Forget the Red Oaks!!

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.

Do you hunt red oak areas?

I have no red oaks in my hunting areas.
9
9%
I have red oaks, but do not hunt near them.
2
2%
I have red oaks in my hunting areas and hunt near them.
15
15%
I have both red and white oaks, and hunt near them both.
72
70%
I admit it, I only hunt near white oaks
5
5%
 
Total votes: 103
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Singing Bridge
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:11 am

jakedeaver wrote:I don't have a single oak tree of any variety on any of the multiple tracts that I hunt :cry:

Apparently, the soil around here is iron deficient. Great cropland that cannot suppport an oak.


On a positive note, at least you have good cropland... I have big woods areas in the Upper Peninsula and Canada that I hunt where oaks pretty much do not exist. You really get good at identifying preferred browse types that the deer eat- and really, a lot of people forget that whitetails are a "browse species," genetically designed to utilize browse to survive... they are not an "agriculture species", although the way they utilize the crops you might want to think of them that way.

When speaking with hunters that are going to hunt the big woods, and they are from farm country and have traditionally hunted that type of habitat, I normally break the big woods down for them in an "agricultural perspective." For example, the clearcuts up North with young aspen regrowth that the deer love to eat in, travel along the edges of, and sometimes bed in, I call "the cornfields of the North." You can think of them that way and utilize similar hunting tactics to what you would do with a standing cornfield. The same applies to large areas of red-osier dogwood (red brush) and in the late season to areas of white cedar.


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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby Stanley » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:57 am

jakedeaver wrote:I don't have a single oak tree of any variety on any of the multiple tracts that I hunt :cry:

Apparently, the soil around here is iron deficient. Great cropland that cannot suppport an oak.


Have you considered getting with your state/district forester and seeing if planting some oaks would be an option/feasible. I have had the forester come and walk some properties with me, you can learn a ton from these foresters if you get the right one. Sometimes cost share programs are available to the land owners.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Tue May 01, 2012 4:04 am

Excellent read guys.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby headgear » Tue May 01, 2012 5:26 am

Singing Bridge wrote: For example, the clearcuts up North with young aspen regrowth that the deer love to eat in, travel along the edges of, and sometimes bed in, I call "the cornfields of the North."


SB funny you should mention this, I also call those recent clearcuts bigwoods corn! :lol: I think I even posted it on this site a few time, stuff is a deer magnet.

One place I hunt is very much void of oaks. I attemped to plant some a few years back, I will have to check on them and see if anything survived.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby PLB » Tue May 01, 2012 6:43 am

Red oak stands abound where I hunt. They are a huge key to my success. This is a great learning thread by the way! We haven't had any acorns the past two seasons. I'm hoping for a bumper crop this season! Without acorns, big woods hunting in my area is tough! Acorns help to concentrate the few deer that are there. I always get a kick out of hunters who dump bait in an oak ridge loaded with acorns?? I agree too an oak ridge that butts up to a major bedding area is golden in big woods country! I have killed some dandy bucks this way!!

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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby rizzo999 » Tue May 01, 2012 7:05 am

Great series of posts guys. Where I hunt in IL there is zero oaks!

But, where I hunt in WI (farm/bluff country) is loaded with so many that I just typically set-up back in the woods between bedding areas and the field edges among the oaks regardless of red or white. Last year each of the first 2 evenings of the season I was literally in a white oak that was dropping acorns like hail and nearly every single deer would stop for a bite or two and then move towards the field except a dandy 9 pointer. This buck had mass to the point that I'm not sure my hands could go around his antler bases. Each evening he would walk past on the other side of a briar thicket and go eat acorns from under another white oak tree that was at the edge of the field for 20-25 minutes. None of the other deer would eat acorns from that tree, but him.

I came back the following weekend and set-up to arrow him on the trail he had been traveling the prior weekend. He never did. :doh: Instead I shot a big doe Sunday evening that was eating acorns from under the tree I had been in the week prior, but now I was 30 yards away. The reason I believe he did not return....the tree was done dropping acorns. Nobody else legally hunts that property or the adjacent land so I do not believe he was harvested. For some reason he was drawn to that tree before he would dissappear into the corn.

I sure hope I see that buck this season! :pray:
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby dan » Tue May 01, 2012 7:18 am

rizzo999 wrote:Great series of posts guys. Where I hunt in IL there is zero oaks!

But, where I hunt in WI (farm/bluff country) is loaded with so many that I just typically set-up back in the woods between bedding areas and the field edges among the oaks regardless of red or white. Last year each of the first 2 evenings of the season I was literally in a white oak that was dropping acorns like hail and nearly every single deer would stop for a bite or two and then move towards the field except a dandy 9 pointer. This buck had mass to the point that I'm not sure my hands could go around his antler bases. Each evening he would walk past on the other side of a briar thicket and go eat acorns from under another white oak tree that was at the edge of the field for 20-25 minutes. None of the other deer would eat acorns from that tree, but him.

I came back the following weekend and set-up to arrow him on the trail he had been traveling the prior weekend. He never did. :doh: Instead I shot a big doe Sunday evening that was eating acorns from under the tree I had been in the week prior, but now I was 30 yards away. The reason I believe he did not return....the tree was done dropping acorns. Nobody else legally hunts that property or the adjacent land so I do not believe he was harvested. For some reason he was drawn to that tree before he would dissappear into the corn.

I sure hope I see that buck this season! :pray:

Cool story... I would of moved right away after seeing hum. Big bucks are patternable regardless of what anyone says, but they don't stay on those patterns long.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby Stanley » Tue May 01, 2012 7:33 am

rizzo999 wrote:Great series of posts guys. Where I hunt in IL there is zero oaks!

But, where I hunt in WI (farm/bluff country) is loaded with so many that I just typically set-up back in the woods between bedding areas and the field edges among the oaks regardless of red or white. Last year each of the first 2 evenings of the season I was literally in a white oak that was dropping acorns like hail and nearly every single deer would stop for a bite or two and then move towards the field except a dandy 9 pointer. This buck had mass to the point that I'm not sure my hands could go around his antler bases. Each evening he would walk past on the other side of a briar thicket and go eat acorns from under another white oak tree that was at the edge of the field for 20-25 minutes. None of the other deer would eat acorns from that tree, but him.

I came back the following weekend and set-up to arrow him on the trail he had been traveling the prior weekend. He never did. :doh: Instead I shot a big doe Sunday evening that was eating acorns from under the tree I had been in the week prior, but now I was 30 yards away. The reason I believe he did not return....the tree was done dropping acorns. Nobody else legally hunts that property or the adjacent land so I do not believe he was harvested. For some reason he was drawn to that tree before he would dissappear into the corn.

I sure hope I see that buck this season! :pray:

Very interesting story. I also believe the tactic would have been to move in on him the first time you saw him. I think the wind was some what your nemesis on that hunt the following weekend. You killed the doe past where you were sitting makes me think the wind busted your chances for that buck that day. I also am not an advocate of shooting does while hunting for mature bucks. That most often kills any chance of seeing the old boy. Good luck with him next year.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby rizzo999 » Tue May 01, 2012 7:36 am

Thanks Dan! Yeah, I learn something new nearly everytime I am in the woods. After that experience in the early season I became more aggresive the rest of the year. On an 8 day public land hunt in November I sat in 7 different trees and that was with 2 days unable to hunt due to severe weather!!
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed May 02, 2012 4:30 am

headgear wrote:
Singing Bridge wrote: For example, the clearcuts up North with young aspen regrowth that the deer love to eat in, travel along the edges of, and sometimes bed in, I call "the cornfields of the North."


SB funny you should mention this, I also call those recent clearcuts bigwoods corn! :lol: I think I even posted it on this site a few time, stuff is a deer magnet.

One place I hunt is very much void of oaks. I attemped to plant some a few years back, I will have to check on them and see if anything survived.


I've had oaks that I have planted go both ways, with high deer populations- some of the areas the oaks got mowed by deer and rabbits, never to be seen again, and in others the deer left them alone. It will be interesting to see how your oaks fared.

I have had thousands of white cedar / high bush cranberry that I planted get destroyed by whitetails. Thousands of red and white pine I have planted were left alone- it really depends on how bad the deer have it at any given point in time. Oaks and cedar take so long to mature, that I planted them primarily for future considerations...

I used to own property that bordered an Interstate highway that was loaded with deer... I would normally see over twenty whitetails every time I hunted it (4 or 5 here, 3 or 4 there... just loaded with deer.) The section of property along the interstate was rather open, so just inside the fence I planted hundreds and hundreds of red and white pine... when I drive by now it is getting so I can't see the property very well!

Autumn Olive give great cover, and the deer love to rub and and scrape them... they are not legal to plant everywhere though. They can make an awesome, thick cover travel route for deer across a property in only a few years and can be a great tool.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed May 02, 2012 8:28 am

Public Land Beast wrote:Red oak stands abound where I hunt. They are a huge key to my success. This is a great learning thread by the way! We haven't had any acorns the past two seasons. I'm hoping for a bumper crop this season! Without acorns, big woods hunting in my area is tough! Acorns help to concentrate the few deer that are there. I always get a kick out of hunters who dump bait in an oak ridge loaded with acorns?? I agree too an oak ridge that butts up to a major bedding area is golden in big woods country! I have killed some dandy bucks this way!!

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PLB, I'd like to hear more about your acorn bucks if you get the chance...

agreed, dumping bait on a ridge with dropping acorns sure doesn't make a lot of sense and is a great way to put some older bucks on alert.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby Stanley » Wed May 02, 2012 9:05 am

Public Land Beast wrote:Red oak stands abound where I hunt. They are a huge key to my success. This is a great learning thread by the way! We haven't had any acorns the past two seasons. I'm hoping for a bumper crop this season! Without acorns, big woods hunting in my area is tough! Acorns help to concentrate the few deer that are there. I always get a kick out of hunters who dump bait in an oak ridge loaded with acorns?? I agree too an oak ridge that butts up to a major bedding area is golden in big woods country! I have killed some dandy bucks this way!!

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I consider big woods one of the toughest places to kill a good buck. Acorns definitely helps determine where to set up.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby Southern Man » Wed May 02, 2012 10:25 am

Stanley wrote: I consider big woods one of the toughest places to kill a good buck. Acorns definitely helps determine where to set up.


I agree with the first sentence. But as far as the second, it's extremely frustrating when you have a mature oak every 25' or so. The public land I try to hunt is loaded with mature red and white oak. Ridge after ridge of them. A couple years ago the Forestry dept estimated the acorn crop at an average 400lbs per acre. That's a lot of nuts.....

On private ground, it's another story. Nothin better than an old mature oak. Be it red or white. Throw in a post oak for the early season.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby dan » Wed May 02, 2012 1:15 pm

Can be really tough hunting when they are bedding right under the oak trees they feed on. On private ground we remove the oak trees growing on the bedding points to get the bucks to move far enough to kill them in daylight.
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Re: Forget the Red Oaks!!

Unread postby UntouchableNess » Wed May 02, 2012 1:52 pm

jlh42581 wrote:
UntouchableNess wrote:I'll hunt both but chose to plant white oaks. I checked the ones I planted this spring and things are looking promising.


On average a white oak wont produce for 50 years.


Last fall I collected acorns from Swamp white oak acorns we planted about 5-8 years ago (3-5 yr old transplants).
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