By now most pumpkins have long passed the pumpkin pie stage.  Most are sitting on porches or in back yards where they will eventually rot and their nourishment dissolve into the soil.  Pumpkins make great deer food in late season and you can use it in a number of ways.  First, your local deer may not know what they are and typically you should break them open as in the picture above.  This allows the scent of the fruit to travel farther and be of greater allure.

Pumpkins are Bait so Don’t Break the Law

Feeding deer with pumpkins is a great idea but be mindful of local laws.  Baiting with apples, corn, and pumpkins is legal in Maryland but not so just 10 miles away in Pennsylvania.  I’ve been experimenting with pumpkins as “camera bait” and using their nutrients to access how many big bucks survived in the area of my cameras.  Once deer learn that these orange object keep popping up like mushrooms, they will return.  Expect big bucks at this time of the year to only feed in darkness due to recent hunting pressure.  It’s likely that your neighbors have a batch sitting around so don’t wait too long before asking for them.

Ideal for Late Season Trail Cameras

I get a glimpse of local deer activity each day through my digital trail cameras.  Prior to the opening of gun season, bucks were moving in daylight but after the guns began to crack, they are only active well into the night.  I expect as hunting pressure passes that they will become active in daylight and I’m using a pumpkin patch to keep tabs on which deer survived and their activities.  This isn’t a new idea as this video suggests.

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