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I plan on hunting northern Missouri Oct 15-19. Ive hunted deer for a long time but never around standing ag fields and creek bottoms like I will be on this hunt. Ive done a lot of reading and research on tactics and tips for hunting them that time of year. Just looking for more tips and information on zoning in on bucks with standing crops in mid october.
Deer really like to hit clover fields that time of year. If oak trees have acorns they will be all over them.
I sat on bean and corn fields before. I figured out what trails they used to enter the fields and hung a stand there. It worked. If by chance the ag is corn and the farmer is harvesting it while you're there....make sure you are in the stand. You'll be amazed at what runs out of the corn field.
If acorns are dropping will they transition off the fields to the oak flats or will they just hit a mix of the two?
Do you notice less mature buck movement during that time ? I'm in Oklahoma and I tend to get daylight photos through October until rifle season starts.. i don't ever notice a "lull" too often but everything I read about the midwest and mid october says most mature bucks go nocturnal til the end of October
I had over 100 daylight photos of this guy from August til 2nd day of rifle season, never saw him in person though sadly. Every time I'd zig he'd zag.
Personally I don't believe for one second that bucks suddenly go nocturnal mid to end of October. Total BS. They may however completely move locations and change food sources. Some greens are dying and some other food is ripening (like acorns). Find the food, find the bucks. Bucks that are nocturnal through August and Sep will still be nocturnal in October. Others that move in daylight in Aug/Sep will still be daylight movers in October IF THEY HAVEN'T BEEN PRESSURED. Of course deer that are feeding on acorns in the timber are more difficult to find as they don't leave the timber. If a mature buck is pressured it doesn't matter what time of year it is you prob won't see him. This has been my experience. Of course if you have a hunting season starting up and suddenly pressure increases that can push a buck nocturnal.
I guess in the end my point is that all things being equal, nothing changes to make an October lull. The key is "all things being equal." All is not equal in October. Food is changing. Potentially pressure as well. What else? Figure out those changes and you can have awesome October hunting. Some of the best hunting I've had was in October in a spot I had where big bucks were living only because of lack of pressure. Then for whatever reason a bunch of guys suddenly got permission one year and the spot sucked the last few years.
I'm with JL. Find where they are entering and exiting the field and go from there. My 2nd best whitetail was killed around Oct 20 on a ag field. Weather conditions will be your biggest factor. If you can get a good cold front to push through they'll be on their feet. If its real warm your best bet is to catch one at last light entering a food source.
I try to get as tight to where he is bedding as possible without getting busted in the evenings. He likely will not move far from his bed before dark. I’d throw an observation sit or two and see if he hits the fields before dark. If he does you can try to capitalize on that or have a pretty good idea where he is bedded and move in on him.
P.m. me if you want have hunted Missouri quite a bit on public
Talked with Ohio state deer biologist several years ago and he said that mid October is not bad if you can get in a bucks two hundred yard travel route to and from a food source.
Agree with trails entering and exiting. Acorns can me good too. You might be just a few days too early for the pre-rut though. Good Luck!
I hunt a wooded creek in the southern edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. At the end of the property I hunt there is about an 80 acre field that rotates between corn and soy beans. The creek is lined with various types of red/white and burr oaks.
The deer bed mostly out it the hills, travel the wooded creek cover to the crop field at the end, UNTIL acorns start dropping in volume. When others start complaining about the October lull my hunting picks up because the deer stay in the timber of the creek feeding on the acorns, and usually are more active longer during daylight hours.
Come November they move back to the crop fields to feed, then travel the creek back to bedding areas the first couple of hours of daylight.
Every area is different, you need to figure out where they bed and what the preferred food source in the area is at the time you are hunting.
If I were going Missouri public ground I would speed scout for big rubs In the woods and then look for nearby food sources.
Any day of the season can be good as long as the weather is right. If you are in MO and the weather is warm, you can either hunt them within 50 yards of their bed or you can fish until the weather cools...
“ When others start complaining about the October lull my hunting picks up because the deer stay in the timber of the creek feeding on the acorns, and usually are more active longer during daylight hours.
“Come November they move back to the crop fields to feed, then travel the creek back to bedding areas the first couple of hours of daylight.”
^^^^ lots of truth here based on my experience.
If the AG in the area you're hunting is standing corn and the area gets some pressure a lot of deer (buck and doe) will bed in the standing corn all day. At least that has been my experience. I've had success hunting the edges of standing corn in the morning and evening when this happens but usually cross my fingers daily that the farmer will decide to harvest.
Anyhow, good luck on your hunt!