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Going 'Soft' on Whitetails

Finding and hunting soft-mast food sources can be the key to tagging your next trophy buck.

Going 'Soft' on Whitetails

While deer will gravitate to acorns more than any other native food, a number of soft-mast species play an important role in the whitetail’s diet. (Photo courtesy of Realtree)

During my pre-season scouting last season, I positioned ladder stands, hang-ons and ground blinds in a number of places. One of those stand sites was where the limbs of four persimmon trees were heavy with the orange golf ball-size globes that characterize this soft-mast species, and on an early October hunt, I arrowed a nice doe there.

Months later, in the dead of winter, I returned to that same area on the last day of the season. Several hundred persimmons still clung to the limbs of those trees, and the mounds of deer droppings under them gave evidence that the whitetails still knew about this food source. Twenty minutes after sunrise, and after passing on a non-shooter buck...

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