According to the hunting guide Deer season starts in September, but in reality it starts much sooner if you count all the preparation. Besides scouting and hanging tree stands, many hunters are going the extra mile and creating their own food plots both to simply bring in more deer, but also to provide additional seasonal food sources as a way to improve the diet of the resident deer and to increase the carrying capacity of their acreage. Food plots can be an integral part of Quality Deer Management. I am the first to admit how little I know about the QDMA and proper agricultural methods for growing more and bigger deer, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? My hunting partners, Steve & Robert, and I decided that we would enter the world of deer management and try to create our own food plot on the edge of some timber that we hunt. Our goal was to provide a some additional food source for the deer that could be utilized when the woods or the surrounding crop fields were not producing a nutrition source. Steve & Robert did the hard work of clearing out about 1.5 acres with the bobcat, and I joined in for the tilling and planting. Partly due to the ease of maintenance, we decided a round-up ready alfalfa plot would be the way to go.
The plot is small enough that we could use an ATV for all of the planting work. Riding around the plot with a hand spreader did a fair job of scattering the seed. Then we used a 4-foot wide section of wire fencing with some weights behind the ATV to drag the plot, smoothing out the ground and lightly planting the seed. From a novice’s perspective, I do think we did pretty well.
Next step – wait for Mother Nature to provide a nice rain to start things germinating. If all goes well, we may even get to harvest some deer off this field come fall.