All across the country, many hunters are starting to realize the benefits about planting food plots on the lands they either lease or own in order to attract and hold more deer in their area.
Food Plots also an essential part of creating a healthier deer herd through better fawn production not to mention increased antler production.
Properly managed food plots can significantly benefit a deer herd and play a vital role in the success of your deer management program. However, maintaining a desirable deer density in balance with the existing habitat is the single most important management practice to promote a healthy, vigorous deer herd. Because deer tend to concentrate their activity near food plots, these areas not only provide excellent forage for the deer, but provide excellent places to observe or harvest deer. It is important to understand, however, that supplemental plantings (food plots) are not intended to replace native deer foods. As the name implies, they should supplement native foods. If managed properly, food plots can benefit your deer program by providing a high quality food source during periods of low native food production.
Food plots can also be extremely important to deer during poor growing seasons which result in poor native browse and reduced mast production. To be most effective, at least 4-5% of your property should be planted in food plots. Even planting as little as 1% can make a difference. The most successful food plot programs often include a combination of annual (warm season or cool season) and perennial (year-round) food plantings. These combinations ensure that deer have access to a quality food source throughout the year. There are several factors that influence the success of a food plot program. Among the most important are establishing a well thought out food plot plan, ensuring proper soil fertility and pH, preparing a good seed bed, only planting under favorable conditions, and controlling weeds. Each of these activities plays an important role in the success of your food plots.