There are some whopper whitetails living in the mountains and foothills of the West, and one of the keys to killing one of these reclusive giants is learning native plants like Ceanothus. Also known as wild lilac, buckbrush, or soap bloom, red stem Ceanothus is an important browse species for whitetails, mule deer, and elk. Smaller critters like birds, rodents, and insects also love the seeds. Mountain whitetails are infamous for sticking to small core areas during the early season, and those safe havens always include one or more solid food sources, like Ceanothus. Even better, if you learn to identify Ceanothus, you can smoke your deer meat on a fire made from the twigs (like the Native Americans did), or beat the plant, mix it with water, and make a foamy soap that won’t dry your skin.