What steps should I take to create a staging area food plot?

By Grant Woods,

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Food plot question. I looked at the ask Grant section and got a lot of tips but none fully addressed my question. I hunted a soybean field last season with my stand on the edge of the field/woods facing the field. Not many opportunities in the field occurred but a lot of ‘just out of bow range’ activity was going on in the woods behind me. I moved my stand last week near a trail intersection with some decent rubs (last seasons) nearby. It seems like a staging area and i am positive the ‘big 9’ uses it to get in and out of the field. There is a break in the canopy where some ground cover grows, it doesn’t get browsed. I would like to replace it with some sort of staging forage. Can I use a weed whacker to cut it all down, and lime/fertilize in one day then come back and seed? Or should I “round-up” then come back and rake, fertilize seed. We are getting close to bow season and I don’t want to miss this opportunity to hold deer in this area. I am in the Upstate of SC bow season starts in about 5 weeks.

I really like your plan to move off the field edge and create a staging area hidely hole plot!!

Whether it will be best to cut the weeds or use herbicide depends on the species of weeds.  Most perennial weeds will simply sprout back after being cut.  The safest bet is to use glyphosate. You can spray on day (in good conditions) and literally add lime, fertilizer and seed the next.  

Make sure the site receives at least 50% sunshine a day.  Forage crops need sunshine to grow.  I often use a rack or other hand tools to prepare hidy hole plots!  

Let me know how this one turns out!

Enjoy creation!