What food plot variety would you suggest for a small plot designed for hunting turkey and deer?March 16th, 2011 by Grant Woods
I have a 1 acre ridge top area inside the woods that I want to put a hunting plot in for next hunting season. I am in northwestern Missouri and am surrounded by corn and beans. Should I plant the 1 acre opening with Eagle Seed soybeans or should I plant half turnips and half wheat? I’m concerned about 1 acre soybeans making it through without too much deer damage, but I am surrounded by commercial beans. Just curious what crop you would suggest. Thought a wheat plot would also double for turkey hunting, but deer would be my main target.
Eagle Seed soybeans will remain green and growing much later in the fall than most production beans. That’s positive for most hunters in most situations because once the local production beans turn brown the deer tend to find the Eagle Seed soybeans very attractive. However, if the local deer population is high, then the beans could be damaged by excessive browsing in a small plot. The ultimate design in the situation you described is to use a Gallagher Food Plot Protection Fence and protect the Eagle Seed forage soybeans until you wish to hunt. Then open the gate and allow deer access to the beans. If there are any pods left, the plot would be very attractive to turkeys the following spring.
I have the same concern about turnips if the local deer population is high. Once deer decide turnips are palatable, they can remove the forage and bulbs in just a few days in the situation you described. The forage varieties of Eagle Seed soybeans have been consistently shown to produce five tons or more of forage per acre in university trials. That’s not counting the pod production. So, if a food plot protection fence is used it’s tough to find another forage that will provide that much green forage during the early bow season plus 2,600 pounds (at a production of 40 bushels per acre) of high quality grain during the winter. For comparison, wheat produces 1,200 to 1,600 pounds of digestible forage per acre. Given this, it’s easy to see why deer populations are higher and in better health in ag production areas versus non-ag areas.
Growing Deer together,