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Hunting Cotton... #7596617 09/03/19 01:35 PM
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Bobcat4119 Offline OP
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Went out to my little spot yesterday and for the 1st time in 8 years, they have cotton planted in my fields "usually soybeans" I did jump 2 doe that were bedded in it, there wasn't too much sign... I've always heard they will eat on the cotton plant, but never had to deal with it 1st hand. Just looking to see what you guys have to say and think about it.

Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: Bobcat4119] #7596648 09/03/19 02:05 PM
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I grew up in cotton/corn/soybeans territory. I used to hate it when my cuz would plant cotton where I had favorite stands. I rarely saw deer in a stand of cotton. Maybe if that’s their only option, they’d eat it, but I don’t remember ever seeing them eat it.

I used to make summer money checking cotton for insect infestation. It was a hot dirty job, but paid pretty well. The tops of the leaves were dry, but the bottoms of the leaves were often wet. After various poisonings of the bugs, nothing lives in a cotton field but the bugs we wanted to kill.

One other thing to mention is that where I grew up, the cotton had long since been defoliated and picked by the time deer season started. And if the field or fields you hunt are in their normal movement pattern, they should still be passing through, going to a bean field or water, or searching for mates.


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Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: 603Country] #7596676 09/03/19 02:29 PM
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That's what I was afraid of.... The only positive thing I can come up with is that they should hit my feeders harder this year... I doubt they will have it picked before October as it's bright green and almost waist high right now.

Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: Bobcat4119] #7596685 09/03/19 02:35 PM
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Maybe it is just location. 20+ years ago in the Eden/Melvin area two friends of mine went observe on a depredation permit night hunt for whitetails in some cottonfields. Farmer got the permit to remove about 60 whitetails from the herd that was destroying his cotton crop. They said it was first deer in the spotlight that died, followed by the next one up. No matter buck or doe, the farmer wanted those deer removed. Said several bucks were killed that night and one was a typical 6x6 with matching mule deer forks in velvet.



Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: Bobcat4119] #7596689 09/03/19 02:38 PM
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A few years ago I had a lease in Crosby county. It had about 80 acres of cotton. I saw tons of deer in it. The owner hated the deer because of it. There wasn't much other type of crops in the area but I looked forward to the cotton there because it seemed to attract them.

Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: Bobcat4119] #7596692 09/03/19 02:42 PM
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Well that's promising!!!

Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: Bobcat4119] #7596908 09/03/19 06:11 PM
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I suppose that my not seeing deer in corn was due to deer having better options where I lived. Young cotton, with tender young leaves, might be something the deer would eat. But full grown cotton, with the crop spraying chemicals on it, just can’t be appetizing. But, hunger has to be factored in.

A cotton field is, from my years of checking cotton, is a place barren of life. I never saw birds in the cotton, and I never worried about snakes. Those insecticides are powerful and toxic. My cotton checking partner was in cotton taller than he was (something probably inconceivable in Texas) and got sprayed with the chemical in use at that time. I think, but don’t know for sure, that it was Methyl Parathion. He came out of the cotton field staggering and weaving like a drunk.

Probably TMI...


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Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: Bobcat4119] #7596909 09/03/19 06:14 PM
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There are several high fence farms in Runnels county, not to keep deer in, but to keep deer out of the cotton and grain fields.


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Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: Bobcat4119] #7597597 09/04/19 01:14 PM
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I have around cotton fields for my 28 years of deer hunting. I have never seen them eat the plant. However, they will eat the fire of cottonseed. My grandfather used to go to the gin and buy the hulls after harvest to feed his cattle. The deer ate as much as the cattle. Lots of protein!


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Re: Hunting Cotton... [Re: Bobcat4119] #7598281 09/05/19 12:44 AM
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I see them in the fields all the time after they have been stripped, and food is limited. Can go a few a few miles down the road and never see one if they got something to eat. Just an observation from driving backroads everyday when working.

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