Nibblers

Snowberry is an important native mast crop for northern whitetails

Deer don’t just feed at night. The fact is deer must eat. Knowing where deer feed on during daylight hours can often put you on a big buck.

All deer foods can be separated into two categories; primary food sources and secondary food sources. The difference between the two is literally – night and day. Primary food sources are the ones that deer feed on during the night. Secondary food sources are those available to the deer during daylight hours. Knowing the location of the secondary food sources or mast is critical in understanding deer behavior and travel patterns in your area.

I like to look around and see what mast is available in the area. Hard mast is your nuts; acorns, chestnuts, and beach nets. Soft mast is your fleshy fruits such as apples, plums, and berries. Wherever available I prefer to hunt over soft mast, especially if I could find it in the transition zone. Deer have the tendency to feed on soft mass prior to entering their primary food source. I’m not sure hwy. Maybe it’s because soft mast is easier to digest or it’s because soft mast contains a lot of moisture. Regardless, there will be a flurry of deer activity in a soft mast food source just before evening falls.

You’ll find an extensive list of plants whcih deer prefer in my book; Buck Naked: The Straight Dope on Trophy Whitetails.

As the saying goes, “If you’ve got apples; you’ve got deer.”

Good Luck & Good Hunting,
Jim

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