Food plot area choice

Discussion in 'Whitetail Management' started by DARTONJAGER, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. DARTONJAGER

    DARTONJAGER New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Whiting Indiana
    Now that I have found and bought my frost seed clover and have multiple areas that are very good selections for planting, my next question is how does one choose where to make a food plot so it does the best good and has no negative impacts on how I can hunt the land?

    About 90% of the 60 acres I can hunt is extremely thick woods with equally thick underbrush that makes creating a food plot in the woods a no go at least for the first year. Basically most of the woods would make for excellent deer bedding area, and I have found and confirmed at least two dedicated doe bedding areas. I do have multiple areas on the west edge of the property that have minimal plant growth that would be very easy to remove and make for very simple and easy to create 1/4-1/2 acre food plots.

    But as I am completely new to this land I have scouted only for two days I have a decent idea as to the deer movement and habits, but more scouting is needed, so I realize I need to choose wisely where to plant a food plot so as not to create a situation where I can not get into or out of a stand site with out spooking deer on the food plots.

    So how does one go about choosing a food plot sight so as to insure it does more good than harm to my deer hunting. Considering the nearest farm field is about 1.2-1.3 miles away and all other farm fields are farther than that a food plot or two should be very good at attracting and holding does and does=bucks during the rut. I have good access from all sides of the property so entry and exit is not limited to any one direction.

    The land is mostly rectangular in shape with the south end narrowing down to about 1/3 the width of the north end. The area was recently visited by about 3-4" of snow and I scouted it for two days. I found rubs new and historical along the entire western edge of the woods, well over 100 total. Also found to large rub clusters each containing over a dozen rubs in under 15 yards. Basically everywhere I looked along the north, west and south edges of the land I found rubs of all sizes every so many yards. Due to the fresh snow I found no scrapes. The east edge is a seems to be a seldom traveled (5 cars in 2 days) county road that I ran out of time before I could scout it. I did find at least 3 VERY FRESH sets of what I believe were mature buck tracks in the less than 48hr old snow considering they were 5-6.5" in length from toe edge to dew claw.

    Thanks to the snow I got a decent idea on several major deer paths of travel, but not a enough info yet. I saw over 12 deer on the land in 2 days of scouting. As I own a 2wd truck I was very limited due to the conditions as where I could park with out risking getting stuck. Scouting was more involved than I expected so I was able to only choose trail cam sites but I didn't put any up as I didn't wish to risk putting up a trail cam in one spot only to find a better one and have to relocate the cam.

    Am heading back down weather permitting in six days. Plan on placing all my trail cams and hopefully planting at least one hopefully two frost seed food plots.

    So any info any one can give me on how to interpret the deer sign to choose the best sights for a food plot would be of great help to me.
    Thanks again,
    Arthur.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  2. AdBot Guest Advertisement

  3. Wi transplant

    Wi transplant Active Member

    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    145
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Drakesville ia
    Well you have a great start ! You have the corect mind set to do it right !! 1st step is excatly what you said ! You need to get in get out without them not seeing smelling. Or hearing you !! So watch the prevailing winds. Pic a general area . then pic your stand tree . plan your entrance and exit trail . do a soil sample . then lay out shape. Of plot to get deer within shooting range . hour glass shape with pinch point infront of stand !! Good luck your off to a great start !!

    Sent from my RS501 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Wi transplant

    Wi transplant Active Member

    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    145
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Drakesville ia
    One more point you didnt mention deer density but with no ag close buy make them big enough !!!! Also if you do 2 of them consider different wind directions for more hunting opportunity !!

    Sent from my RS501 using Tapatalk
     
  5. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,188
    Likes Received:
    1,771
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Central, IA
    Great input from WI TRANSPLANT.
    There’s 2 things u discussing.... strategic location of where to put it. When others chime in, above is great & u know where it strategically needs to be.....

    The other one I can address..... “how to do this” or an area that will successfully grow ur frost seeded clover. U ideally want a dead open area that was killed last fall. That could be harvested crop ground or stuff someone killed off. Without that... u want an opening, ideally with good soil, that has plenty of sun. The next step..... if u found an opening- whats there for weeds, plants, grass or whatever. That will dictate your next steps. & can u access it with atv, sprayer, etc for example? U will be maintaining this and returning a few times for sure.
     
  6. Tmayer13

    Tmayer13 PMA Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    190
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Iowa
    my first suggestion and what i believe to be the most important when creating a food plot for "killing" deer would be first locate the tree stand or ground blind location. Ill explain a little more. Make sure you find your "tree" that has great cover(during the fall) and will set up properly for which ever wind you want to hunt it. Food plots are an amazing tool to have for hunting whitetails but if you dont have a place to hunt then its all for not. So pick your spot first and think about everything you normally do when picking a stand location then plant your plot according to it!
     
  7. BJohnson

    BJohnson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,910
    Likes Received:
    145
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Iowa
    My small farm is for the most part a gentle timbered hillside with a few deeper ravines along the overall slope of the farm. When I bought the farm, there were two small grassy areas that were previous plot locations - about 2 acres total out of the 85 acre farm. In my case, I took the obvious route and recreated these areas for plots. The top area (east side of the farm) sets up good for prevailing westerly winds running up the slope of the farm. This spot is easily huntable from an access/exit perspective. The bttm plot area (west side of the farm) is almost unhuntable due to my farm's road access all being from the east boundary. There is an logging/ATV trail which runs from top to bttm connecting these two plot locations.

    While it sounds stupid for me to put the effort into that bttm plot area each year (since I rarely hunt it), I still feel it is a solid upgrade to the farm from the standpoint of increasing the resident deer population (probably more does) on what otherwise is exclusively a timber farm. My thought is if I give the deer an excuse to reside on the farm, some mature bucks will show up during season to service the does. Most of the bttm plot is geared towards a perennial food source for the farm, like clover. The top plot will be also have a clover rotation but is where I focus any late season seed options - the first two seasons having a decent portion of the plot seeded to brassicas. One of my off-season focus points will be to better analyze how bucks move between the top and bttm plots and moving stands to hunt those cruising routes better after a couple seasons of observing movement on the farm. You don't always have to be hunting "on the plot" to see the hunting benefit of the plots.

    I haven't spent enough time (yet) on any TSI work. My goal eventual goal for TSI will be primarily about increasing food (browse growth) and secondarily bedding cover. Traditional "food plots" are not the only way to increase food on your farm. I just haven't had enough time yet to get this project started.

    Just one guy's thoughts - but there are many guys on here with more experience managing/improving a farm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
    deerhunter93 likes this.
  8. 7mmsendero

    7mmsendero New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Alger
    I made a foodplot just inside a swamp about 5 years ago. It’s the size of a small garden, mostly done with hand tools. It’s paid off pretty well, helps funnel deer.

    Our first consideration was prevailing wind, entry and exit. We can only hunt it about 1/3 of the time, but when it’s right look out. We’ve killed our 2 biggest bucks from that tree stand since adding the plot 5 years ago, that spans 30 years.

    We don’t put in anything spectacular, we actually don’t want deer hanging around long. Imperial shade tolerant stuff.
     
  9. DARTONJAGER

    DARTONJAGER New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Whiting Indiana
    Thanks again for the replies they have all been very helpful. I'm trying to avoid over complicating this but I realize I have to consider certain factors. Like wind direction, deer travel paths, bedding areas, should I hunt over them or areas near by them to name a few. I understand now I can only answer these questions after I become intimately familiar with the deer and their habits.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice