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The Bucks Are Gone

October has arrived in the south but that doesn’t mean the arrival of colder temperatures. Low temperatures are in the 60’s and highs are in the low 80’s. 80 is a little high for this time of year and us bowhunters are always praying for cooler weather.

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This video is from a Bushnell Trophy Cam HD with corn for attraction

The Machete Buck On Trail Camera
The bucks will be leaving very soon for dropping acorns

I have been running trail cameras for a couple of months. It is always fun to do the buck inventory on a hunting lease. Seeing bucks you may have encountered last year and hoping for a few new shooters to show up. Most of the trail camera set ups have been sweetened with corn. A lower feeder setting helps a 50lb bag of corn last about 2 weeks. This same bag of corn would last no longer than 3 days if poured out all at once.

As I pull off the main road into the entrance of our hunting land I hear what sounds like bubble wrap under my tires. I slow down to notice a million pen oak acorns on the edge of the road.

I am just going to check the trail cameras but I still like to be scent free. I change into my hunting boots and spray down with scent killer. During this time the tell tell sounds of acorns raining is coming from woods all around me. It really sounds like a bumper acorn crop this year.

From a distance I can see a lot of corn on the ground in front of the first trail camera. Only 183 pictures where 900 pictures would have been the average 2 weeks ago. Moving on to the next trail camera reveals more of the same. What is going on with my deer? Where did they go?

White Oak Acorns - Deer Hunting
Deer love/prefer white oak acorns

The deer have moved from the corn pile to the acorns. A deer’s life is all about seasonal movements and this is one that impacts the most hunters. Deer are still in the area but they are dining on acorns. During a year of bumper acorn crops it is very common for feeding stations to go completely deserted.

If you are not aware of this change you will not see many deer. If you do not adapt to this seasonal deer movement then you are greatly reducing your chances of killing a trophy buck.

In my example we talked about corn but the seasonal switch could be from many other food sources. The deer might be leaving the dry hay field for the sweet white oak acorns. The soybeans may be the second course and the your field stand may not be as active.

Walk your oak ridges and river bottoms looking for deer sign. Disturbed leaves and exposed ground underneath an oak tree are good signs. When you get closer look for acorn caps. Also look for small pieces of acorns. It is also a good idea to carry binoculars so you can check the canopy for hanging acorn inventory.

In october bowhunting deer is all about being adaptive and mobile. A group of deer will shift from acorn tree to tree as they begin to drop. Try to use the wind to your advantage and keep searching for their favorite dinner spot. Following the sounds of falling acorns will lead to more successful deer hunts. Continueing to hunt corn piles and bean fields will surely have you asking “Where are the bucks??”

About Jeff

Deer hunting is a great sport and is one of my passions. Between September and January you will probably find me in a treestand with bow in hand. My hope with this site is to share my experience to help you have a more successful and enjoyable deer hunt.

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2 comments

  1. Seems like the bucks have left my area too! I’m hunting in Southern Oklahoma and have yet to have a pic of a buck this year, very depressing start!

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