Food Plot Site Selection - Selecting the proper site for your food plots is very important and one should consider many important factors when selecting a site.
First we should discuss where not to establish food plots. Avoid areas which can be seen from nearby highways which tempt poaching or shooting from public roads. Avoid areas too close to the hunting lodge or camp grounds which will likely not be used by your deer very often during hunting season. Avoid planting near your right of ways within the hunting track if you will be driving hunters close to their hunting spots. Avoid planting plots within view of other plots.
Now we will discuss good locations for your food plots. The size of your hunting tract determines how many food plots you should consider. Basically 1 or 2 percent of total property should be food plot area if you intend to use these plots to help your herd and utilize them for hunting. So, every hundred acres should have a one or two acre food plot. These can be natural clearings in the woods or open areas near ponds or creeks. Try and find a secluded location with low natural vegetation, with adequate moisture and sunlight for at least half the day. Remember each group of deer have their own feeding range and they don’t venture far from this area – usually about one hundred acres for six to eight doe. Bucks may move within several different doe home ranges during rut. So, hopefully you can identify the various home ranges and plant a food plot within each home range. Many state game and fish departments will do a deer survey of your hunting tract and give you a report. These reports usually identify different home ranges with the approximate number of deer inhabiting the range.
Determine the size of the plot you want to establish – 207’ X 207’ is one square acre. Of course the plot does not have to be square – they can be any shape you desire or any natural opening. If you intend to farm these plots (cultivate them with tractors and harrows) then accessibility with farm equipment plays a role in selecting the area for your plots. If you intend to no-till some areas then those areas can be more secluded. Do not think you have to clear the entire opening to plant your plot, you should leave a lot of the natural cover scattered around your plot such as briars, clumps of trees, palmetto, and just plant around these which will provide some security to your deer. When using a no-till method don’t be concerned about natural vegetation or native weeds. Many of these grasses and weeds are native foods to your deer and when you inter-seed them with your food plot species and fertilize the area you will find the deer browsing the native species too. The plot doesn’t have to be pretty; it needs to be effective by attracting deer and turkeys. Please feel free to contact us for any questions about your food plots at 1-800-552-1027.
CEO & President
Hancock Farm & Seed Co., Inc.