The numbers prove it. Realtree fans north, south, east and west live and breathe deer hunting. These guys do, too. Hansen’s from Michigan, Brantley’s from Kentucky, and chances are their version of hunting whitetails is a lot like yours.
Is Hunting Over Acorns Overrated?
When it comes to finding a prime spot to hunt, a lot of hunters look for falling acorns. But should they?
The acorns are dropping.
I'm not entirely sure if the acorns I found on the ground are part of a full-fledged drop or if they were just a few knocked loose by squirrels. But they were there and the cracked caps scattered around told me the deer were already finding them.
It has been a hot, dry year here. And that seems to be the case across much of the country. Acorn production doesn't seem to have been impacted much from what I saw this weekend. Several red oaks that I checked were jammed with nuts. Burr oaks were loaded up as well. I didn't have many white oaks to check in the area that I scouted but I suspect they're likely doing well too.
I was actually quite surprised to see that much mast on the trees. We went weeks without rain and I figured that meant the acorn crop would be impacted just like every other crop has been impacted. Apparently not.
I get excited about acorns every year, mostly because about this time of year all of the major hunting publications feature some sort of article about the drawing power of acorns. Trouble is, I've never actually seen it work.
I do see fewer deer in bean fields when the acorns start to drop. But I suspect that has as much to do with the timing of the drop as anything. Acorns usually start hitting the ground in September. Which is also about the time most hunters here start poking around in the woods, hanging stands and scouting. Deer respond to that increase in activity and adopt more nocturnal movement patterns.
I always have a few stands hung in areas that have plenty of acorns but I can't say that I've had tremendous action there. I've definitely not had the type of hunting I'd expect after reading a few of the stories about the whitetail's love for the nuts.
It could also be that there are too many acorns in the areas I'm hunting. Oaks are a common species here and you don't have to go very far to find one that's dropping acorns. A typical 40-acre woodlot will have dozens of them and most of them will drop acorns each season. To me, I think the whole concept of hunting acorns is way over-simplified in much of what's written about it. And, yeah, I think acorns are over-rated as a "sure fire" spot to kill deer.
I suspect that areas without a diverse menu and relatively few oaks can produce the type of results that I've read about. I just haven't happened to have hunted in such an area. Maybe you have?
Regardless of past results, I've got a couple of stands perched along the oak grove that I checked out. I'm hoping that maybe the results this fall will be a bit better.