Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dominant Trees and a Southerly Breeze

Here's a can't miss recipe for deer:

Take one white oak, loaded to the gills and dropping nuts. Click on the photo for a better look at the amazing number of acorns on this tree.
Add two persimmons dropping ripe fruit just 25 yards away.

Put them in a natural funnel with deer droppings everywhere and you have a combination that's as close to a sure thing as you're going to get in deer hunting.

In case you've forgotten, however, there are no sure things in deer hunting.

Everything seemed perfect as I climbed the one suitable tree to hunt this spot. A couple hours earlier when I found it, the deer I ran out as I approached were literally circling around me to get back to it. I figured the deer would be feeding all afternoon so I decided to get in my stand early. At 2:00 I was going through my mental checklist: safety harness on - check, camo makeup on - check, binoculars, rangefinder, and camera ready - check, wind sensor attached to bow - uh oh!

There was a gentle breeze blowing out of the south and straight down the ridge where I could hear deer milling around. Within five minutes a doe circled downwind, got a nose full of my scent, and sounded the warning alarm as she turned inside-out getting out of there. A couple minutes later another Shheeewww... crash, crash, crash directly downwind of me.

I looked around desperately for another tree to climb that would get my scent out of the deer's approach route. Nothing. Reluctantly, I repacked my gear, climbed down, and headed for the house. I'll return when the wind is out of the West.

Oh well, at least I got to see my RedSox play in game three of the ALDS when I got home. Go Sox!


Anonymous said...

So this brings up a question I have about hunting over oaks: how the heck can you hunt them in the morning? In my limited understanding of deer and deer behavior I believe that they tend to eat acorns during the night - moving back into cover as morning approaches. If you try to hunt a dominant oak in the morning will you not just push out the deer that are there (and have been there all night)?

Anonymous said...

Deer will feed on several dominant trees on there way back to bedding areas.Try to find a dominant tree several hundred yards from open fields closer to these areas for your morning hunt.This will give you a good chance for a shot at a deer after daybreak.Thank you for your question,good hunting.

Anonymous said...

This is great info to know.

Unknown said...

And I suppose the rut changes alot of this? What I mean to say is that its common knowledge that hunters are expected to get into their stand or blind; etc, before dawn and/or 2-3 hours before dusk; at least that's what I've lived by the last few years that I have been hunting whitetail deer. From everything I've picked up from my readings regarding the rut it's possible to get set up in a stand or blind; etc, pretty much anytime during the day and hunt it all the way up til last shooting light. Makes sense to me if you subscribe to the notion that bucks will run doe 24/7 during the rut.