On a deer hunting message board, I read a post the other day from a hunter who was upset that the deer in his area were all staying on a neighboring piece of property because it has white oaks and his property doesn't. His plan was to hunt some persimmons on his property. My experience this weekend suggests that he might be in for a long wait.
On Saturday morning, I returned to the spot I tried to hunt last Sunday but couldn't due to the wind direction. The location featured a large white oak and two persimmon trees. See last week's article for a description and photos.
The only way I can describe the volume of acorns falling was to say that it sounded like little acorn avalanches every couple minutes. One falling acorn would start the process by knocking a couple more nuts loose, which multiplied the effect by knocking even more loose. You could literally hear the avalanche picking up steam, until by the time it hit the ground it was literally hundereds of acorns strong. The does started showing up at first light and several groups fed heavily throughout the morning.
This group of three does (one is partially hidden at the bottom of the frame) was oblivious to the sound of my camera shutter until I took the closeup of the lead doe at the top of the page. She was about 10 yards away at the time. That was the last I saw of that girl. I guess you could say she was a little camera shy...
Anyway, no bucks showed up, so eventually I climbed down and walked over to the persimmon trees to look around. I was surprised to see that the ground was littered with ripe persimmons, but the deer weren't paying them the least bit of attention, despite the fact that they were only twenty five yards away. Several does had even walked right past them on their way over to the white oak.
Obviously this is not a scientific study, but it sure seems to be pretty compelling evidence that deer prefer white oak acorns over persimmons. I'm going to predict that soon after the white oaks stop dropping nuts (even if there are still nuts on the ground) the deer will pick up interest in the persimmons. For whatever reason, deer don't seem to care as much for acorns that have been on the ground for a while.
In the next article, I'll continue the navigation series I began a couple days ago.