PATTERNING BIG JUNIOR and POOR MAN’S PLOTS
There are two themes in this episode that I want to touch on.
First is the overall strategy I will be using to pattern Big Jr. This is a three step process, the first step of which I will get into in Episode 2.
The second theme I want to touch on focuses on the success we have had over the years making and hunting Poor Man’s Food Plots similar to the one that Jon and Erik make in this episode.
With only a little knowledge, a few tools and lots of sweat, you can really improve your hunting area by adding one, or more, Poor Man’s Plots!
Patterning: My philosophy for patterning bucks starts with finding them. I do that by running trail cameras over corn – legal here in Iowa. In states where that is not legal, you can run your cameras over mock scrapes, over food plots and even over well used trails.
It just takes less time to find out what is in each area when you can use bait.
My next step is to then to try to backtrack the buck using trail cameras to find his core area. This is the place where he is most likely to show up in daylight and where he is appearing often on camera. You know you are in his core area when you are getting lots of photos of him and a few are in daylight (or very close to it).
My final step is to fine-tune the buck’s range by placing cameras in a number of outlying areas until I have a pretty good idea where all he is spending his time. Armed with this information, I can come up with good stand locations.
I take you through the first steps of the patterning process in Episode 2.
Poor Man’s Plots: We build these every year. Basically, you create a food plot – usually less than 1/2 acre – using only hand tools. It can be a lot of work, but in some areas, that is all you have to work with. It works great when creating plots in the timber where there is no trail to get to it with a tractor – or when you don’t have access to a tractor.
The basic steps are: Cut out brush and trees with a chainsaw, spray to kill weeds, wait two weeks, burn the residue, spread fertilizer, spread seed, add lime or spray with PlotStart. Once the rains come, the plot will turn green very quickly. I like to plant clover or Frigid Forage Big N Beasty in my Poor Man’s Plots, but some of our team like more cereal grains such as Frigid Forage Autumn Quick Plot.
These little secluded plots are great places to hunt both morning and evening and soon become the social hubs for all the deer in the area. We base much of our strategy now around hunting these small Poor Man’s Plots.
In Episode 2, among other things, Jon Lewis and Erik Barber show you the progression of a Poor Man’s Plot they plan to hunt over this season.