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October Trends in Emporia VA

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  • October Trends in Emporia VA

    It’s early October and the weather continues to change here in Virginia, and right along with it the travel patterns of our deer. All the way up to late September, the deer were frequenting our food plots and fields, focusing on the clover and rye grass as well as the natural vegetation. Within the last two weeks, however, I have noticed a steady decline in activity at these areas largely contributed to the falling acorns.

    Acorns are few and far between on Low Pines and have been a focal point for this very reason. Our property is vastly populated by Southern Yellow Pines, so when I find Oak trees I know there will be deer around them by the middle of October. These locations have proven to be a good choice for our stands as Urban Archery season has given way to Early Archery Season. If you hunt a similar piece of property, or you have noticed a decrease in activity at your normal hunting sites, try to find these areas, which provide hard mass for the deer.

    Why the deer have made this shift to hard mast can be contributed to several factors that will vary from one property to the next. A few things you should focus on are: What’s surrounding the area I hunt? Is it apple orchards or is it cotton fields? Is my property full of hardwoods or are the few and far between like Low Pines? Lastly, but in my opinion most important, what kind of pressure are the deer getting at this time of year? These few questions can help you locate deer during a time when many other deer hunters might claim the deer are just not moving due to any number of excuses we make.

    The area directly surrounding Low Pines is comprised of farm land. From wheat to corn and even cotton, the deer near me have been getting plenty of soft mass leading up to now. That being said, I know the deer are going to redirect their focus to one of their favorite foods, acorns. If you have plenty of hard mass on your property or you’re surrounded by hardwoods, try to locate Oaks near bedding areas. Whitetails will go to these areas first rather than traveling great distances to food plots or open fields with natural vegetation.

    Pressure from hunters can play a huge role in deer making this shift to hard mass. The main reason is because it’s safer to stay hidden in the woods near familiar areas then to travel distances for food. When deer feel pressure they are more apt to stay within their comfort zone. If your property is hunted heavily in the early season, expect deer to switch to acorns or other hard mass vegetation earlier than other places that might not receive the same hunting pressure. On Low Pines the deer do not get pressured as a largely hunted property would, so this transition has been more gradual. Our Primos Truth cameras have steadily been picking up more and more activity in near Oak trees.

    Observing these trends can help better your odds of harvesting a mature whitetail before firearm season. Thank you for reading and as always, stay safe and happy hunting.
    Last edited by HUNTINGEASTCOAST.COM; 10-08-2012, 02:41 PM.
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