Natural foods

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by HardLuckLarry, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. HardLuckLarry

    HardLuckLarry Weekend Warrior

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    There are basically no ag plots on/around the public areas I plan on hunting this year. Any suggestions on natural fall/winter browse whitetails prefer? I do know they are fond of white oak acorns (lots of these trees here), but what other things do they like? Thanks!
     
  2. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Grizzled Veteran

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    Oh boy what a list there is...
    Bramble, wild rose, grey dogwood, sumac, poison ivy, virgina creeper, poke weed, so many different weeds and grasses, moss in the winter, all maple seedlings, buck thorn berries, locust pods, eastern hophorn drupes, honey suckle brush, hickory nuts, goose berries bear berries, violets, wild clovers, fall flowers........Oh elder berry the whole plant, beech nuts
     
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  3. HardLuckLarry

    HardLuckLarry Weekend Warrior

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    I did not realize the variety of stuff deer fed on! Thanks.
     
  4. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Every fall I see deer in the yard eating the sugar maple leaves on the ground. They also eat the leaves off the grape vines.
     
  5. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    A deers stomach actually goes through a digestive enzyme shift from fall into winter. Their consumption of woody brows increases exponentially.
     
  6. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    I feed in the winter in an area that has hazel nut shrubs around the area, the deer stage waiting for their turn at the feeder browse the heck out of the hazel nut, interesting thing the ones that get browsed grow taller than the ones that do not get browsed as much.
     
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  7. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Hazelnut once it gets a good root structure is like many others (arrow wood, winterberry and others) that have their survival instincts kicked in more when browsed down.
     
  8. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Yes I know this, worked DNR forestry for 20 years, not all of it was fire.
     
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  9. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Grizzled Veteran

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    My hazel nut bushes are huge...they are also loaded this year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  10. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    I have an area by the swamp that has hazel nut with grapevine growing thru it, it would stop a shot running buck.
     
  11. DrSnake

    DrSnake Weekend Warrior

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    They will certainly eat an elderberry bush down to the soil!
     
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  12. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    They will pass up everything in favor of white oak acorns! The big white oaks in my woods only have acorns every other year, but when they do, I kill a doe around them every time. Every time. :tu:
     
  13. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Usually the white oaks have dropped before hunting season starts at where I live in Minnesota.
     
  14. w33kender

    w33kender Die Hard Bowhunter

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    study those aerials for where they travel. The browse in those areas will show signs of deer feeding more than areas replete with greenbriar, etc, but not where they want to travel.

    You're looking for areas where several habitats all converge at a narrow strip. My fave public land spot is a narrow pathway surrounded by young pines and regenerating cutovers. Even though most of the white oaks are gone by mid-October, the deer still move and feed through there; it's close to cover. There are huge palm stands and canebrakes that break up the semi-open path between the pines and cutovers and the big pathway. You have to look all around you at all times hunting in there because the deer could come from multiple directions from cover to the pathway. Very exciting.

    Remember that young timber allows more sunlight that creates the natural weeds and berries they survive on.
     
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  15. HardLuckLarry

    HardLuckLarry Weekend Warrior

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    Great advice, especially about the tips on how to look at aerial views.
     
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