When Velvet Sheds & Acorns Drop
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve been scouting for a month or so making mock scrapes with Power Scrape and putting trail cameras on them. You’ve been glassing fields for deer feeding in the evenings in that food plot you put so much time and money into. You have walked ridges and creek bottoms looking for the hottest trails. Finally you’ve found the killer spot, you hang a stand and the anticipation of killing a buck is great. It’s time to climb in and get ready but to your surprise, no deer, nothing shows up hunt after hunt and on top of all that, all the deer sign is gone. What’s happened? It took me years to figure this out but two things can happen within a day or two and change everything. You’ve been watching a group of bachelor bucks in velvet and got them nailed down. A buck can shed his velvet in a day or less, and once he does, everything changes. He may no longer travel with other bucks, his feeding and travel patterns change, or he may even leave the area. His body chemistry is changing. Some deer biologists say when a buck sheds his velvet, he then is capable of breeding and this is the start of the rut.
The second thing that can really mess up all you’re scouting and hard work is when those first acorns start to fall. This changes everything. Deer will leave a food source they have been feeding on for weeks to get acorns. Deer know acorns are a limited food source and will not be there long. Now you have to start all over and look for those first trees dropping acorns. Now is when products like Tink’s Acorn Cover work best. It not only helps cover some of your scent but can be an attractant. It may take a season or two, but learn where those trees are for next season. So the next time instead of pulling your hair out, stop and ask yourself, has the velvet shed or has the acorns started dropping.
Here’s a little tip I do when scouting early. It’s very hard to see acorns up in the tree so I use my binoculars to look up into the leaves to see if it has acorns. The other thing is when I get around oak trees is stop and listen for a few minutes. If trees are just dropping a few I want to listen for them hitting the ground. The next thing to listen for is squirrels. If the acorns are close to being ready the squirrels will be up there cutting them down. And just a little tip to leave you with; remember where those oaks are for next season!