Food plot success or failure is measured during the middle of the deer season. The hunting season is the only time when you can not only influence your hunt, but is really the only time of the year that you can improve sex ratios, protect young bucks and either raise or lower deer population numbers. Do your food plots fail?
In the North 1/2 of the country, November is unquestionably the #1 time that your food plots should be at their best, for both your hunting and herd management goals. However, November is also the #1 time of the year when most food plot fails, rear their ugly head. Don't worry tho, because there are 3 proven strategies that you can practice, to turn food plot failure into food plot success, next season!
*At least in the North 1/2 of the country, you should rarely if ever sacrifice acres of hunting season food plots, to create Summer Food Plots. If your goal is to build and hunt a quality herd, think Fall first!
1. Summer Food Plot Plantings May Be Failing You
Summer hunting plots attract Summer doe family groups and when that happens? An army of baldies will be waiting for your late Summer plots to grow, and then will often ravage them to the bare ground before they even have a chance to grow. One of the best ways to get your food plots to last in the fall, is to make sure that the army of doe family groups are somewhere else, during the Summer.
2. Proven Success Of A Green Food Plot Base
It always pays to plug the lowest hole in the bucket first and in the world of food plotting, that hole is the need for a base planting of lush greens. Corn and beans are great, but very few have the amount of acres needed to deliver standing corn and beans, all the way into November and December. My favorite green combos include peas, late planted soybeans, rye, oats and brassicas. Also, to make sure that you fully tap into the fail-proof power of a lush green base, don't forget to practice sound weed control measures and to fertilize and lime per the recommendations of a soil test.
3. Fail-Proof Winter Rye Plots
When all else fails, make sure to add Layered Winter Rye at roughly 100#s per broadcasting, and enjoy the season! While I annually plan to broadcast 100#s of rye at least twice into portions of my standing food plots, the same practice can be adequately utilized to salvage any of your food plot failures.
*This November 21st photo illustrates how green and lush a plot should look during the middle of the season. To achieve this on small parcels, you have to make sure that you plant your necessary Food Plot Base.
Really, it pays to take a very critical look at how your food plots perform in November. If your plots are down to the ground by the end of October, then try reducing or eliminating Summer plantings, focus on a lush green base or make sure to utilize the Power Of Winter Rye.