Keeping Cows Out of Food Plots

By GrowingDeer,

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Hey Grant,

Just want to say that I stumbled upon your show and I have watched about 20 episodes and I really like what you are doing, keep it up!!

How would you go about planting or hunting ground with cows?  Both of my properties are half timber and half cattle pastures.  I get a lot of deer pictures in the summer but no luck in the winter.  What location is best for a mineral lick?  This is primarily how I get my summer pictures, but I do not think it is 90% of the herd.


Kalvin (northwest Missouri)


Cows can make it difficult to plant a high quality food source.  I have had the greatest success by excluding cows from a portion of the property.  An easy way to exclude them would be with a single stranded Gallagher fence.  With only one strand the deer will adapt to jumping over it while the cows will remain outside it.  This will allow you to properly plant, fertilize, and grow a high quality food source.  With one or more good food sources deer become much more patternable, especially in an area dominated by pasture land.  I like to hunt the travel corridors between bedding areas and food sources so the deer continue to utilize the food during daylight hours.

I place Trophy Rock mineral licks wherever I think deer are already traveling, below a pond, food plot, etc.  Although I’ve tested the herd’s ability to find mineral by throwing Trophy Rocks into extremely brushy areas and the deer still readily found them.  I like Trophy Rocks because of their sheer number of trace minerals – over 60!  I usually place one about every 160 acres.

Lastly, if you want to increase your camera success and get a better idea of your herd composition I suggest doing a camera survey.  With the help of corn in early August you shouldn’t have too much problem getting a large portion of the herd to stand in front of the camera.  A camera station/s can be set up inside the electric fence/s to exclude cows.   Just be sure to have the corn cleaned up at least two weeks before the start of the first hunting season.

Growing Deer together,