We finally made it to the last phase of our shooting lane food plots.
We had a lot of fun clearing out our shooting lanes and planting them into linear food plots this summer. Now we want to show you the final product.
Linear Food Plots
As you probably remember from Phase II, we planted Frigid Forage Pure Trophy Clover in our shooting lanes. It is a mixture of ladino, mammoth red, medium red, white Dutch, and alsike clovers.
The perennial blend helps ensure that there is a diversity of clover varieties available for deer once spring green-up occurs next year through the hunting season. Think of it as stacking the deck in your favor, and offering a smorgasbord for the deer herd.
As our shooting lanes were too remote and rocky to plow effectively, we simply roughed up the surface with a steel rake. I was surprised how much germination we got with such little soil preparation!
Right after planting we received a heavy downpour, which may have washed seeds down into the lower portion of the shooting lane. The resulting food plot looked a little patchy, but we plan to frost-seed the bare patches next spring with some more Pure Trophy Clover.
Then we'll just need to mow and fertilize it, and keep the ferns from re-invading our shooting lane.
Did It Work?
Did it ever!
The deer mowed through the new clover patches continually. By Minnesota's firearm season, most of it had been clipped neatly to the ground. But that's alright. As with most fall-established perennials, the plants spent a lot of energy developing their root systems this fall.
Next spring, they should be poised to take off and get ahead of any other plants that volunteer into our shooting lane. Combined with the new plants we frost-seed in the spring, the shooting lanes should be a lush green carpet by next summer.
I hope you enjoyed this series, and will consider planting your own shooting lane food plots next year. It's relatively easy work, and should pay off great down the road.