Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mast Report

Chestnut Oak
Wildlife in the High Virginia's had a tough go last winter. They had almost no help from our mast producers. this was topped off with heavy, lingering snow, with an underlayer of ice.  This made it real hard for critters to survive. My personal observations have been that the turkeys, while having a tough time in the highlands, fared better than the deer. There is good news for those who survived. Food will be available for consumption during the fall and winter season.

White Oak and Chestnut Oak acorns are plentiful, Red Oak supplies are good at most locations. Scarlet Oak is spotty and I haven't found alot of Beech. Wild Black Cherry and Grapes seem to be plentiful and there are alot of Apples at several locations. Hickory dosen't appear adbundant, but most trees have nuts.

There are alot of people who's wildlife food concerns are based on the price of corn. A plentiful mast crop will make for alot of people sitting around, staring at mouldy corn-piles. Too many, have never learned to hunt natural food supplies. It is my hope that those who belong to the WV Master-Baiters Society, will have a long and boring season.
Wild Grapes
Sadly, in the area of northwestern Randolph County where I live and used to hunt; about the only oak trees left, are in people's yards and along the roadsides. The ditches are full of acorns, this will allow the groundhogs to fatten up, so that the clear-cut dwelling coyotes will have something good to eat.

Looking ahead; as I am sitting on my deer stand in the high mountains on opening day, I hope to hear little shooting from the corn-pile bottoms and once again, actually see deer in the woods.

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