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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had both summer and falls plots for 4 years in a row now, always planted the same thing and had great success drawing the deer in... Up until about 10 days ago things were as good as any other year with daily attendance of anywhere from 6-15 deer with even some good midday attendance. However, for some reason, the deer have virtually vanished, which is something I haven't witnessed since plating plots over the past 4 years. My home office window overlooks my plots (about 170 yards away) so I get to watch them all day, everyday and haven't seen anything out of the ordinary. Matter of fact, the deer feel so comfortable, we can actually play volleyball in the yard and it doesn't bother them. I am catching an occasional doe on my game cam at night but other than that, they seemed to have left... I also have the only water source in the area (pond), which is right next to the plot so even if someone in the area was baiting, they still come for a drink.. By this his time last year I already had a handful of smaller bucks sparring in my plots. This year I also had a handful of smaller bucks but they left along with the rest of the deer. I have yet to take a deer off this property but this year we were actaully planning on taking one during the youth hunt. Do you think they know that? :lol:

Things just don't add up, any ideas?

CB
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its not like the first year acorns have ever dropped around here :lol:
 

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Maybe the flood is comming and no one told us? :lol:
 

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Agree - Acorns are the Key. Last year the same thing happened to me. It was a bumper crop of Acorns and no OAKS in my area:mad: The deer were pretty much non existant during first archery season and rifle and they didn't start coming back until just before ML season. Hope it works out better for you.

Good Learning for me "When the Acorns are good it doesn't matter how good the Food Plot are because they are going to leave if you don't have OAKS" In my opinion they like acorns better than anything else. Just my fiddy cent
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I went for a drive last night and seen deer browsing in a few farm fields that surround my property and then headed to some oaks that I know of and it doesnt even like they are even producing this year. When I cam home I heard some yotes yipping behind my food plot. I noticed the deer stopped showing up right around opening day of Elk season. Not sure if that has anything to do with it because it never did before, even though they hunt elk on some of the adjoining properties.

CB
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I just checked my cam (covering the last 3 days) and now I only have a doe and fawn comming in at night (around 3am).. The last picture I have besides these 2, which was about 2 weeks ago, was an 8pt so I thought maybe he had taken over the plot but even he is gone now. I had 4 bucks and at least 10 doe comming in daily prior to all of this. My wife said she seen 3 doe eating on the side of the neigbors driveway this morning so if it was the farmers crops pulling them away, I dont think they would be there and would probably prefer my plot like they did before... Usualy my pond alone draws them in because its the only water source around...

I hate to do it it but I guess I'm going to venture into the back half of my property to see if there is something back there like a dead carcus or something.. I usually stay clear of this area and set it aside as a sanctuary. I'll take my tractor since that doesnt really bother them.

CB
 

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I would have to agree with most others, either intrusion or another preferred food source. In the past couple years deer in our area would leave for feeders and bait, all half to 3/4 mile away. This year looks pretty good, now that the soys are yellow they're hitting the clover, apples and acorns. I would say get out and find fresh sign and follow as far as possible. See whats attracting. just my $.02
 

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I would have to agree with most others, either intrusion or another preferred food source. In the past couple years deer in our area would leave for feeders and bait, all half to 3/4 mile away. This year looks pretty good, now that the soys are yellow they're hitting the clover, apples and acorns. I would say get out and find fresh sign and follow as far as possible. See whats attracting. just my $.02
+1
Deer like variety. Your food plot will be there until the snow falls and deer know that. Acorn, apples, and any other type of mast gets eaten on a first come first serve basis, so there will be a sense of urgencey to eat them.

You didnt mention how much dense cover you have on your property. Dense cover allows deer to hide from the yotes and your elk hunting neighbors. The recent pressure could have forced them into a different area, that has cover, water, and a good food source.

My adivice, dont worry. Food plots are a much bigger deer magnet later in the season. Once the ruts rolls around many of the food sources are gone, your plot will still be there and the deer will come back!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I think I may have figured it out..
I found out that my neighbor to the south had a company come in a log off some trees, on a Saturday when I was gone all day. I guess he had them log off just enough so he could pay his taxes on it. Yestrday morning, someone came and walked that property and they kicked up 8 deer (one was a buck), which ran across my plot. So I'm guessing they currently prefer the fresh tops over my plot. Matter of fact, I have a doe and fawn in my plot as I type this and one just went up and sniffed my camera. At least I know they arent to far away. Hopefully the buck will return too

CB
 

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I would bet that the acorns are the biggest part of your problem. I have a situation very much like yours. I can usually stand on my hill and watch 2 clover fields and an alfalfa field borders my corn. they just vanished about a week ago. I thought that I might have a poaching problem so I ventured into the woods. I have acorns, so many acorns that it is dangerous to walk in some areas. It was amazing. the deer should be really fat this fall. I guess god knew the deer would be need a little more natural food to make up for the baiting ban
 
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