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Illinois Deer Hunting: Acorn Drop

If you’re out in the woods in October, I’m sure you’re looking for deer sign, but you should also be looking for White Oaks. The acorns that drop from these trees are a deer magnet and can be your best chance at tagging an October buck. The drop is happening now! If you’re planning on deer hunting this season, here’s what you need to know.


Hands down the most preferred acorn for a deer is a White Oak Acorn. They’ve got the highest concentration of carbohydrates. Deer will generally go to them first when they start dropping.
There are also Red Oaks and Black Oaks. They actually have a little bit of a harder acorn so they tend to stay around a little longer in the season. They’re not quite as sweet and attractive, but deer do still eat them.

Red Oak

White Oak



Black Oak

I start scouting at the end of September because the Acorn Drop typically starts in early October.


The ground right now is just littered with them by this time of October. I like to start scouting around the base and then I go from tree to tree, looking on the ground. When you locate an area that the ground looks like it’s real ruffled up, there’s a lot of fresh deer poop in there, that’s where they’re hanging out. That’s where they’re feeding. If you can get to those places as soon as the deer start hitting them, they can be awesome places to hunt in October.

The October Lull:

If you’ve ever heard someone talk about the October Lull, they’re talking about the big change from the deer’s summer pattern when they’re in velvet. They’re transitioning. Their testosterone is starting to rise. They start to get more nocturnal. But, they have to eat. That deer is going to get up probably every 5 to 6 hours and he may not move very far, but if you can find a good acorn flat that’s close to his bedding area, there’s a good chance you can fill your buck tag in October.

Get out there scout and hunt! Let me know what you’re seeing by commenting or posting pictures on my facebook page! Happy Hunting!