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As daylight begins to illuminate the countryside, a cold wind rustles through the leaves of the weedy rows of corn that you barely had time to get in the ground this past spring. The corn plants are stunted, the few small ears of corn that did grow are not even enticing to passing blackbirds, and that stud buck captured on your trail-camera months earlier is nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile, a couple hundred yards across the fence to the south, you hear the unmistakable sound of deer running through corn. Your heart rate involuntarily increases. As the sun continues to rise on that mid-October morning, the better view of the neighboring cornfield only becomes increasingly disheartening: Numerous whitetails are feeding back and forth across some of the rows already stripped by the combine a couple days prior. The corn plants there are twice as tall as those in your food plot that was intended for the deer, and the ears are comparatively huge with kernels exposed from the peeled-back husks. Just as the sun rises, a doe and her fawn exit the timber to the north and wander down a heavily used trail across your property. The trail leads directly into your corn plot, but the deer do not stop to feed. They continue southward across the road to join the other deer. Then, sure enough, that stud of a buck that you had dreamed about all summer appears in the neighboring cornfield, moves about to assess the receptiveness of each doe, then wanders deeper into the cornfield until he is out of sight.
Quality Deer Management Association
Copyright 2010 the author(s). Posted with permission.
Delger, Joshua A.; Monteith, Kevin L.; and Jenks, Jonathan A., "Corn Hybrids: Deer Taste the Difference" (2010). Natural Resource Management Faculty Publications. 165.