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What happens when the corn comes out?


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So yesterday afternoon/evening the wind was right for me to sit in a spot between a swamp/marsh bedding area and an overgrown abandoned farm bedding area and some corn/alfalfa. I would setup in a harvested oat field adjacent to some ripe beans with corn between me and the swamp/marsh

I've had some nice bucks on camera traveling this path all summer.

When I got to my spot I was excited to see corn was being combined between my oat field and the marsh. The farmer was done in the field by 2:30 and I thought this would make for perfect conditions to see some deer getting pushed around. And now that the corn was gone, I had a perfect view of this swamp/marsh and I could see how the deer were using it. I settled in for a great evening of deer watching...

5 hours after getting into my blind the sun was setting and I had not seen a thing. Finally hunting light passed and still nothing. I couldn't believe I hadn't seen 1 deer moving into or out of the swamp area. Their tracks are all over. So the experience really made me wonder if hunting during harvest is a good idea. Maybe instead of the combine pushing deer around it just scared the deer out of site during shooting hours.

Any thoughts?

I'm still excited that the corn will be completely gone by next week. But also really curious why I didn't see anything. I thought at least some curious doe would come out to inspect after the equipment had left. What do deer usually do during the harvest?

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I would hang in there for a day or two more before I gave up.

Is there another food source standing that is close to where you have been seeing the deer?

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If they were bedding in the corn they might of headed into the swamp and let things cool down before venturing out again. Had they been bedding in the swamp all the comotion might have them sitting tight until past dark or feeding elsewear for the night. It might take deer living off this farm a few days to find it and move in too.

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Yeah, cut corn has always been a good bet for me but its usually been mid-October before its been done the bucks are starting to get ready for the show. Still, you should be golden for a food source if the rest of the crops around are coming out and the farmer doesn't plow for awhile. I would hit it again the rest of the season so long as the field hasn't been plowed under.

I am fortunate in that the farmer who leases my neighbor's farm that I hunt usually pressure seeds beans the year after and just leaves the cut corn. It's all beans this year, which stinks. Usually there's some variety and the cut corn is the best bet besides the woods.

Also, if the farmer has older equipment and leaves a lot of corn behind, then you are really golden. This is the case with the field across the woods behind our house. The farmer, who also leases this land, has planted corn each of the past four years. He leaves A LOT of corn on the ground. You can see it against the black dirt easily. But he quickly plows it all under. So it only makes my spot in the woods very predictable for a few days or so.

Good luck and go get em!

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My experience with deer and harvest, is that the deer aren't really spooked by it. A few years back, as I was in a combine finishing up the last couple passes with the combine, a group of approximately 12 deer would simply move rows one pass at a time until there were no more rows. At that point, they simply stood around "wondering" what happened to the cover. My point is, the deer are usually quite tolerant of farm activity - it is normal to them. However, when the corn is gone, they need to adjust their behavior according to the change in environment.

In your particular case, I think it has less to do with the farming activity, and more to do with the time of season as to why you didn't see any deer. My guess is that the deer have primarily been on a "green" feeding pattern instead of corn/beans/carbohydrates at this stage of the year - and as a result - there aren't many deer using the corn field that was harvested right now (a few weeks ahead of most years). In a few weeks, when weather cools down, that corn field will again be a magnet until the corn "residue" has been wiped out.

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