Deer and Turkey Food Plots | Top 5 Food Plots To Plant This Year
Turkeys are strutting their stuff, bucks are growing antlers, and does are about to drop fawns. This is one of the most critical times of the year, it is spring green up! Managing your time and effort right can pay off big time this spring and this fall! So what is your major to do, the one thing you have to get done before the summer heat hits? Get your food plots in! Planting your food plots and establishing them well can be one of the most important things you do during the next two months. The one thing above this task, would be taking the time to put in the right food plot. Making the wrong choice and learning from your mistakes is expensive when it comes to planting and hunting over food plots. So let’s take the years of hunting experience from the Bone Collector crew and sum up the top 5 food plots to plant this year. While there are top food plot species, one species alone cannot be summed up to cover every situation a deer hunter and food plotter runs into.
While this is not on the list for easy establishment and maintenance, perennial alfalfa makes one heck of a spring food plot to plant. The reason a lot of food plotters don’t end up planting alfalfa is it is subject to overbrowning as it tries to get established. Once developed, alfalfa can be a killer attractant all spring and summer long. To get it established, plant alfalfa with a cover such as wheat or an annual clover.
Clover is by far one of the easiest food plot species to establish and maintain. It is one of the most popular species to throw into mixes, put into standalone plots, or throw it in around other larger food plots. The reason clover makes the list is obviously it is a huge category of many different species, but white clovers in particular are the king of the majority of food plots. Why? The majority of food plots are small hidey-hole food plots that are less than an acre in size. White clover (Ladino or Durana) alone planted in these small food plots make perfect kill plots in the early season. It is shade tolerant, browse tolerant, and attractive to whitetails. These kill plots make for the perfect opportunity to release the Hoyt Bow and G5 Havoc on does or a shy careful mature buck. Clover put in by either frost seeding or during the early spring rains make for perfect turkey hunting food plots. Clover plots are easy to establish and maintain, they are by far the simplest food plot you can create.
You can’t run through an article about the best food plots for deer without mentioning soybeans. Soybeans can arguably be one of the best food plot species to plant. Tey are a 9-10 month attractant/food source. Planting in May, beans immediately offer a high protein food source for bucks growing antlers and lactating does. They stay green all summer long into September and if left standing become a November and late season attractant. These are a go to for Midwest hunters as they are usually in the form of a large agriculture field, but they can make great food plots. Soybeans much like the next species on our list are expensive to establish in time, size of the plot, and especially on the wallet. But the power of beans is well worth what is spent.
The other big Midwestern crop, corn, is a top pick for deer food plots. Standing corn during deer season is an absolute must if you have the acreage. If you’re not arguing that soybeans are the number one food plot species, you would probably be voting for corn. Carbohydrates in November, all the way through to the last day of the season are number one on a deer’s radar. Both standing corn and cut corn are classic food sources that attract and grow giants.
As deer season progresses and the cold returns, brassica food plots become a hotspot. Brassicas are the term for rape, turnips, and rashes among the common and once the frost hits they are sweetened. The cold sends the sugar concentration on to the leaves. Some species such as turnips and radishes go beyond the greenery and provide late season bulbs. Once deer get hooked on brassicas it’s hard to imagine planting any other food plot during August.
Its spring, summer won’t be too far behind. Get the right food plots in now before it’s too late. This critical time period can not only make or break your hunt this fall, but can get your deer herd on the right start with quality food sources.