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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you may have read in my previous posts, although I have hunted for many years (Hunter Safety Course in New York 1961), I'm new to New Jersey and plan on hunting zone 18 next year for the first time. I have been out a few times just to look around in Colliers Mills WMA and found the area to be mostly Pine with a sandy soil. My experience has been in hardwood forests boarding on farm crops with some pine areas. I have always located feeding and bedding areas then set my stand in between. With all the pine in this area - what the heck do deer eat? In looking in Colliers Mills I only found one very small area of oak trees. In following deer runs I find them just weaving through the pines. So again, what the heck do they eat??[confused]
 

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Mate Mike I've hunted south Jersey for a good many years. They will eat the same stuff as in the north! white oak acorns and the reds too. There are also persimons, mushrooms and a host of other plants. But you can't go wrong if you find the oaks!! I don't hunt in Colliers mills but if the have any fields you may want to check them out as well for early bow it may be good. I know they stock birds there so staying in the wood may prove best.

Good luck..
 

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Matt's Uncle Frank gets big bucks down there every year. He said the deer have smaller bodies in South Jersey compared to the deer in North Jersey. He told me they feed on Scrub Oak acorns and lots of moss. You also have Huneysuckle in South Jersey. Find where that is and you will find the deer. Huneysuckle is like Ice Cream to a deer.
 

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Mike, the obvious...CORN PILES!!! :D

Honestly, since everyone is baiting and there is a complete lack of forage for the most part, corn is hit pretty hard and there are a ton of bait piles going throughout the Mill.

Beyond the corn though, there are natural foods sources. Primarily oaks: a mixture whites, reds, and sawtooth, are the food of choice in September and October...but IMO in the Mill by the end of October almost all of the acorns are gone. There are some patches of oaks through the area, but they get hunted enough to force the deer into more nocturnal feeding patterns. Best shot at them is the first week, after that they (primarily the older bucks) get a bit leary about hitting them during daylight. There is also alot of browse, and although the woods are primarily pines in many areas there are other plants and trees that the deer feed on. In the Mill, the state control burns certain sections which generates alot of new growth and therefore food for the deer. The state also often plants winter rye in the fields and some sections of the towerline throughout the Mill, although this year they did not. Beyond that, when the going gets tough, they will feed on alot of the greens, holly berries, sassafras leaves, persimmons (of which there are very few, but this is an early to mid season mast), etc in the woods. There is no major mast crop from any of these sources but they are in those woods and scattered around, and the deer will move around to hit them throughout the year but I wouldn't say they "flock" to them and hit them hard.

Here is a good site on some trees in the Pine Lands of NJ:

http://www.mikebaker.com/plants/trees.html

Not a complete list, but just the common ones.

Good luck, Shoot Straight! ;)
 

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One of their favorites is green briar and black berry bushes. Also, look for honey suckle and other vines that hold leaves. However, if someone is baiting near you, that is what the deer will eat, and in the cold weather, they will not bed far from the bait. During winter scouting, I have found deer beds in laurel thickets less than 75 yards from established bait piles. I guess that way the deer know when it's safe to come to dinner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanx for the info. I have never hunted in an area that allows baiting for deer. It surprises me that on public land one would establish a bait pile. What stops someone else from hunting your bait?
 

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What stops someone else from hunting your bait?
etiquette, I hope.
 
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