Have you made the decision to plant food plots for whitetail or mule deer this year?
Here are some key issues affecting where you choose to put your deer food plot.
Consider these factors first, or you may end up with a beautiful garden that no one visits.
Whether you grow food plots to provide nutritional resources for deer, as deer attractants, or you spend time waiting for great deer photographs, these strategies are important to consider when starting your food plot plan.
A few key factors to consider are:
Maximizing the interface area
Deer like to have a transition zone, a place that precedes the plot. This is an area which is not really heavy cover- nor is it open like the plot. Choose what to plant in the transition zone carefully, it could help your deer plot traffic.
Don’t forget to provide cover options while deer are on the plot: Deer are browsers, not grazers. In effect, it is somewhat unnatural for them to stand in the same place grazing like cattle do. They do so when their natural environment is not providing what they need or when they prefer what you have in the plot to what is available to them in their territory. Either way if they feel like sitting ducks, they will not visit the plot.
For example: a food plot with an option to get cover in a bush or thickets in the center will appeal to them better, because they get the impression they only have a short distance to before they can hit cover again. Cover can also be provide by planting strips of corn into your food plot.
Use Natural Deer Habitat Features
Use natural habitats such as corners, peninsulas, feather edges, and unusual geometric shapes rather than square plots which are unnatural and appear out of place in the scheme of things.
Getting out there with these key planning features in mind can give you the best locations for your food plots and save you time and money.
Consider Carefully Prevailing Wind
If you forgot the prevailing wind patterns when planning your deer food plot, I am sorry to say you could be sitting out there a long time. If the scent of people, cattle herd traffic, the main road etc wafts into your plot every time the wind blows: you can write off all your efforts. The plot will be good for photo opportunities if your goal is to get pictures of a nice looking EMPTY plot.
Plan for stand placement before planting.
Once you have decided where the predominate wind is: make sure to plan where to set up your stand before you plant. This will allow you to maximize interface areas, or plant cover if you need to, so deer will naturally pass your deer stand or ground blind.
Landscape From Deer’s Perspective
Always view your landscape from a deer point of view and make use of old fire roads or logging trails, previous wildlife or perimeter trails along with convenient low points.
There are also some other important considerations when designing a plot and these are often overlooked by the motivated but overzealous planter.
If you have the available land and optimum locations, you may want to keep your food plots as distinct entities from your hunting plots. In time over-trafficking for the purposes of camera placement, plot maintenance or hunting will result in less frequent visitation by the very deer you are wishing to get there.
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