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.
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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 150x50-foot section. Rake or till both into the soil.
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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.
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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.
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Bow Hunting Guide: 2006
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.
Click here for the story How to Read Pre-Rut Buck Rubs
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.
Click here for the story How to Hang the Perfect Tree Stand
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.
Click here for the story Tree Stand Hanging Safety Tips
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.
Click here for the story How to Build a Last-Minute Food Plot
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.
Click here for the story How to Build Buck-Holding Cover on Your Property
Create holding cover on your property and bucks drawn to your food plots will stick around al
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