I have recently been given permission to hunt a 78 acre piece of property in central east Alabama. The land consist of volunteer pines and hardwoods with two small clearings and a spring/ bedding area running through the middle of them. I wanted to ask for your recommendation on what to plant in these small plots. They are both roughly 1/8 acre in size. From what scouting I have done the deer definitely like to roam the surrounding area for food and come to this property to bed. The only food source on the property are the acorns which are long gone this late in the season. I would love to hear your suggestions on what to plant in these two plots for next season. I should mention that I only have hand tools to do the planting but could possibly get the use of a tractor and plow but no seeder or drill. Thanks for your help.
Congratulations on receiving permission to hunt the private property!
The openings sound like good locations for plots designed to attract deer during the hunting season. Using simple hand tools the existing vegetation can be sprayed and the duff burned or removed by hand. Even in small plots it’s important to do a soil test and add the appropriate nutrients. Malnourished forage doesn’t taste good and usually won’t attract deer.
Eagle Seed’s Broadside blend works great for me to attract deer – especially before or after acorns are available. This blend is easy to plant by broadcasting by hand, etc.
Be sure to consider how you will approach, hunt, and exit these plots without alerting deer. It’s easy to condition deer to avoid such plots during daylight if you alert them while approaching or hunting the area.
January 21, 2016