'Doe Pockets' Bring in the Bucks

Acorns are the spice of life

'Doe Pockets' Bring in the Bucks
'Doe Pockets' Bring in the Bucks
'Doe Pockets' Bring in the Bucks

Acorns are the spice of life.

They won't be found on many gourmet's menus, but to deer, ducks, squirrels and turkeys, acorns are the steak in an otherwise unexciting menu.

Acorns are often such strong drawing cards that hunters spend a lot of time concentrating on them. But, from a hunting standpoint it isn't always a great idea.

Early fall deer hunters usually find success by concentrating on food sources. Then, they can hunt the area with a great chance of getting a shot at a deer. But that changes in good times when acorns are abundant. Deer are moving, but it's hard to predict where they will show up because the forest is a virtual smorgasbord of food.


It is difficult, especially for a muzzleloader who needs to get within 50 to 60 yards for a shot, and even more so for a bowhunter who needs to get within 30 yards.


It can also be difficult when acorns are scarce and scattered and other food sources become a part of a deer's diet. But, there are ways around that if a hunter shifts hunting tactics from the food source to the deer.

David Hale, half of well-known hunting and game calling duo Knight and Hale, believes if hunters have to concentrate on food, they should find areas that have options. If it is dry as it has been for much of the country, water is a good place to start. Then, they should find areas that not only have acorns, but other green forage and soft mast such as persimmons or honeysuckle.

But the best bet is to look for areas Hale calls "doe pockets."

"No matter what type of mast you have, you will always have pockets of does," Hale said. "A doe will live within one-quarter mile from where she was born, a buck will not."


That is a big key right now, he said. Depending on the moon phase bucks will start getting in a pre-rut pattern. Hale said he will abandon much of the contemporary tactic of following rub lines this time of year.

If doe pockets are hard to find, or if hunters know of one that they can't get to but can get close enough, then they should concentrate on travel routes. The best areas have always been funnels.

The same is true now, and if it is a buck the hunter is after, that is probably the best place to start. With the first steps of the pre-rut season showing, bucks will be traveling to get nearer the does. And paths of least resistance for them to get there are good places for hunters to start.


All of that will change, however, later in the season once breeding does are at a premium, and a buck will need to start running rub and scrape lines to find his deer.

Go to 2013 Deer Camp

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

Berkley

Berkley's New Terminal Tackle

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Chad LaChance, host of World Fishing Network's Fishful Thinker television show, talk about Berkley's new innovative terminal tackle being introduced at ICAST 2019.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

 A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest.

Although the art Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them. Reels

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them.

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Other Freshwater

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper - April 21, 2005

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Learn the lingo to improve your odds in the whitetail woods. Whitetail

8 Deer Vocalizations You Must Master

Mike Marsh - November 26, 2019

Learn the lingo to improve your odds in the whitetail woods.

Become a better poor-weather deer hunter. Whitetail

Make Bad Weather a Deer-Hunting Bonus

Terry Madewell - November 27, 2019

Become a better poor-weather deer hunter.

Could a new testing protocol lead to the repeal of bans on urine-based scents for deer hunting? Conservation & Politics

Perspective: Urine-Based Scent Use for Deer Hunting

Adam Heggenstaller - December 19, 2019

Could a new testing protocol lead to the repeal of bans on urine-based scents for deer...

Here's a look at the regs and arguments about using bait while whitetail hunting. Whitetail

Baiting Deer Continues to Dwindle in Midwest

Patrick Durkin - December 11, 2019

Here's a look at the regs and arguments about using bait while whitetail hunting.

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.