October Whitetailson Oct 2, 2012
Utilizing those Advantages
There is no other food source that I know of that has the drawing power of acorns during the early season. Hungry bucks will spend a good deal of effort in October trying to pack on as much weight as possible in order to survive the upcoming rut as well as the harsh winter. Acorns are high in calories and fat as well as offer good protein content. It is the perfect food source at the perfect time of year.
As the deer spend their time during day light hours bedded, oaks drop their bounty to the forest floor; accumulating a large cache of acorns. One advantage to hunting in an oak flat or between a bedding area and a stand of oaks is that acorns are served on a first come basis. This is very much unlike the crop fields or browse areas whose abundance is on display at all times. Essentially, this creates "competition" for the available acorns within the herd and deer know that arriving to the oak trees early in the evenings offers them the easiest pickings. This creates a scenario that can greatly favor the savvy bowhunter. If you know where your target buck(s) are bedding and conduct your hunt properly to account for variables such as wind direction and entry and exit routes, you could be in for an October hunt to remember.
Despite the popularity of food plots, deer can't resist fresh acorns. Usually, hunting this early-season food source can pay off in a big way. The author is shown here with a buck taken while hunting nearby acorns.
Once a buck has tended to his nutritional needs, scrapes become the second most important subject on his mind. Consequently, I have found scrape hunting to be the most productive October strategy. Sure it is cool to see a big buck come into an oak tree setup, but it is nothing compared to seeing him scent check a scrape from a distance; slowly approach, then hit the licking branch and clear the scrape. Those are images that will be burnt into your memory bank for years to come.