There are as many different kinds of food plot mixes on the market as there are days in a year, but a lot of people do not realize that the best food plots for white-tailed deer actually grow naturally! In my opinion, natural foods are the best food plots.
I guess by definition what I am writing about today can not really be considered food plots, but more like techniques to provide additional foods for deer. But I believe habitat management is the first step in deer management!
Disking– This is a simple technique that can be implemented (get it) during both the spring and fall. There is nothing magical about how disking works. The only thing necessary is that you use a disk to disturb the surface of the soil so that forb seeds can become “exposed” and germinate.
To promote warm season forbs for deer, disk the selected area before spring green-up. To promote cool season food plots simply disk the area where you would like your native food plot to be during late summer. In addition, to promote more edge and diversity you can alternate disked and undisked strips (strip disking). Continue reading “The Best Whitetail Deer Food Plots”
No, we are not talking about a poorly placed shot here, but rather literally feeding to every buck’s primary need — food. Summer is a serious stress period for white-tailed deer. With that said, quality food is hard to find in many parts of the country right now, unless your area has been blessed with summer and late summer rainfall.
So, what do deer eat and how can you capitalize on hungry deer? Yes, yes, you know the answer is providing food, but you have two choices at this point. Do you wish to bait or actually provide supplemental feed the deer in your area? There is a difference and I’ve talked about baiting versus supplementing before. For those that are ate up with keeping deer in prime condition, most provide supplemental food year round through either food plots or free-choice protein.
Both of these options are fine, most deer managers even use them in combination, and they are ideal ways to promote the highest deer body conditions and support maximum antler growth, but what about some of the lease hunters or individuals that can not afford to provide supplementation throughout the year? Continue reading “Bag A Big White-tailed Buck Through His Stomach”
Warm season annuals such as milo, millets, other sorghum varieties, and legumes, such as beans, peas, and lablab may be planted and southern latitudes after about mid-April for warm season food plots for white-tailed deer. Of course, don’t forget the biggest limitation on food plots — rain! Go for drought resistant plants every chance you get. For the best chance at success, located the richest soil/s on your property, properly prepare them for planting and get your seeds in the ground just prior to the growing season.
There are numerous plant species and even varieties of plant species available commercially that can work for plots intended for whitetail. All of these plants will grow, but they may not all be well suited to your area or even the soils found on your specific property. A good rule for food plots is to just keep in simple. Deer eat a tremendous number of plants, so just plant the one that is best adapted to your area. If you plant it (and it grows), they will come.
Dry Land Alfalfa
With that in mind, varieties of dry land alfalfa, a warm season perennial legume that comes back from the roots each year, or another grazing-type variety of alfalfa can be planted in food plots. An important thing to keep in mind, legumes have 20-30% protein content and fix nitrogen into the soil! That’s a double whammy considering the price of fertilizer. Continue reading “Time to Think About Spring Food Plots for Deer”
Every hunter and deer manager wants to know, “What is the best thing to plant for white-tailed deer food plots?” There really is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer to this question when it comes to plots for white-tailed deer. Soils vary from property to property. Rainfall and temperatures vary by region, part of the country. There are several counter-questions that must first be addressed before good candidates species for a spring food plot can be identified.
- Spring or fall food plot?
- What type of soil do you have?
- How much rainfall do you get?
- What type of equipment do you have?
- How much do you want to spend on seed?
As you can see, many variables exists that determine which plant species can be used for food plot material on parcel of land in a given area. Although there is no common answer to the above questions, there are some “common” plants may work in your area. In particular, today we are discussing common plant species that can be planted in the spring, although some of the species may not be used until later in the summer. Continue reading “Common Spring Food Plots for Deer”
Reasons of establish food plots usually involve supplementation of white-tailed deer during times when forage quantity and/or nutritive value is low. Cost-efficient and biologically effective supplementation can only be accomplished by understanding the seasonal nutritive requirements of white-tailed deer. A wildlife food plot could also be used as an attractant to enhance opportunities for survey, harvest, photography, or simple observation. Continue reading “Five Important Deer Food Plot Tips and Considerations for Wildlife”