The fall/winter timeline of decline for food plot, native browse, and mast crops is probably similar for most gamekeepers over the course of the season. First, your favorite soft mast persimmon trees and early maturing oaks drop like mad, and food plots are lush and thick. At this stage life is good for whitetails. The frosts hit and ding most of the native forbs, but the remaining oaks drop what’s left of their crop.
Some years there may be too much food on the table making the hunt difficult. But then the acorns and other mast become increasingly scarce and plots begin getting hit hard. Some years, the local mast sources don’t produce much and your lush plots transform into what look like war torn putting greens. So you wonder what can be done to provide more available food sources and increase your chances of success.
There are plenty of options such as planting more acreage in food plots, but what about late dropping sources of mast? One of our favorite mid to late season dropping soft mast species is pears. “DEER PEARS” from Nativ Nurseries are wild selections from once domestic pears that are simple to grow, disease tolerant, and vary in drop times from October to as late as December. If you haven’t tried deer pears you may be missing out on an incredible addition to your late season bag of tricks.