Post Rut Food Sources...

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DeanoZ
 
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Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby DeanoZ » Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:23 am

I live in the Northeast and hunt timber woods predominantly.  Some of the areas have CRP/Grass fields that provide excellent security cover, but little nutritional value for the deer.  So my question is how do you all go about figuring out the food sources post rut when hunting timber?  The best I have come up with is to find that lone group of oaks that might still have some acorns on the ground, but those dry up pretty quickly and the deer move on to something else...I just can't figure out what it is and the deer seem to be non-existent in parts that used to be teaming with does.  Some of this I attribute to pressure, but I still see good sign they are in the area...just can't locate their food source.  Any thoughts are much appreciated.

Bluegrass Archer
 
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RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby Bluegrass Archer » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:59 pm

One thing to keep in mind is that during winter, the grass fields that deer used to bed wont be near as warm at night as a bedding area in a woodlot, so they may not be using those fields the same as they were before. Any oak tree is worth looking into, keep an eye out for trees that still have a good amount of leaves. Also, pine trees may be the easiest foodsource to identify and could bring in deer if theres nothing better; cedar, hemlock, and white pine would be the best but theyll also eat red pine and jack pine. Are there any big concentrations of sapplings? Deer will eat the ends of twigs and leafs off dogwood, maple, birch, oak and a few other preferred sapplings. Especially when theres not alot of choices. They cant get to the nutrition on those mature trees except for there mast, so sapplings can play an important role late season.
One does not hunt in order to kill, but one kills in order to have hunted.

DeanoZ
 
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RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby DeanoZ » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:34 pm

Thanks bluegrass, that does help.  I'm certain there are saplings just not in huge clumps...at least not that I've noticed...but I'm definitely going to take some time out re-scout the property this week and take note.  There are definitely small clusters of pines, but i get the sense it may be too early in the season for them to go for them?

Bluegrass Archer
 
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RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby Bluegrass Archer » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:56 pm

Yeah, the pines would be one of the last things they turn to, if theres no deer sign by them i wouldnt bother with it. I'm just guessing here the best i can. I think if i was in your shoes id just re-scout it like you said and maybe see if i cant locate where there bedding now. From there just scout the trails out of the bedding area and see where they lead. There could always be an oak, beech, or pecan tree that produces late. If there is you may have a real hotspot on your hands.
One does not hunt in order to kill, but one kills in order to have hunted.

DeanoZ
 
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RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby DeanoZ » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback Bluegrass, and I did just that.  Kicked up 4 doe and a forkhorn, all on the preipheral edges of a CRP field that borders a residential area...its precisely where I thought they would be hiding.  Going to scout the back 40 tomorrow morning and see what else I can find.  I also found a great rubline...actually it was a double inside corner that backs into a steep drop to the stream edge which I hunted and identified as a funnel early season.  I gave up on the spot too early because low and behold there was a good rub line about 2-3 weeks old I'd estimate.  I may revist that spot, with the hopes a buck might rework it during the 2nd rut and post rut.

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Jslotter
 
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RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby Jslotter » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:51 am

I had a similar issue where I hunt. There are plenty of acres of alfalfa and clover , they used to hit it alot in the past winters, since the neighbors about a mile or two down the road started to plant corn in their fields, the deer, it seemed, disappeared. They really didnt. They rerouted and migrated over to the neighbor's land for the winter time. It was evident by the trails they left in the snow. For late season when there is snow on the ground, I find the trails leading from bedding cover to feeding areas, and they are usually well used. If you can find those, I think then you found a gold mine. If you are unsure, find out either by driving around the area or using aerial pics to see if there are any crop fields close to the area the deer might be using.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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reeper0697
 
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RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby reeper0697 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:40 am

I hunt the NE and there isn't really any big scale of agriculture where I hunt. From my experience in late season the deer in my area hammer white cedars. While they eat sapplings and other browse hunting cedars late season has been a strategy I have been using for a while (staying out of where I know they bed) and it seems to pay off for me (knock on wood). The only time they eat them, from my experience, is late season through out the winter.
 
One time I was cutting cedars after hunting season and had several deer waiting not 30 yards away waiting for me to leave so they could eat what I was cutting. Even though I am north of the Adirondack Mountains of NY, but not very far from them at all, its like Charles Alsheimer says, "It's the Adirondack Mountains of NY, It's tough to make a living up there". This is why it is important to find out what the deer in the "big woods" eat.
Put me on a mountain, way back in the backwoods
Put me on a lake with biggin' on the line
Put me around a campfire cookin' something I just cleaned

DeanoZ
 
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RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby DeanoZ » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:00 pm

Thanks for the tips Jslotter and reeper.  Yes, for sure it can be difficult locating the food sources late winter in the NE.  The two spots I hunt right now are proving to be difficult in terms of trying to locate the food sources.  One had standing corn up until a couple weeks ago so I figured now that it is cut they'd gravitate towards it.  However, shortly after the most recent snowfall I saw zero tracks into the cut corn field, so its back to square one...I'll definitely investigate the cedars.

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reeper0697
 
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RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby reeper0697 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:27 pm

Any new updates?!?!?
Put me on a mountain, way back in the backwoods
Put me on a lake with biggin' on the line
Put me around a campfire cookin' something I just cleaned

DeanoZ
 
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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: Post Rut Food Sources...

Postby DeanoZ » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:32 pm

Unfortunately not Reeper.  On the county park property I've figured out where they are bedding, and I'm guessing the tender leaves of the laurels they are bedding in, they are also feeding on, as well as scrounging for those last acorns left.  Its been tough hunting that area without getting busted.  On the WMA property, it looks like they are traveling to the cut corn fields on private land.  There is a group of Hemlocks I want to still hunt towards that i feel they are bedding under or near, but the winds have not been right.  My plan is to look at a couple other properties and see if I have any luck there.


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