So you just got the piece of property of your life and I’m sure your mind is running in a thousand different directions of what you need to do to prep for the upcoming season. You have tree stands or ground blinds that need ordered and placed, then you have cameras that need put up, and then, maybe fall food plots, or do you?
You have enough on your plate with your new piece of paradise; you may not have to fool with fall food plots at all the first year. Let me explain, to produce forages that will produce tons of forage per acre and the protein or carbs that you have envisioned that will occur when you planted that magic bean, it takes knowledge and unfortunately, money to get it right. You have to ask yourself, is it the right thing to do until you have the time and money to do it correctly so your expectations can be met.
My advice to you is maybe to wait until you learn what the property can do for you. First things first, learn the property by paying attention to travel routes and deer patterns. After that is somewhat understandable to you, then fall food plots may be a consideration. Don’t shoot from the hip though and just place these forage areas just anywhere. Think of topography, soil conditions and ph. levels, and more importantly when it comes to the hunting aspect of things is access in and out without spooking the deer you’re trying to harvest.
Planting Fall Food Plots
Then the next step is what to plant, pretty important question as well. The answer all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish on the property or better yet, what the surrounding area is lacking. Remember, you’re trying to attract and hold deer on the property. For example, don’t plant corn if your property is surrounded by corn. Start off with simple forages like winter wheat or buckwheat until you feel that you have a grasp on food plot placement and fertility. These seeds are inexpensive and extremely easy to plant. Then, the following year you can plant the good stuff such as brassica varities like Turnips, (depending on location). The goal here is to simplify your time because if you plant a clover variety, you may be spending more time and money than you should be.
No one could blame you for wanting to plant a fall food plot. They can be very effective in helping you hold and harvest the buck of your dreams. What this article is about is to have you to take a breath and don’t get wrapped up in the nostalgia of it all. There is a lot to think about when it comes to the ever popular food plot and you owe it to yourself to do it correctly!
Erich D. Long
Drumming Log Wildlife Management
“Deer Management Consultants”