We’ve made it to October. Thank goodness! Now we can hunt the October lull, which will be way better than the September Siesta the deer have been taking for the last fifteen days.
Tuesday evening was my last hunt in New Hampshire for a while. I’ll now be switching gears to Vermont with the season opening this Saturday. I sat in a ladder stand overlooking a few trails that led to some apple trees hoping the deer would be on their feet in the downpour. They weren’t.
Standing there in the deluge, I finally came to grips with the fact that the deer are not overly interested in the apples this year. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that acorns (and other nuts) are the preferred choice over apples. Acorns are high in fats and carbohydrates which can help the deer put on a lot of weight and a solid fat layer in a short amount of time in the fall.
There is also another benefit to the deer on years when nuts are plentiful – they can stay deep in the woods where they feel much safer. This makes them difficult to hunt with a bow because they don’t need to move. I’ve utilized a couple of different strategies on years like this. One, I write stand locations on sticky notes and put them on the wall. Then, I stand with my back to the wall and throw a dart over my shoulder backward. Whatever sticky note is closest to where the dart hits is where I go. I think the deer use this same method to decide which oak to feed under so it seems logical that our paths should cross at some point by using this method. The second option is to hunt the same stand location every time I hunt. It also seems logical to think that EVENTUALLY a deer will amble by.
So far, no deer have ambled by but there are a lot of dart sized holes in my wall.
I’m looking forward to the Vermont season opening on Saturday. There is something exciting about hunting your home state and it will be a nice change of scenery. From the limited scouting trips I’ve been on, it appears that the acorn crop is not as plentiful. Hopefully, this will increase the chances of seeing deer and save a few more sticky notes.
P.S. Zoom in on the buck at the top of the page and you'll see some velvet hanging off of his antlers.