As this runs, the rut in the north is, for the most part, finished, but things are still “happening” in the south. For whitetails, this time of year is all about perpetuation of the species and putting on enough weight and fat to survive the winter. Even though bucks cut their food intake for a period surrounding the peak of breeding, does continue “putting on the feed bag” throughout the fall months and into early winter and as soon as breeding is finished a buck’s sole goal will return to filling his gut. So food sources remain a solid place to plan your hunt around all season long.
Cold temperatures typically drive sugar production and turn brassica blends to their most palatable state. Once this happens expect this to be the hottest food source in the area. Brassicas are like candy to whitetails. Different brassicas tend to develop their sugar at different times. Radishes, rape, canola, turnips and kale are all great plantings, and if you have enough ground all should be planted. This way you will have the most attractive planting available for your herd regardless of the time or conditions.
Brassicas are traditionally used for either late season attraction or wintertime nutrition; however, in a “big woods scenario” or where there is a lack of nutritious forage, whitetails may eat brassicas as fast as you can grow them. Normally; however, they will leave them alone until cold temperatures compel the plant’s high levels of starch to produce sugar. Most brassicas are at their most attractive state after cold temperatures have had a while to do their job. Brassicas are quite possibly the best deer food God has ever created; with off the chart protein content, high vitamin and mineral matter, the best yielding food plot planting available (bar none) and some of the best late season attraction you have ever seen.
This tip is courtesy of the GameKeepers Field Notes, a weekly wildlife and land management email newsletter produced by the Mossy Oak GameKeepers.
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