THREE THINGS TO DO BEFORE PLANTING YOUR FOOD PLOT
In the words of our own Daryl Cherry, having a thought-out strategy when it comes to food plots works out a lot better than throwing poop against the wall to see what sticks. Having a well-planned strategy going into planting season is more likely to bring you success, less stress, and allow you to be more efficient and productive in the months leading up to the deer season. Here are three things to do before planting your food plots:
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Map It Out With onX Hunt
If you’ve used onX Hunt, you’re familiar with its copious amounts of tools and uses. Every year, I like to start with a clean slate to map out the year’s food plots. This comes with the exception of keeping several waypoints in regards to the deer movement and signs I know I can count on. With the combination of newer products and that virtual clean slate, I get the drive to shake things up, while keeping tactics that I know have worked previously.
I live about three hours away from one of the properties I have access to. This makes it difficult to go to and from. When I go, I want to work smarter, not harder. I want to know exactly how much seed I will need and what my planting strategy is so I can get in and get out without wasting time and resources. Using the “Line Distance” and “Area Shape” tools allows me to measure the size of my plots so I can order the right amount of seed while having a visual map of what goes where so there isn’t any guesswork. onXhunt truly streamlines the planting process and does so much more than help you decipher public land from private.
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Set The Stage
I like to stage a property in a way I can predict how the deer will come into a plot before planting. I don’t like to mess with it after plots have started to establish. This way, I can leave the environment as is until closer to the start of the season when bucks are patternable for a small window of the early season. For example, one area of a farm I hunt has a natural water hole in a valley we would see deer come out of. We decided to use this to our advantage by plowing an area just above the water hole and planting Last Stand.
Results were almost immediate in that first year. We are certain this alone brought more deer to this specific area, with more buck sightings all at one time. This year, I’m adding Big Tine’s Borderline screen mix around this plot for added security and minimized entrance and exit points. This tactic will also create a way for me to access my stand without being seen from any bedding areas. Creating obstacles with hinge-cutting or strategically parking farm equipment, brush, or boulders in a whitetail’s path are a few other ways to manipulate deer movement into your plots.
What is on your “must-do” list before planting your food plots? Stay tuned for more food plot tips and let us know what your food plot prep looks like!