Fall Food Plots

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

Don’t let it fool you, late season food plots do work. Many people believe that the only time to plant a food plot is during spring but this is not true!! This spring and summer like many people I worked all the time leaving little time for the outdoors. That time was spent scouting areas and hanging tree stands. I didn’t think that I would be able to plant a successful food plot for the 2010 hunting season.  But boy was I wrong. I had never planted a fall foot plot before fall 2010, and I’m glad I did.

On August 12 I took the day off to spend in the outdoors. I went to the store and purchased some turnip, beets, chicory, and clover. I went to a 15 acre piece, where an acre of opening was, I decided that this would be the spot where I experiment with a fall food plot.

A few weeks after planting it the food plot was starting to produce forage that I didn’t think it would. I figured that planting so late in the season that it wouldn’t have enough time to be successful. But so far it was one of the best decisions I made.

The foot plot had attracted all sorts of wildlife that weren’t on the property before. I saw bucks in the early season that I had never seen before. Recently I bought a trail camera to capture deer coming in and out of the food plot. Although I have only had the camera out for a week, I have already got pictures of deer. The pictures are of younger small deer, but I have seen bigger deer during the early season using this food plot. I believe that in the next few weeks I will be catching some bigger and more mature deer using this late season food plot. So if you are unable to plant a spring food plot due to work or family, take the opportunity to plant a late season food plot you won’t regret it. 

Comments

jim boyd's picture

Fall food plots are killer -

Fall food plots are killer - that is for sure... good food right when the deer need it the most - during the cold of the winter!

Looks like you have some great work going on there and just because the camera has not captured any big bucks - I would definitely assure you they are in there.

Your pics are in late October - even if the bucks were not feeding in there (and they probably are!) - at this time of the year, they go where the does go!

I planted 1.5 acres of buck forage oats in mid-November and also about a half acre of rape at the same time - and have not been able to get to the club to check it recently... I will be down there this weekend and will see what it looks like.

Super work you have going on there, Outdoorsman!

cscott711's picture

Yes indeed.  If all else

Yes indeed.  If all else fails, broadcast winter rye.  That stuff will grow anywhere, the worst soil conditions and you can plant it late into the fall depending on the area you are at.  October in Michigan is pretty late in the year, but I have some that is a few inches tall right now.  However, doesn't help that the farmer planted 120 acres of winter rye/wheat this year so my couple acres of plots are not getting hit like other years with barren fields at this time of year.  Either way, winter rye will really help build up the soils and has a natural chemical that inhibits weed competition.  I think next year though, I'm going to try planting a WGF milo/soybean combination in the spring and overseeding with rye and groundhog forage radish in the fall.  In a couple other locations, I've found who I consider the poor man's food plot master!  He has provided so much information with pictures and real world experience.  I've learned a lot from him.

ecubackpacker's picture

You're right, fall food plots

You're right, fall food plots can bring out deer you didn't know you had on the property. We try to plant spring and fall plots every year, but like you said, sometimes we can't find the time to get it done.

We didn't get any spring plots planted this year but we made up for it by planting a couple of fall plots. This fall we planted a combination of trophy oats, winter wheat and turnips. All the plots are up and green.

We see some small bucks in the plots during hunting time, but mostly we see the does visiting the plots. We the does are, the bucks will follow. So when the rut hits, we usually see the bigger bucks. Also, the bigger bucks will visit the plots in late December when all the other major food sources are gone.

CVC, we plant the plots and then hang the stands. It just worked out for us that way.

I would suggest providing a mixture of forage for the deer come fall. Plant to attract and good nutrition for the deer which you can do without a whole lot of work.

Critter done's picture

Great Tip

I know like most people now a days we do have a busy schedule and it's hard to find time to get out there and plant food plots. We have found out that the late food plots works very well for us.

Great Tip!!!!

CVC's picture

When considering your food

When considering your food plot do you focus more on a food that will attract the deer, a food that will supplement their natural food and provide needed nutrients or a combination of both?  If I had private land that I owned I definitely would put in a food plot.  It seems like it would be an enjoyable activity during the off-season to get the land prepared and to grow a crop.

Also, when determining where to put the food plot (and yes this is like which came first the chicken or the egg) do you find a location that is suitable for stands and plant the plot or find the best place for the plot and hang the stands.

Thanks enjoyed your tip.