Won’t be long before the woods are bursting with blooms. Some of the most spectacular are more than just pretty; they are the precursor of better things to come. That is, if you’re a savvy deer hunter, who thinks deer every time he is in the woods. These bright white and pink flowers mean wonderful whitetails munching on apples and pears and any other fruit that happens to grow in your hunting area. We all know that deer simply love apples, and pears and peaches and persimmons and just about any kind of fruit they can find. Fruit-bearing trees are real whitetail magnets in the fall and deer will work them until the last fruit has fallen.
Trouble is, fruit producers are not the easiest trees to find in the wild. Sure they stick out like a sore thumb in a front yard or town park, but in the wild they really can be very hard to identify. They are often overgrown and intertwined with other trees or cluttered by competing species. You really have to know your trees to pick them out of a full canopy of leaves and you can’t spot any apples or pears fruit until well into summer. By time they have colored up and started to drop, the deer will already be using them; that’s no time to hang a stand or be wandering around looking for fresh fruit to hunt over.
Fall fruit producers are a cinch to find in spring. You are probably already out there anyway hunting sheds or calling gobblers, so throw a roll of orange surveyor’s flagging and start inventorying your fruit producers. They’ll be the ones with the bright white or pink blooms that stand out on the hillside across the valley. This is the time to identify the fruit-producing trees on your hunting property.
If you want to do something to help them along, you might go back with a saw in hand and prune them up a bit or remove some of the competing brush and trees. More on working with habitat for whitetails can be found at www.northcountrywhitetails.com.