Minimum Size of Cover Areas

By GrowingDeer,

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Question

Grant,

Is there a minimum acreage that's necessary for switchgrass or other NWSGs to be effective as bedding?  I read where you recommend as big of blocks of cover as possible, such as 10 acres.  I have some areas that are only 2 to 5 acres and am wondering if it's worth planting switchgrass for cover?  If there's no use should I plant food plots there instead (although I don't really need more food)?

Thanks,

Garry

Garry,

Native warm season grasses and other types of cover in any size acreages will be used by deer and other game species.  However, the smaller the area of cover the easier it is for predators to detect the game within the cover.  In addition, deer are not herd animals like elk.  They, especially mature bucks, like their space.

So, if your property has a limited supply of cover, I’d convert the larger plots into cover if you have more than enough quality forage available during both the late summer and late winter stress periods.  I wouldn’t convert food plot acreage to cover if there is not enough food during those stress periods as you would simply be spending resources to solve one problem and create another.

Growing Deer together,

Grant