-By Randy Cooper
We are into the early days of September and have started getting some much needed rain. Georgia has been in a severe drought all summer with sweltering heat in the triple digits most of those days. I've had no choice but to hold off planting my food plots until the time was right. Now is that time because next weekend has the greatest chance of rain. I will once again till up the plot sites I've selected and plant them. A perfect scenario is that it will be drizzling rain as I'm wrapping up the last of the planting. Then I will know for sure that the seeds will germinate and have their best chance at growing.
We all know that man-made food plots are not the only source of food for deer. It's a given that in the early season deer are still on their summer patterns and they are searching for all kinds of food sources including natural. You should be looking with them. Right now there are a number of great food sources available such as persimmons, muscadines, crabapples, honey locust, and mast bearing trees like white oaks, water oaks, red oaks, and one food source that gets overlooked by many, kudzu. Kudzu is so hardy that farmers hate it. It grows up and covers everything including telephone poles. Deer love it though. About the first of September kudzu will bloom. Theses blooms have a loud, grape Kool-Aid® smell that you can't miss. Persimmons are known around here as deer candy. If you can find one of these trees loaded with the pinkish red fruit, do yourself the best favor of the season and hunt near it. Believe me, they will come when the fruit starts hitting the ground. Honey locust is a tree with purple bean-like pods all over it. They are unmistakable. If you find one of these, put a stand overlooking it and be patient. When the first frost or two takes place, the sugar content begins to rise in these pods and the deer will devour them. I like to set up on the down wind side of an approach trail near any of these plants. To keep track of the wind I use an 8" length of serving string tied to the end of the stabilizer on my bow. I prepare it by putting it on a flat surface and using a single edge razor blade, stroke the last 2 inches until it begins to fray and becomes fluffy. When the wind blows, the fluffy end of the string will flow in the direction of the wind.
On a separate note, our season has already started and I'm excited to say the least. Saturday morning I saw 2 bucks, but not the big ones that I'm after so I let them walk. I’ll try again on Monday morning. The afternoons are too hot for me. When you are dripping sweat in 93-degrees heat and you're not even moving around, it's hot. That kind of heat makes anyone stink to a deer. Do yourself a favor and pack it in. Don't give away your position by letting them wind you.
Next week I'll tell you how the planting went and share more of the little things I do to help with my success. Look for rubs right now and keep practicing.