If you have an out-of-the-way hunting spot and want to improve it, a small food plot may be a great idea. Even if the stand hasn’t been productive, you can change that result by adding vegetation that will attract deer, even after frost hits and snow piles up. In fact, if you plant rape, turnips, and other late season plants, deer may literally beat a trail to your spot.
Curt Lyle bought a small farm in Virginia and wanted to improve the holding power of the property, so he researched the prospects and brought in professional help. Not a big-time farmer, he chose methods available to many of us, so you may see familiar themes in his story. Dave Hart tells the story in this Whitetail Institute post:
“I did a lot of research and learned that the ideal situation is to have a large feeding area and several smaller hunting plots that don’t get disturbed often,” he said. “It made perfect sense to build food plots back in the woods. I live in an area with lots of hunting pressure, so I wanted to give the deer food sources back in the woods where they feel more secure.”
Many hunters do not have the option of planting in existing fields. Their entire hunting property consists of planted pines or mature hardwoods. There is nothing wrong with hunting those woods, of course, but sometimes the deer prefer different habitat and food sources. A food plot — or several — within big woods will give the deer a variety of foods and can be the perfect antidote to a bad acorn crop.