Huge food plots just may not be an option for some of us. The answer: Downsize!
All of us have seen hunting shows with the huge food plots done with expensive farming equipment. Let’s face it, the average hunter doesn’t typically have access to, nor the land, for these massive food plots.
Most of us that hunt private or leased land don’t have the resources available to do a food plot of mammoth size. What most of us have is a passion for the outdoors and hunting.
Try and make the most of what you have, then work to outsmart the deer that you are hunting. Use the resources you have available to make a quality, small food plot.
Currently I hunt on a club where I planted a micro plot 30 yards long and 15 yards wide. I planted a mix of different things that would keep the deer interested into the winter. My main product that I planted was Trophy Radishes by Pennington Seed Co. These guys have never let me down.
I immediately set a trail camera on it before it even sprouted. I did this to see where the deer were traveling to and from. Once you have that information you can outsmart them. I have found hunting directly over or in the food plots will cause the deer to feed almost strictly nocturnally. However, I do have a blind set up at the edge of mine for the purposes of filming my hunts and for close range bow hunting.
I have also set stands up where I can catch them either staging or traveling in or out of the food plot. This helps keep the hunting pressure down to a minimum on the feeding deer, as well as the human odor that is nearly impossible to control in such a small area.
Once you have accomplished these things you will be amazed at the results that you can have.
Put it to work
We hunt a piece of private property in south Georgia that is farmed commercially, and the commercial fields are the only ones that have any stands over them. This is because they are so large with so much human activity, that the deer become accustomed to the activity. The small plots that were planted strictly for the deer were never hunted.
We only hunted the travel corridors to and from these feeding areas. We had great success with this strategy. On that particular piece of property, we took six does and one great buck. All the deer harvested were caught traveling to and from these areas.
You don’t have to have to spend a fortune either. Focus on two or three reasonable variations of seeds. I have found it’s best to ask a local hunter or feed store what grows well in the area, and go with that.
You can have great success by simply following the directions on the bag of mix or seed that you choose. These small plots have the potential to draw a good number of deer into the area you want them. This will help you find or help them decide their travel patterns. Refer to my previous article on mock scrapes as another excellent tool for this.