I ask is because last year (and in previous years) early season I saw a lot of deer around there, but later in the season (now-ish) not so much.  I am interested to find out if it is food-related or pressure-related.  This year, I have only hunted the place once early season, but plan on going out this weekend.  I hope the lack of late-season sightings was only pressure-related, but if not, I don't really know where to re-focus my hunt. 
 
So it may be a dumb question, but I wanted to start with the basics of what deer eat - I know they like corn, other crops (winter wheat was mentioned), acorns and mast, but is there something else if those aren't present on my land?  I feel like if these aren't present, are there really going to be deer there in the first place?  Or if food is the wrong focus, what else then?

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mag30079
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby mag30079 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:54 am

Check around the chestnut and beech trees, see if you see the leaves turned over there are alot of mast still under the leaves and the deer will paw around looking. Also water and there bedding areas are a good place to look.

halebp
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby halebp » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:02 am

The land has plenty of water; it borders a small river and also has two good size creeks running through it at different points, as well as a small pond in one of the wooded areas.  Most of the land is ag fields but separated by ribbons of woods, with a few larger wooded areas as well.  I'll definitely check out the chestnut and beech areas this weekend for sign.

halebp
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby halebp » Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:59 am

So I return from my hunt last weekend, Dec. 20th, which was the second Ohio gun season.  I have made several conclusions based on this hunt which may affect my hunting of this area.  I shot my first buck early in the morning, about two hours after shooting light.  He appeared to still be rutting as he walked into my shooting lane; his mouth was open, huge neck, his hackles were raised, tarsal glands reeked of urine, and he was marching towards my regular doe urine scent - although i thought he was upwind of it.  After gutting him, I opened his stomach to find it was FULL of corn.  So I guess although all of the corn is cut in the area, the deer are still finding enough in the fields. 
 
That afternoon, my buddies and I decided to do a small drive along a creek bed that bisects two fields, as it offered shelter to the wind, bedding area, etc.  Although this drive of probably 1/2 mile (its a narrow area, we could see each other and the whole woods on each side of the creek the whole time, and we went slowly) proved unsuccessful, at the end there was a group of about 10 crazy hunters who drove up onto the land along the wooded areas and all around.  Not feeling too safe, we ended our hunt and briefly talked to the hunters.  We were pretty sure they didn't have permission, but didnt want to do anything to 10 crazys with guns.  They proceeded to drive all of the areas, shooting at anything that moved - apparently they had shot at several deer, hitting some, but only killing one or two.  ANYWAY, long story short, I have decided maybe the lack of seeing deer at this spot late season is both a combination of the hunting pressure during the gun seasons, as well as the abundant and non-focused access to food source that disperses the deer out over the area. 
 
So I am thinking, although this hunt was highly successful, that maybe I should leave this place alone during the weeks before and after the gun seasons, and maybe in between the two seasons next year, scout for later season bedding areas - because I know they arent bedding in the same areas as early season.
 
Any comments, criticisms would be welcome.  Thanks.

halebp
 
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RE: Late Season Food Sources?

Postby halebp » Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:00 am

Here is the pic of the guy

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