When out scouting, what is it that your actually looking for? For some people they are looking for trails, others pinch points, still others from what I have heard really don't know what they are looking for. They just kinda wander around the woods till they find something that looks interesting and get some cams up and see what they find.
Something I have found, then started researching more on and asking people. I have found that what I'm looking for are acorns and in particular. Groups of Oak trees, that are dumping acorns. From there is typically where I start looking for trails, that will lead to feeding areas in fields, bedding areas or water sources. What I have found is that, if you find acorns and oak trees, typically you have found a nice little honey pot that should produce some nice bucks. That is unless I have food plots that I have planted for which I can monitor via cams, but this article
So here's the issue, in researching oak trees, there are a few different types of oak trees (as I'm sure you all know). Though, at that point, most people think, so it's an oak tree, tons of acorns it's treestand time!!
Well hold on a minute there!! What type of oak tree is it? When are deer actually going to be showing there?
There are multiple types of oak trees, so before you take all that gear out there. What type of oak tree is that group or honey plot full of? Acorns are like candy to a deer, though if you read my other blog post about knowing the land your hunting, you should know where all the oak trees are. Now you have your stands out either covering the trails or hunting over the acorns, but your stands aren't producing. Now your like what the $^#%@???
So that means we need to figure out first what type of oak tree you have, then if deer actually going to be hitting that. So that brings the question, what kind of acorns do deer like? Deer tend to like all acorns, but there is an order or preference or order they will eat acorns in based on the type of oak tree.
Ok, so what type of acorns do deer prefer over others. So for that, I found a great article on bowsite.com stating the preferences of acorns that deer like and why.
Order of preference:
1. White Oak
2. Pin Oak
3. Red Oak
4. Black Oak
5. Bur Oak
6. Live Oak
The order of preference is based on the tannic acid level inside the acorn. The White Oak Tree produces a very low tannic acid and have a very sweet taste to deer. If you find a crop or grouping of White Oak trees, you might have found a golden honey pot that should produce deer, most every year. Though, you'll need to understand the produce of Acorn levels per Oak Tree type to know how often that group will produce deer.
So, the next time your out scouting and you come across a oak tree grouping or now something that you can look for on all your properties is what type of oak trees are on the property, if any. Then based on that, you can then make a better prediction as to when deer are likely to show up at your oak tree grouping, based on the order of preference.