Stick to bed-to-feed patterns as we ease deeper into the early season
The early season is entering its latter stages. Within the next couple of weeks, we'll be squarely seated in the pre-rut. It's a time when deer hunters who pattern bucks are scoring on bed-to-feed patterns, most of which are occurring over acorns and cut cornfields.
The Virtue's Phillip Vanderpool says the recent weather change was a turning point in the Midwest. Since the cold front, deer have been moving quite well. He recently hunted after a rainstorm and saw nine bucks and 12 does walk by his treestand location. He's also seeing a fair number of rubs and scrapes appear on the landscape. He even witnessed some sparring between bucks.
According to him, acorn crops are quite heavy throughout the region. That's the primary food source right now, and hunters who can intercept deer along these lines of movement stand a much better chance of success.
Outdoor writer Trent Marsh hunts in Indiana, and he is seeing increased movement as well. Lots of daytime movement on my cams, he said. Bucks are scarce, but stuff is moving for sure. He said most of the daylight movement is at dawn and dusk, though.
Midwest Whitetail's Grant Noble has recently been in the field, too. It's the first week of the season in Iowa, and the action has been slow for him. But the tide is turning.
The action has finally started to pick up, he said. I have been hunting over alfalfa fields the past couple of hunts. They seem to be hitting that pretty good. Had a young buck bumping does last night. Cameras have been slowing as far as mature bucks go. I know the acorns have been dropping hard. I don't know if they are just on those, or what. I don't have a lot of cameras in the timber right now.
Of course, those who have access to timber should focus on acorns. Both white and red oak species seem to be dropping across the Midwest. Finding these pockets of mast is the ticket. Alfalfa and freshly picked cornfields seem to be hot right now, too. It's worth noting that much of the region is lacking recent rainfall, and so hunting small water sources can be particularly productive right now in drought-stricken areas.
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