Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weekly crop harvest report and deer hunting do mix

It may seem strange how the government's weekly crop harvest report could ever be linked to hunter success, especially for the up-coming firearms deer-hunting season.

But that oddity is only on the surface.

Hunt white-tails for any length of time and a person will quickly gather that deer lovesto sneak and hide in fields of still-ripening or unharvested corn. There, they can find shelter from brisk winds, the prying eyes of hunters and still have the opportunity to eat without moving very much.

Eliminate the standing corn and deer have fewer places to play hide-and-seek.

That is why the latest weekly crop harvest report is so telling. Produced jointly by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the weekly crop harvest report offers a current snapshot on just how extensive is Ohio's remaining ungleaned corn and other crops.

The latest report shows that 85 percent of the state's corn crop has matured. That is well ahead of the long-term, five-year average of 52 percent. And to date, fully 24 percent of the corn intended for grain has been picked, compared to just 5 percent for the long-term average.

Also, the amount of corn harvested for silage likewise is considerably above the five-year average.

So too is the state's soybean maturation as well as harvest.

And Ohio's crop of fall/winter varieties of apples is similarly well ahead of schedule.

All of which means there should be fewer places for the deer to hide and less farm-produced grain and other food stuffs for the animals to eat, forcing the white-tails to seek forage elsewhere. Hopefully next to my (and your) ground blind or tree stand.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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