How do I create food plots in areas covered by thick brush?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersFood Plots
Dear Dr. Woods,

My name is Walker and i am 15, my family has had a 180 acre property in Northwestern Ohio since 1912. I am the only one in my family that has has a great desire for hunting. I have harvested over 4 deer through 3 years, but i am still very new to this. My goal through out the years is to produce large antlers and safe haven for the deer with bedding and food plots. Our property is mainly dominated by corn and bean fields but there is a very dense area that is covered with brush and trees. In this area i would like to make a food plot and i would like to hang a few stands after i know the pattern of the deer. To create a food plot in these dense woods, how would i get started? Also, i love your videos they have helped me so much and made me love the sport and everything before the shot. Thank you so much.

Sincerely, Walker.


I’m proud of you for hunting!  Sounds like your family farm is set up well for hunting with cover and row crops!  

The corn and bean crops provide great quality feed for deer throughout the growing season. A few small food plots would do a great job of attracting deer once the corn and soybeans have been harvested.  

I look for areas within cover that receive sunlight during at least half the day.  I also look for areas that I can approach, hunt, and exit without alerting deer.  Being able to hunt without alerting deer is key to success!  

This may mean taking an indirect route to the stand to keep the wind in your favor.  Sometimes there are ditches or creeks that hunters can use to access stands. I often clear any obstacles from ditches during the late winter so I can walk through them safely and quietly during the next deer season.

I look for where large trees have died, dried ponds, etc., within cover to find areas where the forest canopy is blocking the sun from reaching the soil.  

Once I’ve located such a location, I clear the debris (leaves, brush,etc.,) so seed can make contact with the soil. I add fertilizer and wait to broadcast the seed until just before or during a rain.  Rain will help cover the seed by splashing dirt and the moisture will cause the seeds to germinate rapidly. Otherwise birds and rodents can consume much of the seed before it germinates.

There’s much more information about these techniques in some of our episodes at

Be safe and enjoy creation,


November 27, 2015