Food Plots: Learning and Growing

By GrowingDeer,

  Filed under: Food Plots, Hunting Blog

Food plot establishment and management techniques and the seed varieties have improved significantly during the past 25+ years. In 1995 Tracy and I visited New Zealand to learn about the forage varieties they grew to enhance antler growth in the red deer raised for meat and velvet antlers. From that visit, we brought back information that transformed the way I approached food plots and forage for whitetails.

On my hunting property (which I refer to as The Proving Grounds) I’ve researched, tested and implemented food plot practices and seed blends that maximize the quantity of quality forage. If these seed blends and rotations work here they will work on any property in the whitetails’ range. I’ve found a partner in Eagle Seed that combines my research and their expertise to get quality seed and seed blends with the right ratio of forage blends so that food plots are easily successful for food plot farmers.

I use Eagle Seed’s fall blend. This blend serves as a time released food plot throughout the hunting season with some varieties growing and being more attractive during the early, mid, and late season. The blend produces an attractive food source throughout the entire fall. It’s the backbone of our hunting sites and providing the herd quality forage throughout the fall and winter.

velvet bucks in soybeans

I’ve used Eagle Seed forage soybeans for many years. Eagle Seed forage soybeans provide the most quality forage for the longest time of any crop I’ve tested. Several universities have also published on the amount of quality forage these soybeans produce! Deer forage on the Eagle Seed forage soybeans green leaves then the standing grain after frost. Young soybeans are one of the most attractive plants to deer. In areas with a high deer population or in small food plots it can be difficult to maintain a healthy stand of soybeans due to heavy browse pressure. This problem can be solved with trigger finger management (reducing the number of deer) or using a small electric fence and protecting the young soybeans

Poor soil quality can limit forage growth and make it taste bitter. Building a good layer of soil over time can do wonders for food plots. Due to past forest and land practices, there was not a good layer of soil at The Proving Grounds when Tracy and I purchased it. Through the years I’ve learned techniques we call the Buffalo System to improve the soil and forage quality. This soil quality improvement system is less expensive and requires less time than the traditional lime, fertilizer, till and plant system. I’ll be sharing more on the Buffalo System throughout videos coming soon.

Regardless of where you hunt, you should focus on getting deer the nutrients that they need to grow healthy and strong. You can create the opportunity for a memorable hunting season next fall by maintaining great food plots during the coming year. If you're new to food plots, click HERE to see videos showing the details of our food plots programs over the years or use the search function on this website to learn about a specific technique or food plot crop.

Growing food plots and enjoying Creation,

Grant