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Tips & Tricks

Summer Food Plots

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Time to plant those summer food plots.

There are many things you can do to get your property ready for planting those food plots. If you are someone who is serious about  hunting trophy bucks then there are some of the things you need to think about when preparing and planting your food plots.

1. DECIDING WHERE TO PLANT
  • When deciding where to plant you want to choose places away from property lines and public roads. This will decrease the chances of poaching.
  • You want to pick a site that will retain some moisture.
  • Pick a location and a size and shape for the plot

Tips & Tricks

Best Food Plot for My Spot

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Having perfect soil conditions for a food plot isn’t always the case.

In fact most of us have to simply make do with whatever conditions we have at our disposal. Whether it’s too much or too little sun or shade, acidic soil, cold temps, heat waves, or droughts. These are just some of the obstacles the average hunter has to overcome in order to establish a thriving food plot.

Luckily there a variety of plants and there’s usually one or two that will be perfect for your conditions. So here is a list that will help you pick out which is right for your spot.

Dry Soil
  • Best Plants – Chicory, Alfalfa, Red/Crimson Clover, Birdsfoot, Trefoil, Small Burnett
  • Plot Tip – Try planting on the northeast benches or slopes that don’t get scorched from afternoon sun.
Wet Soil
  • Best Plants – Annual Berseem, Crimson Clover, Perennial Ladino, White Dutch Clover, Brassicas, Rye
  • Plot Tip – Utilize sunny south-west facing slopes and till repeatedly to break down moist soil clumps.
Acidic Soil
  • Best Plants – Small Burnet, Chicory, Rye, Oats, Crimson, Clover, Bird’s-foot, Trefoil
  • Plot Tip – Try to use valley floors, creek bottoms, and low lying fields that will tend to have a lower pH value.
Heavy Shade
  • Best Plants – Brassicas, Small Burnet, Rye, New Zealand White Clover, Ladino, Berseem, Arrowleaf, and Crimson Clover
  • Plot Tip – Plant during clear weather to maximize what little sun you have
Cold Weather
  • Best Plants – Cereal Grains (Wheat, Oat, Rye), Brassicas
  • Plot Tip – After your plats grow 3-4 inches tall apply some additonal fertilizer (34-0-0, nitrogen) to give them a boost.

Tips & Tricks

Top Food Plot Plants

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Picking the right food plot plants can be a little confusing. Whether your new to food plots, looking to try something new or an experienced cultivator this brief guide should offer some great insight into what plants you might consider.

Clover

  • Deer Like It: High-Protein that’s available most of the year
  • Hunters Like It: Clover plots can last 3-5 years with proper maintenance
  • Drawbacks: Requires good soil prep and maintenance. Optimal if trimmed 2-3 times per season
  • Best For: Hunting or Nutrition
  • Life Cycle: Perennial

Soybeans

  • Deer Like It: Early summer and fall food source. Excellent late winter forage
  • Hunters Like It: Early and inexpensive to plant. Round-up- varieties available which make weed control easy
  • Drawbacks: Not as attractive to deer for several weeks after green foliage turns yellow
  • Best For: Nutrition
  • Life Cycle: Annual

Corn

  • Deer Like It: High-card food source, especially during late fall and winter. Offers cover
  • Hunters Like It: Readily available and inexpensive: Round-up ready varieties make weed control easily manageable
  • Drawbacks: Requires a seed drill to plant in volume. Minimal attraction for deer in early season
  • Best For: Nutrition
  • Life Cycle: Annual

Rye

  • Deer Like It: Young shoots are easily digestible and highly attractive
  • Hunters Like It: Easy food plot to establish; requires minimal soil prep and little moisture
  • Drawbacks: Poor late season attraction in colder climates
  • Best For: Hunting
  • Life Cycle: Annual

Oats

  • Deer Like It: Tender early in season and again in winter if available.
  • Hunters Like It: Readily available, inexpensive, easy to plant and maintain.
  • Drawbacks: Can lose its attraction if not kept cropped.
  • Best For: Hunting Plots
  • Life Cycle: Annual