In the interest of whitetail hunting, few shortcuts end up proving any worth what-so-ever. In fact, taking the quickest route from point A to B often results in detrimental effects unforeseen and regrettable. This is perhaps no more true than when considering food plots.
Throughout much of the country, June is prime time for food plots. Whether planting, prepping the soil, or simply clearing out an area for later usage, food plots are on our minds and although plots are often cited as too easy and an unfair advantage in the whitetail woods, those opinions are largely unfounded. If you were to base your food plot opinions on footage of whitetails being shot on outdoor television, then feeling that way would make sense. But for most of us, the labor involved with food plots and the eventual success over the plots varies greatly and always involves one tangible - hard work.
The hours spent on food plots can differ between large, year-round food sources and tiny, secluded “kill” plots but one thing is certain, and that is if you cut corners, you’ll regret it. This starts with yearly soil tests. PH that is off-kilter from the desired “7” reading can, and should, alter plans. If lime is necessary, spread the correct amount. The same goes for seed choice and quantity. Seed companies know their products, and they know exactly where and when they should be planted. Heed the advice of the seed experts and do not be afraid to contact them if you’ve got questions about your specific situation.
When I started planting food plots they were all designed as a stopping-off point for traveling deer, and all were situated close to a bow stand. The results varied greatly, but one thing I’ve learned is that simply clearing a space in the woods and throwing down some seed rarely ended with me arrowing a deer on the plot.
Today, I’ve got access to a four-wheeler and some implements, and I’ve got a few buddies who have tractors, which both make the process much simpler. That being said, high-powered and expensive toys are unnecessary for a lot of plot work. No matter whether your planting a budget plot utilizing nothing more than elbow grease and some weekend time away from home, or you’ve got the option to employ a new tractor, take the correct steps and don’t skip anything.
Following the directions for all sizes and styles of food plots will simply result in better plantings. They may not ensure that you’ll shoot straighter, but a lush food plot should at least put you into a position to get the chance to trip the trigger and find out.
Author: Tony Peterson