High Desert Food Plots

By GrowingDeer,

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Is it possible to utilize food plots in the west?  I live just west of Denver in an area that is very populated with elk and mule deer.  The area that I hunt/live in is considered high mountain desert at around 7500 feet of elevation and receives 18-20 inches of rainfall a year.  I have full access to about 100 acres of private property that is surrounded by private property on all sides for miles.  The terrain is rugged with a mix of open/park-like ponderosa pine stands on the south facing slopes and dense Douglas Fir/Spruce stands on the north.  The only water is found in the drainages and it is seasonal.  Is it possible to grow or propagate anything useful to elk or deer in an area like this?

Thanks in advance,



I’ve had food plots in a very similar elevation and climate in New Mexico.  We planted brassicas and the elk loved them!  Concentrated food is rare in such environments and is very attractive to elk.  I recommend collecting soil samples and fertilizing according to recommendations from a soil lab.  Then plant a mix of winter wheat and forage brassicas.  I think you will be pleased with the results.  I’m willing to bring my bow and do some research during September!

Growing Deer together,