Bring Bucks to Your Land with a Last-Minute Food Plot
The 11th-Hour Food Plot
It's not too late to ring your deer's dinner bell
By Gerald Almy Never got around to putting in food plots this spring? Don't sweat it. Sow the right seeds in the right places right now, and your last-minute plots will sprout in days and start attracting deer in time for bow season. With fall rains and cooling temperatures, they should produce lush forage and draw bucks well into the gun season, too. Here's how to do it right, in four easy steps: 1. Pick a spot
Find places that (a) are situated along or near a deer's route between bedding and feeding areas and (b) constitute a natural clearing, such as a logging road, log landing, or small overgrown field. Such places are easy to plant and make a natural ambush for bucks on their way to feed. Just make sure the spot gets at least a few hours of sunlight each day. Field & Stream Online Editors
2. Prepare the ground
Use a rake to clear away leaves and a nonselective herbicide, such as Roundup, to kill weeds. Mow these down with a weed trimmer and work them under with a tiller or an ATV attachment. Remove logs and debris. Then add one bag of agricultural lime and one bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer for each 150×50-foot section. Rake or till both into the soil. Field & Stream Online Editors
4. Pray for rain
Seeds may sprout without rain, but more often, you’ll need a bit to get them going. But then it’s just a matter of a few weeks before does and bucks start making your 11th-hour plots the hottest spots on the property. Watch the wind and hang your stand carefully. You never know when a trophy may be looking for a snack. Field & Stream Online Editors
3. Plant the seeds
Mix one or more brassicas (rape, kale, or turnips) and a cereal grain (wheat, rye, or oats) together in a large bucket, using a 1-to-2 or 1-to-3 ratio. Spread the mixture lightly and evenly. Never bury it deeper than 1/8 inch. Drive over the area with an ATV to create a firm seed-to-soil contact. Or drag a section of chain-link fence over it. Field & Stream Online Editors
Find and Prepare a Place to Hunt
How to: scout out a trophy, read a buck rub, hang a tree stand, plant a food plot and more pre-season tips you need to read before you hit the tree stand. Lesson Plan: How to Scout for a Trophy Buck
Follow these three assignments from trophy whitetail guide Rick Krueter before the season starts, and you chances of putting pins to your local monster this fall will get a whole lot better.
How to Read Pre-Rut Buck Rubs Click here for the story
Pre-season buck rubs are hard to find, but when they give you a much more accurate picture of a buck’s habits than the far more common rubs created later in the season. These tips will help you find and read them.
How to Hang the Perfect Tree Stand Click here for the story
Bowhunters have very little wiggle room when it comes to tree-stand location. a stand that’s even slightly in the wrong spot–a little too high or low, or a tad too close to or far from the hottest sign–can cost you your deer. Here’s how to create the perfect setup.
Tree Stand Hanging Safety Tips Click here for the story
Every fall, a few hunters who were not careful are found where they fell. Their troubles are over. Job One here is not to join these people. Here’s how to hang a stand safely.
How to Build a Last-Minute Food Plot Click here for the story
Never got around to putting in food plots this spring? Don’t sweat it. Sow the right seeds in the right places right now, and your last-minute plots will sprout in days and start attracting deer in time for bow season.
How to Build Buck-Holding Cover on Your Property Click here for the story
Create holding cover on your property and bucks drawn to your food plots will stick around al Field & Stream Online Editors