Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 7

THE BIG PICTURE
By Joe Kosack

Find deer where they're feeding in firearms season.

S

ORTING OUT where to hunt
on the opening day of the firearms deer season often isn't easy.
So many factors influence your
decision. Weather, physical fitness, hunter
densities, deer abundance, even tradition
and family or work commitments.
But with hunting pressure increasingly
spread out across seasons that run from
mid-September to mid-January, even
opening days don't push deer too far off
their normal patterns in a lot of areas.
More and more, it seems the best way
to take a deer in firearms season is hunting
where there's food, or on the routes deer
take to food.
Of course, there's no disputing the
rut's influence on whitetails. And young
females might go into heat for their first
time in late November and early December. But even estrous does go to food.
And if these attention-drawing flattops
are moving to eat, bucks are following.
Deer cannot ignore food. It provides
the fuel they need to grow and to store the
energy needed to survive winter's leaner
times. So, if you can figure out the foods
on which they're keying, you should get
closer to deer.
In years of plenty, it isn't easy to pattern
deer movements, because there's so much
food on the landscape.
Deer generally take the easiest - and
often, most nutritious - meal.
But preferences and hunter pressure
can inspire their selection.

DECEMBER 2017

Still, by the firearms season opener,
deer usually are working harder for their
grub. It's when being on an active feeding
site can put a lot of four-footed company
in front of you.
Use the presence of squirrels to get you
closer to trees with acorn and beechnut
reserves. If you're not seeing squirrels,
it's usually a good idea to keep scouting.
Deer make a mess wherever they converge for food.
Look for raked-up leaves, tracks and
droppings. The key is to find feeding areas
that are active just before the season starts.
Those found in early November might
be tapped out by the first week of firearms
season. So, scout later and often.

FALL FOODS UPDATE

A big mistake a lot of hunters make is
hunting over scrapes and rubs in the first
week of firearms season. Often, these
places have gone idle; bucks tend to be
chasers more than advertisers by this time.
There are exceptions, of course.
But food still seems to draw flattops
and, consequently, bucks.
This has proven to be an interesting
year for mast and forage production in
Pennsylvania's forests, according to Dave
Gustafson, Forestry Division chief in the
Game Commission's Bureau of Wildlife
Habitat Management.
Heading into fall, Gustafson and
agency forestry staff observed, throughout
the state, woods loaded with food.
7



Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2017 - Cover4
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