During late August, when the temperatures are soaring and sweat pours from your body, it’s tough to be excited about the work required to plant food plots. It’s strenuous work that may or may not pay off. For example, if you hunt where acorns are plentiful, deer might not use forage crops until the acorns are gone.
The good news is that in many areas, most acorns have been consumed or are rotted by mid-December. This can be when food plots pay huge dividends.
Last week a cold front passed where I hunt in the Ozark Mountains. This is timber country, and there are no production row crops for many miles. There wasn’t much of an acorn crop this year, and my dad had a bad case of trigger itch. He’s 86 years old, so every hunt with him is special.
Based on the lack of acorns and the passing of a cold front, I was very confident deer would be feeding in a food plot planted with Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend.
I helped Dad into a Redneck Blind and then wrapped him up in a sleeping bag to help keep him warm. It wasn’t long until we saw the first deer – a yearling buck that appeared to be searching for does.
A bit later, a 2-year-old buck fed at the far end of the plot. While we were waiting on that buck to present a better shot, several antlerless deer entered the plot. Dad’s case of trigger itch was getting worse! I love watching my dad get so excited.
This hunt was possible due to work done during August planting the Broadside blend. This blend has plants that deer prefer during the early, mid- and late-season.
It was clear these deer were feeding on the brassicas. They had already eaten the soybeans and radishes that were in the blend. The parade of deer attracted to this plot wasn’t over, and about the time Dad had a shot opportunity on the 2-year-old, a more mature buck we named Early Bird entered from the east. I grunted to stop the deer, and Dad’s shot was true.
The combination of attractive forage and the cold front resulted in several deer returning to the plot soon after Dad shot. So to scratch his trigger itch again, Dad settled in and made another great shot.
Needless to say, both Dad and me were super happy! (Click here to watch the hunt online.)
The lesson learned: Deer can’t put on more clothes just because a cold front occurs. Instead, they can increase body heat production by consuming more calories. Cold fronts and late season food sources are a great recipe to cure trigger itch – even if you are 86 years old!
Editor’s note: Be sure to check out Dr. Grant Woods and his popular on-demand web series that shares current information about deer hunting and deer management. The free videos like the one below focus on what the Growing Deer team of experienced hunters and deer managers are doing in the field week to week, including action-packed hunts, proven hunting strategies, habitat management, food plots, trail camera techniques and the gear it takes to get it all done.
Image by Dr. Grant Woods