Chris Jones | Mossy Oak ProStaffer
I started getting ready for bow season back in the summer. I put out trail cameras, and I created some supplemental food plots. Once the season arrived, I was ready to go. In Texas, we can hunt over feeders. So before deer season, all the landowners and the hunters who lease land put corn in their feeders. Although corn will attract deer, it doesn’t provide much nutrition for the deer. So, I plant fall food plots.
Just before bow season comes in, I plant Mossy Oak BioLogic Hot Spot, a no-till crop made up of wheat, winter peas and buckwheat, that jumps out of the ground quickly. I can plant it two or three weeks before bow season and have a crop deer will come to and eat.
I have three green fields on three different properties that I hunt. I have a 1/4-acre green field, a 1/2-acre green field and another green field in a funnel area that’s only about 30 yards by 60 yards. My smallest spot to hunt is only 12-1/2 acres behind my house. I can hunt my 100-acre family farm, and I lease a property in east Texas that’s 500 acres. I hunt little places on each one of those properties. What I like about each of these properties is that I'm in total control of them, and I'm the only one who hunts there. For that reason, I can control the hunting pressure, and each location is a sanctuary for big bucks to some degree.
This year, bow season in Texas started on September 30. On my 12-1/2-acre property behind my house lives a bachelor group of five bucks. In that group, there’s a 3-1/2-year-old buck and two, 2-1/2-year-old bucks. On the family farm live several does, a couple of non-typical bucks that may be classified as shooters and some younger bucks. On the 500-acre lease, I have a good number of 8 pointers, but I haven’t seen any really mature bucks there yet.
Where I live, I'm surrounded by cattle ranches that are primarily open fields of coastal Bermuda grass, and I know deer don’t eat a lot of costal Bermuda grass. So, on my 12-1/2 acres behind my house, I don’t have feeders, but I do hand feed some. And there’s a green field too. This acreage at my home is probably my best hunting spot. The family farm runs a close second, because it has some really nice non-typical bucks on it. I believe that when you can put highly nutritious food in areas where deer only have corn feeders, Bermuda grass and a few acorns, you can attract and hold older-age-class bucks, even and especially if you have small properties to hunt.
Chris Jones is Mossy Oak’s Regional ProStaff Manager for whitetails, turkeys and big game for Mossy Oak in the State of Texas. But Jones also hunts Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio and Tennessee.