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1.) Swamp Fox - 08/27/2014
Let's break it down into two periods:

The weeks before acorns start dropping and, say, the two or three weeks afterwards.

I'm interested to know whose bow season opens before acorns typically drop (you western and prairie guys are exempt from this thread, all three of you, LOL). How do you scout and hunt that period, especially if you have no agriculture? Do you still have soft mast? Some years I have grapes and berries in SC's early bow, some years they're gone already. I'd say it's rare to still have soft mast in my NC locations by the time the season opens in early Sept.

Then, for the sake of discussion, give us your best tips for early-season scouting a) when acorns are scarce and b) when they're everywhere.

There are some acorns on the ground in SC but they're not raining down; the first ones haven't started dropping in my part of NC yet. We're getting close, though.
2.) luv2bowhunt - 08/27/2014
Not sure if you want to hear from me, because acorns are always already on the ground when our season starts. I know this much, it is a complete and total change of pattern once the white oak acorns come down.

It is easier to scout when the mast is scarce than when it's plentiful. I always struggle to get a fix on big woods deer when the woods are one big buffet line. In the early part of Oct. I'm looking for droppings and tracks. That is the best way to know where they are feeding since they poop a lot where they feed. (Like Jon) Later in Oct. I'm hoping rublines show up and then I'll get a sense of what the bucks are doing going in and out of feeding areas.

Again, this is much harder when they can get a meal anywhere, including the thick security cover. Which is exactly what is shaping up for this season. Even the young oak trees are loaded up with acorns.:td:
3.) Swamp Fox - 08/27/2014
Yeah, I'm guessing that most bowhunters first hitting the woods have acorns already available...But I thought I'd ask anyway because of HuntingCountry's large sample size, LOL.....
4.) bluecat - 08/27/2014
Seems a bit early for acorns to drop here. I seem to remember them dropping more in later September, early October.
5.) Swamp Fox - 08/27/2014
When does your season open?

I didn't even know they had trees in Kansas...
6.) Ventilator - 08/27/2014
I saw a tree in east Kansas once.
7.) luv2bowhunt - 08/27/2014
[QUOTE=Swamp Fox;23730]But I thought I'd ask anyway because of HuntingCountry's large sample size, LOL.....[/QUOTE]

Yeah, probably not a good idea to use this group as a model for scientific study. 0-5 responses is probably not a good cross section I'm thinking.
8.) Ventilator - 08/27/2014
oh and acorns are already on the ground in central SC. I think its due to the extreme amount of rain we have been getting this summer.
9.) Swamp Fox - 08/27/2014
Yes, I thought about that, but it will be the best 0-5 responses on the internet...

10.) Floyd - 08/30/2014
Who's got their beard going for deer season already?

Chris, you have your deer cam pics yet to post?
11.) Floyd - 08/30/2014
Swampy, the deer here stay away from my back fence until the acorns and pecans start dropping. Then they come around like clock work in big groups. Then the pre-rut, rut hits, they scatter and come around in smaller 2-3 groups.

During the summer, they are still in the field but stay closer to the brush and trees across the field.

Regardless they still use the same crossing points on roads, and streams and what not.

At a local University, I see them all the time. Five very good looking bucks. They like to hang out in the lower cooler areas, you see them laying there. At night, they have the run of the place.
12.) Swamp Fox - 08/30/2014
[QUOTE=Floyd;23873]Who's got their beard going for deer season already?

Chris, you have your deer cam pics yet to post?[/QUOTE]

I think I must have hit my limit on M-F shaving, because I've been alternating between scruffy and clean-shaven throughout the year the last few years, depending on what I think I can get away with for work, LOL. I don't let scruff go too far in the summer, though. If the future is like the past, I'll probably do an honest hunting beard (or my version of one) starting in November or whenever I miss my first deer, whichever comes first...:wink

My cameras went out late this year (busy July and August), and I haven't picked up anything yet, but maybe I'll see what I have in the archives.

My guess is I wouldn't have much at this point yet anyway, where I did have cameras out. I got sorghum where I thought/was praying I was gonna get soybeans, and the soybeans I did get went in so late the deer don't seem to be hitting them yet, to speak of. I have some corn on the back side, as usual, but I don't usually put cameras/ pay much attention back there because it gets picked so early it doesn't really do me much good.
13.) Floyd - 08/30/2014
Do you put any cameras on well traveled routes?
14.) Swamp Fox - 08/30/2014
I do, such as they are, but not many until I see what's planted where, which is what determines how deer will move though the property. I have discovered about 5 distinctly different movement patterns in about 5 years on the property, lol. It's learn as you go. Every year has been different. :bang:

We had another wet start to the planting season, or at least that's the excuse (again), so it wasn't until nearly mid July that there were any solid clues. And even so, I got fooled with sorghum in the middle of the property, which was right out of left field.

After getting snookered by my own soybean prediction--based on standard crop rotation practices-- that never came true last year as well (fields were left fallow when they should have been in either soybeans or corn), I told myself I was gonna call the farmer and pick his brain this spring so as to avoid a lot of pre-season prep aimed in the wrong direction, but did I do it? Noooo...Even my landowner doesn't know what this guy is doing from one year to the next...He's the loose cannon of farmers, apparently...I'm reminded of a Far Side cartoon...I'm on a two-year losing streak for predicting what's planted in the interior.

If I see a little more activity on the soybeans at the front next time I'm there, I might put some cameras out just for S&G's, but I pretty much know how they'll enter those fields already. I'm more interested to see if they'll hit any acorns/travel though some other spots while my soybeans catch up with those on other properties, which are much further along, and whether they'll hit the sorghum before it matures (which I doubt, given all their other options).

I think the good news for me might be that I'll still have beans past Thanksgiving after neighbors are cut :pray: and the sorghum may be attractive before my oat plots hit full stride. The bad news is that the sorghum is in the way of one of my preferred oat & clover plots, so we'll have to see about that. I should have kept it flagged off, but I pulled the flags after turkey season, thinking Farmer Brown would grace me with beans. :re: Another fine mess I've gotten myself into, Ollie...

At least I don't have all cotton this year, LOL.