Editor’s Note: Professional deer hunters and biologists know the old adage that bucks don’t move in hot and warm weather isn’t true. Bucks have to feed, bed and water, regardless of the temperature. Bucks just move very little in warmer weather. As the world experiences global warming, some of us will have to learn to hunt for hot and warm weather bucks during bow season. In Alabama, my home state, often at the first of bow season in mid-October, the temperature will hover around 90+ degrees. Although the deer may move very little in that weather, the men I’ve hunted with, nationally-known deer hunters Eddie Salter of Evergreen, Alabama, have hunted in this type weather all their lives.
According to Salter, “If you understand how to hunt the soft mast like the honey locust, you can take deer during hot weather. During the first of bow season, the deer often will feed on persimmons, one of their favorite food sources. But you’ll have more success if you’ll hunt the persimmon trees at the most-productive times.” Salter suggests hunting over persimmons the morning after a heavy rain or a heavy wind at night for the most success. “The deer have learned that wind and rain will knock the persimmons off the tree, and they’ll find the most persimmons then.”
Hunt the Birds and the Squirrels:
Deer also enjoy acorns during warm weather. However, most acorns don’t fall until November and December in the South. But longtime deer hunter and guide, Larry Norton of Butler, Ala., has learned how to hunt deer under acorn trees before the nuts fall. “Just as the acorns begin to get ripe, squirrels and birds will go to oak trees and eat the acorns off the stems of the branches,” Norton reports. “The squirrels and the birds eat sloppily. They’ll knock more nuts off the tree than they actually eat. Often, a week or two before the nuts should begin to fall, you can find a deer hot spot by looking for squirrels and birds in the trees. Anytime I see four or five squirrels feeding in one tree or a flock of birds sitting in an acorn tree, I move in close and listen. If the birds and squirrels are feeding on the nuts, I’ll hear what sounds like rain falling from the tree. Then I move in under the tree and check for deer droppings and empty acorn hulls to know the deer have fed there. Most of the time, I’ll find two or three trails leading to a tree like this. I usually can set-up a tree stand to hunt near the tree – no matter which way the wind blows – because the trails come from so many directions.”
Remember however, that deer don’t like to move in the heat of the day. Hunt these early nut trees or persimmon trees at first light or just at dark to see the most bucks. Because of the concentration of a preferred food, deer will pour into these areas. Set-up your tree stand, and bag a buck with your bow.
To learn more about hunting deer, see John E. Phillips’ book at
http://johninthewild.com/books/#deer for Kindle, print and Audible books, as well as some Nook books.