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Chestnut Bounty: Does It Make Deer Wallow?
by Matt Haecker

As you may know, venturing out into the field can bring unexpected surprises. Recently on a trip to Alabama, I was reminded of this very truth.

The purpose of my trip was to visit with customers, dealers and other knowledgeable industry folks. While visiting with Bert Moore, Tecomate Retail Sales Manager, he took me to his hunting property located in the soil rich “Black Belt” portion of the state. We’d gone to check on his newly planted summer fields of Tecomate® Lablab Plus™ and Deer Pea Plus™ and were greeted by fresh seedlings coming out of the ground. The sprouts looked healthy and robust as they naturally faced their new leaves towards the sun. Bert’s excitement over the new growth was contagious to say the least, and we shared in his excitement over the coming fall hunt.

My trip not only included field work but also market research to gather input from customers about our new 2013 fall products – Chestnut Bounty™, Horns-A-Plenty™ and our White Oak Acorn Juice™. The excitement and buzz about these new products is growing rapidly and folks are already chomping at the bit to try them in the field. New product launches typically include field tests with anticipated results. However actual results that exceed expectations are rare, unless you’re talking about Tecomate’s new Chestnut Bounty.

Last December Bert used a sample batch of Chestnut Bounty on one of his hunts. He said that he had put it out on Friday and that by Sunday it was gone. All he had done, as he explained it, was to scrape out a small area on the ground and then pour the Chestnut Bounty into a pile. Obviously from his description the deer loved it. But why would the deer love chestnuts? Historically, the American chestnut tree made up a significant portion of this country’s natural hard wood trees. Some estimate the total number of trees to have been near 3 billion before the chestnut blight of 1900-1940 which almost completely wiped out these mighty trees from our North American landscape. This is why deer are genetically drawn towards the taste of chestnuts; it was at one point a common, available and treasured source of food by deer. Recent research tests have shown that deer prefer chestnuts over acorns 100 to 1 even though deer haven’t seen a chestnut in generations.

I asked Bert to show me where he had used the Chestnut Bounty. When he peeled back the weeds hiding the site, I was amazed at what was in front of me. Normally with mock scrapes or when using others’ mineral licks and attractants from six months ago you might expect to see remnants of past visitations – a bare area that was once larger but now covered with new growth. This was not the case with this Chestnut Bounty site. What I was greeted to, when the weeds were pulled back, was a previous attractant site that had actually grown in size and now looked like a hog wallow.

The Chestnut Bounty that Bert had placed in this spot six months ago was long gone but not the activity. The deer had blazed a trail through the thick woods straight to this site. What was once probably a foot wide area of bare ground, had turned into a five to six foot long by three foot wide wallowing hole that was six inches deep (complete with standing water from the recent rains). After six months, deer were still actively visiting the site even though the Chestnut Bounty had been consumed back in December. Personally, I was amazed at the continued activity and the hole in the ground. I’ve tried all sorts of things over the years and have never seen deer react this way. I’m definitely looking forward to fall now!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
image

Posted by Matt Haecker on 07/01 at 06:03 PM
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