John's Journal...

Food For Thought – Use Food Sources to Locate Deer

Jerry Simmons on Hunting Southeastern Deer During Early Deer Season

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Although some hunters take bucks around scrapes, along trails, near saddles in mountains and at creek crossings, you'll often find hunting near the food source where the white-tailed deer feed at the time you hunt the most- consistent way to pattern the deer and to Click to enlargelocate a stand where you can harvest a buck. The whitetail's preferred food source changes from early season to mid-season and at the end of the season.  Also as you travel around the country, whitetails in various sections like different plants, shrubs and nuts indigenous to these regions. To learn where to hunt when, we've asked some deer hunters to tell us the food sources they hunt at three-different times.

Jerry Simmons of Jasper, Alabama, invented the 190-grain Interceptor broadhead, the first broadhead permanently braised to a steel mandrill, as well as the Land Shark and the Mini-Shark broadheads. Simmons believes that by shooting a bigger broadhead, the archer has more shocking power, produces a larger wound and affects a much-better blood trail than when shooting smaller broadheads. One of the nation's leadingbowhunting authorities, Simmons consistently bags a good number of bucks each season with his bow. Simmons primarily hunts food sources. "During the early part of the season, I generally find deer feeding on crabappletrees, persimmon trees, poke salatt, mountain oak acorns, water oak acorns and red oak acorns," Simmons reports. According to Simmons, if an area has had a bad mast crop with only a few acorns, then hunt a region where clearClick to enlarge-cutting, strip mining or other activities have disturbed the ground. You may find the pokesalatt that grows in these regions a reliable food source for the deer. Whitetails will eat not only the leaves but also the purple berries of the poke plant. "You will know the deer have eaten poke salatt if the deer leave purple dClick to enlargeroppings," Simmons says.

Although bowhunters most often hunt from tree stands, if you realize the deer have fed in an open poke salatt patch, Simmons suggests building a small ground blind and hunting from the ground in a place with no trees. "Remember, if you hunt from a ground blind, put some kind of brush or limbs in front of the blind to keep the deer from seeing a solid patch of camouflage," Simmons advises. "The bushes and limbs will break-up the camouflage cloth pattern and give your blind more of a 3-D effect."

Tomorrow: Jerry Simmons Tells How to Hunt Southeastern Deer in the Mid-Season and Late Season

Check back each day this week for more about "Food For Thought – Use Food Sources to Locate Deer"

Day 1: What Whitetails Eat in the Midwest in the Early Season with Toby Bridges
Day 2: Hunting Midwestern Deer During the Mid-Season and Late Season With Toby Bridges
Day 3: Jerry Simmons on Hunting Southeastern Deer During Early Deer Season
Day 4: Jerry Simmons Tells How to Hunt Southeastern Deer in the Mid-Season and Late Season
Day 5: How to Hunt Deer Around Food in the Northeast


Entry 529, Day 3