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