Search For:

Share This

Nature’s Cornucopia

Combine trees loaded with acorns last year and lush plant growth this year, and you have the setting for an outstanding hunting season.

“We expect to see plenty of deer out there,” says Tina Brunjes, big-game coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “If the weather cooperates, we could have a record deer harvest.”

In 2010, Kentucky’s oak trees produced a huge volume of acorns. Animals seek out this food source because acorns are rich in protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Wildlife gorged on nature’s bonanza, fattening them up for the winter ahead.

Thanks to these fat reserves, most wildlife came through last winter in excellent condition. That bodes well for good reproduction.

Wildlife received another boost with the heavy spring rains that flooded parts of the state this year. “The rains pushed plant growth, which created a lot of good cover for animals,” says Ben Robinson, small-game biologist for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “There were plenty of insects for chicks to feed on. I think conditions were excellent this year for quail and rabbit.”

This year is turning out much different than 2010. White oak trees across the state are producing few acorns. Hickory nuts are down. Fortunately, red oaks are producing good numbers of acorns practically everywhere in Kentucky.

Brunjes advises deer hunters to put a good amount of time into scouting this year. (Modern gun season for deer begins statewide November 12.) Deer are more likely to be in the open this season because they must find food. However, their movement patterns may have changed.

Kentucky farmers are raising bumper crops of corn this year. So what could have been a pasture last year may be a cornfield this year. Even harvested cornfields have waste grain for deer to feed on. The savvy hunter will scout these field edges and prepare to hunt them at first light and last light.

Brunjes also advises hunters to look for thick, brushy areas that would be difficult to walk through. Scout around the edges of these areas, as deer may be using them to bed down in the middle of the day.

Last year’s acorn crop could make this your best hunting season ever. Get out and enjoy your great outdoors this month.


Kentucky Afield magazine’s outdoor calendar features outstanding wildlife photography and provides the 2012 hunting seasons. Subscribe online at

Don't Leave! Sign up for Kentucky Living updates ...

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.