Best Food Plots For Deer

The key to making the best food plot for deer is finding the perfect seed to place and perfect location to place it in. Even for those expert hunters out there there are a few considerations we all need to take into account. 

Simply laying out corn, soybean, or seeds would not do the trick. A lot of factors are involved that determine whether you will be successful wether you're planning on building one during winter or fall.

deer food plots

You will need to pay heed to various factors such as size, shape, and location of your plot. Soil composition is also an important factor. You will also need to decide what you want to grow. Once you have decided the plant and start the growing process, you will need to make an effort to enable it to flourish and maintain it.

Hence, it would involve quite a bit of work and planning. Furthermore, the results will not show within a short span. You will need to exhibit some patience while giving it the best of your efforts.

There is one thing that you need to keep in mind. Proper planning is essential when it comes to growing deer food plots. Failure to do so would decrease the chances of attracting the deer, thereby resulting in the plan backfiring.

Best Deer Food Plots​

White clover

This is perhaps the most appealing option that you have when it comes to food plots as its productivity will leave you impressed. As it is well-known, white clover has the ability to grow for as long as five to ten years if proper management and sufficient care are provided to it. This means it is a perennial crop. Growing it is also easy so this is another reason which entices you to opt for it.

However, there is one thing that you will need to keep in mind. It is imperative that the minimum pH for its growth is maintained at 6 as it is sensitive to an acidic base. Drought is another factor that you will find this crop to be sensitive to.

Different types of options are available and it is important to make it certain that you opt for something which is suitable to your environment and would be able to flourish in your area.

Red clover

This is another productive option that you have. You will find that this plant witnesses optimal growth during the earlier months, leaving behind white clover in this regard. If we talk about the spring season, you will find this to be the perfect choice for your deer food plot.

Therefore, if you opt for red and white clovers, they will work well for you in the long run. The climatic conditions, water, and soil required for both red and white clovers are rather similar. Keep in mind that these plants are susceptible to weeds, which is why mowing is something that would need to be done at regular intervals.

Alfalfa

As we mentioned in the beginning, there are certain crops that absorb nitrogen from the air and transfer the excess amount to the soil. Alfalfa is among the leading plants that do so. It is impressive in terms of taste and is found to be enriched with nutrients. Thus, you will not be disappointed if this is the plant that you opt to make a part of your food plot.

However, this plant does not offer you a great deal of ease. It requires a lot of maintenance as it is sensitive to weeds, acidic pH, and insects. Hence, you will need to invest a lot of time and effort into establishing this crop. It is advisable to opt for it once you have attained a bit of experience so that you would not feel overwhelmed and would be capable of handling the work that it requires.

Chicory

If you want a food source that would not demand a lot from you, would be easy to grow, and would have the added benefit of being drought-tolerant, this is an option that would not let you down. It is something that deer prefer to have in the spring as well as early summer.

Hence, you need to make it certain that you opt for the right combination of plants so that the deer do not endeavor to find another option and have an alternative diet when chicory is not an option.

Wheat, oat and rye

Crops like wheat, rye, and oat prove to be satisfactory choices. However, you will need to ensure that you select the other crops carefully as these crops carry a risk of over-grazing if not combined with something else.

The ideal approach would be to opt for a couple of grains at the most. You can select whichever crop is most suited for your climatic conditions and soil. Most people seem to prefer oat and wheat. However, if you have acidic soil, rye would prove to be a better choice. Hence, select the grain after careful consideration by taking all the relevant factors into account.

Soybeans

Soybeans are a bit expensive option. They are also not something that would prove to be an easy option. They are a crop that is best suited for large fields, but if you do manage to get it right, you will find them to be a rather impressive addition to your food plot.

Soybeans are enriched with a high content of protein, which inadvertently leads to an enhanced growth of the deer antler. If it is the whitetail deer that you are interested in, this is the best option that you have.

Brassicas

Brassicas refer to bulbed plants. Crops such as kale, turnips, and radishes all belong to the family of brassicas. They prove to be the perfect food choice for winter and fall. However, the results that you will get with this option cannot be predicted with certainty.

This is deer sometimes favor them right from the moment they sprout but, at other instances, avoid them completely. Thus, this option is a bit of a risk.

These plants also have various benefits to offer. They are quite easy to grow, can flourish on acidic soil, and are drought-resistant. You can also grow them in sandy soil. You can plant these in the later part of the year and attain impressive productivity.

deer eating

Deer Food Plot Seed Mixes

Whitetail Institute Fusion Clover & Chicory Seed

This blend offers you a combination of white clover and chicory. It is equipped with as much as 44% of protein so that the growth of deer is optimal and they are provided with impressive strength. This is what you can call a perennial blend that you can plant in the spring as well as fall with ease. It is capable of providing the best results in a multitude of soil types and climatic changes.

Antler King Honey Hole Mix

This is another impressive option that you have. It is a mixture of brassicas that serve to ensure that the deer are attracted close to the food plot. It begins its growth in the late summers and attracts the deer to perfection. You can use it for your kill plot with a lot of ease. Another option is to use it in combination with crops that grow in the early part of the year.

Evolved Habitats Mean Bean Crush 

As mentioned before, growing soybeans is not going to be an easy task. However, if you are willing to put in the effort that is required for the purpose, this is a blend that will not let you down and will provide you with the results you seek. This blend comprises a mixture of lablab, cowpeas, and soybeans. It is a long-growing blend that does not take up a lot of time and provides you with impressive productivity during the period of early spring to late fall.

Antler King No Sweat No-Till Plot Mix

If you have a food plot that is difficult to maintain and cannot be plowed, this is the best option you have. It comprises a mixture of rye, brassicas, oats and clover. All these are easy to grow and would not make things difficult for you. They are capable of growing in an acidic medium as well as in sandy soil. Not much moisture is required, and they are also found to be shade resistant. All that you will need to do is sow the seeds, and your work will be done.

deer food

Tips for deer food plots

For an amateur, ensuring optimal growth of the crops and maintaining the food plot can be an uphill task. However, if you ensure that you approach everything in a systematic manner, there is no reason for you to worry. There are certain tips that you can use to make it certain you acquire maximum productivity with your crops and get the results that you are looking for.

The first thing that you ought to do is bring yourself up to date on the soil condition. For this, you will need to get a soil performance test done. This will provide you with crucial information regarding the soil, including its pH and content of the nutrients. The results will guide you as to the areas where you need to bring about an improvement.

Before you commence with the planting, you first need to ensure that the plot is prepared completely. Kill all the plants that are of no use to your food plot by using herbicides. The soil would need to be loosened and tilled so that seeds can be sown in it.

Keep in mind the tiny size of the seeds and ensure that they are covered by a mere one-fourth inch of soil which will pave the way for feasible sprouting. One option that you have is to throw and spread the seeds on the ground during rainy days, and they will sow on their own.

The next stage is to select the right food plot mix. There are two main options that you have in this regard. Making the blend on your own is one option. Another option is to make use of the blends that are available on the market. There is no denying that opting for individual crops provides you with optimal control. However, if you want to acquire ease in the task, you will find pre-mixed food blends to be a better option.

There is no dearth of options that you will need to face when it comes to brands that offer a food plot mix. While selecting the right blend for your use, you will need to ensure you opt for something that is suited to your environment. We are now going to provide you with some of the popular food blend details that have attained the approval of a wide variety of people.

Selecting the right food source

The first thing you need to decide is what to grow. The diet of a deer is not restricted. You will find that it eats a wide range of food throughout the year. This includes the likes of fruits, cereal grains, legumes and grass among other things.

Deer are not very particular about their diet and eat whatever is available with ease. As a result, their diet witnesses a change throughout the year as per the availability of the plant of their liking. There are a few things you need to keep in mind while selecting the food source.

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Consider a situation where you go through a lot of trouble for planting a certain type of seed, but when the hunting period nears, deer reject it in favor of something else that they prefer and is available.

Therefore, it is recommended that you plant various types of food sources so that there is a plethora of choices available for the deer and they do not feel the need to look for other options.

This strategy also ensures that deer opt for your plot to graze throughout the year including winter as you opt for a variety of plants that have different periods of maturity.​

2

Keep in mind that the deer's preference of food changes according to the season. Hence, the best food plot for deer in fall cannot be expected to be the same as that for winter.

Therefore, you need to plan accordingly. One approach that you can make use of involves extending the growing season as much as you can. You can start growing the plot in early spring as this will serve as an attraction for the deer. You will then have plants that continue to grow and mature throughout the year.

Irrespective of where you live and what the condition of your soil is, you can be confident that you can find different types of plants that can be grown on a food plot. Thus, you need to take these two factors into account to determine the plant that you ought to grow.

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You will also need to think about the usage of fertilizers. It is essential to ensure that the soil has an adequate amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, and other required minerals that enable the plant to flourish. The amount of fertilization your food plot will need depends on the type of plants that you are growing on it.

There are also certain plants that are capable of acquiring their required nitrogen from the air, unlike other plants which are dependent on soil for their dosage of nitrogen. These include the likes of peas, soybeans, and clover among others.

These plants take up the nitrogen that they need while transferring the excess nitrogen back to the soil, which benefits the neighboring plants. These plants also happen to be among the favorite food items of deer, so you will find that most people opt for these plants for their food plots.

They are also enriched with protein and other nutrients, thereby making them an ideal food source choice. However, this does not imply that you focus all your attention on these plants alone. Ensure that you opt for a blend of different types of crops. This will benefit you in the long run.

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Selecting The Right Plot

You need to make it certain that you choose the right location for your food plot as this is the point where everything starts. If you go wrong at this juncture, you cannot hope to attain the results you desire. Thus, this is something you need to pay exquisite attention to. The deer needs to feel that your area is safe where it can graze with ease and freedom.

Hence, your food plot should be in an area which does not garner attention or gets a crowd. At the same time, it needs to be some place where enough sunlight is available. There should be a water source close by as well. You should also ensure that the area is such where you will be able to set up your stand for shooting with ease, ideally ensuring that the wind direction does not alert the deer of your presence due to your scent.

Deer plots can broadly be divided into two categories, feeding plots and kill plots. For those who have a small plot, a kill plot should be the primary focus. When we talk about the size of a food plot, you need to take into consideration the shooting range of the weapon you will be using for hunting.

You need to ensure that there is no area of the plot that is out of your range. People tend to prefer rectangular plots that are narrow as they ensure that the deer have a long path for grazing.

Common Mistakes Made By People

There are certain mistakes that people tend to make while growing deer food plots which end up being costly for them. A few such errors are using seeds that are not right for your soil and planting such a large plot that you are unable to cover the range with your rifle or bow.

Making such mistakes would only pave the way for all your hard work going down the drain. Therefore, it is advisable to first make an effort to know everything there is to about deer food plots so that you do not end up making mistakes which would make all your efforts futile.

Final Thoughts

By ensuring that you pay heed to all the relevant factors and make the right choices, you can get the best results. You will also need to put in some significant amount of hard work. It is also important that luck is on your side. Growing a food plot is something that everyone can do.

All that you need to do is pay meticulous attention to detail and do not endeavor to hasten the process. Let things take their natural course, and you can be confident that in no time, you will have one of the best deer food plots in your area. Make every decision after careful consideration and conduct adequate research so that you are up to date with everything that needs to be known about deer food plots.