THE TRUE VALUE OF FOOD PLOTS
We hunt over food plots early and during the rut, but the real value of food plots comes to light during the late season. You can hunt over acorns or small clover plots in October and even November, but when the real cold hits and the snow starts to fall, there is nothing that draws deer better than a food source high in carbohydrates.
We showed you four successful hunts during this episode. Two were over grain crops (corn and beans) and two were over Big N Beasty (a brassica blend from Frigid Forage).
The deer were piling into these plots with much greater abandon than we see at any other time of the season. You can kill deer in October and November without food, but it is really hard to kill them in December and January without a highly attractive food source.
One of the challenges we face with late season food plots is getting them past the deer for the rest of the season. It does little good to have an acre of corn for late season hunting if the deer eat it all in November and early December.
There are three routes you can go to assure late season food.
Plant a Big Plot: This is obvious, but if the deer are eating all your food before the late season arrives, you just don’t have enough food planted. It can be expensive to plant more, and possibly you just don’t have the available open ground. So, this may not always be an option.
Fence It: We have used Non-Typical Wildlife Solutions fencing to keep deer out of our important fall/winter plots until it made sense to let them in. This is electric fencing that runs off a solar-boosted battery. I have run it around fields as big an acre without any problem. It does cost money, of course, but it is reusable and may be your best solution long-term.
Plant Something Else: We plant grains and Big N Beasty for late season hunting. The brassicas in Big N Beasty are attractive late in the year when plots such as clover are no longer drawing deer. Big N Beasty can take more early season pressure from deer and keep thriving than can a grain crop like beans and corn.
Whatever you choose to do to increase your late season food sources, it will be time and money well spent. I will go so far as to say that the most consistent hunting we have is during the late season when things get really cold and deer start to bunch up around the best food.
If you have the food, you will have the deer. It is that simple.