If it seems like I’ve been blogging about soft mast for whitetails, it’s for good reason. Whitetails are slaves to there stomachs and it’s the smart deer hunter who pays close attention to what whitetails are eating. And, when it comes to what whitetails eat, few foods can compete with soft mast.
By soft mast I mean fruits and berries that typically mature in the early fall. Soft mast is typically high in sugar content and wandering whitetails can get hooked in a hurry. Anything within reach is ripped from the tree and once fruit starts falling, it’s scooped up like candy from a piñata.
Due to a complete soft-mast failure last year, we’ve been watching the soft mast crop formation intently all spring. Last year, an early season warm spell brought out the blooms and a few days later a freeze wiped them out. We planted additional food plots to make up for the early season shortfall, but hunting season just wasn’t the same without a fruit crop to hunt.