Turn the Early Season "Lull" into Primetime!

It's funny to listen to so many hunters about this time every year as they complain about "where did all the deer go?"

Each year we watch deer spend the summer months in the soybean fields, feeding in front of our trail cameras and assaulting the local farmer's corn and alfalfa fields. Deer seem to be predictable and plentiful across most hunting areas.

We practice and tune our backyard bow shooting skills and pour over countless trail cam pictures strategizing about the upcoming season. We hang tree stands on well-worn trails leading to these favorite summertime feeding areas. We can hardly wait for the season opener as our best-laid plans seem to be a sure thing this year!

But then, ....our excitement and anticipation turns to frustration and puzzlement as we barely see a single deer!

The limbs around your treestand were brushed away well in advance, we practiced all the scent control techniques we knew...maybe even bought a new bow, or broadheads or some other new gear.

Where did all the deer go?

If this sounds all too familiar to you, well, here's the answer to your question; Answer: In some cases the deer are still there and in some areas the deer are actually gone. In either case, they are NOT focused on corn, beans and alfalfa anymore, and good news: eventually, the will probably return.

Here's why: When God created nature, including all the deer and the animals, as well as all things such as trees, grass, browse and natural feed for the animals, He perfectly created a purpose, a balance, and a season for everything. Huh? Well, as buck deer shed their velvet, and the does brace themselves for another breeding season, followed then by winter, nature sheds her mast crop to meet their needs. Acorns! Acorns by the bushel and bushel fall to the ground under every baring oak tree. And like a retriever to a pheasant or a bee to a flower: a deer will forsake virtually all other food to eat those acorns....it's just nature's way. Acorns are naturally rich in fat which provides a needed layer of reserve fat for the rigors of the rapidly approaching breeding season, and of course, the winter.

So, if you want to hunt the early season and you want turn the late September and October "lull" into a fantastic season where you may see most every deer in the woods, including those bruiser bucks that were in front of your camera all summer, ....then leave your trailside stand for now -seek out the oak ridges and the secluded oak trees that have covered the ground with its "mast marbles" and you will quickly find fresh tracks on top of tracks, deer manure and feeding sign everywhere. ...and you'll immediately know that you've solved the puzzle that baffles and aggravates so many every season.

Find the acorns, wherever they are, and you will find the deer!

What is pictured here is a "September Homerun" for bowhunters! What is pictured here is a "September Homerun" for bowhunters!


Note the bare dirt from excessive activity under this oak tree? Empty hauls, tracks and manure are all indicators of recent feeding concentration. The uneaten acorns indicate they will be back!

In areas with lots of oaks and acorns, finding the correct tree may be more difficult as there is preferred feed everywhere. In early season, bowhunters should focus on the first variety of oak to drop.

Deer seem to prefer white oak acorns above other varieties where they are available, however most white oaks have a "on/off" mast cycle where they produce great amounts of acorns one year and very few, sometimes none, the following year.

Hunting the acorns is always a sure bet, you may have to adapt these surefire principles to your specific area depending upon when the acorns actually fall, which varieties are most common on your hunting property, or if you must move to find the acorns...and the deer.


  • Mike

    Wish I would have read this last week!

  • Randall J. Olson

    I honestly do not know much about hunting but i have some family members who are into hunting. I know hunting is fun and challenging and it requires a lot of patience and great skills in order to have a successful hunt. Well, goodluck on the hunters out there and may they all be successful in their hunt. I know it's already the season of hunting.

  • Ohio Hunter 103
    Ohio Hunter 103 - October 14, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    We like to call this the grocery store strategy. It deffinantly works but just watch doing this on public land because people walk right through these and mess up great hunts in areas containing them.

Leave a Comment