Fall Food Plots Could Be Crucial This Year

Posted: 09/04/2012 in Hunting, Management, News, Tips and Tricks, Weather, Wildlife
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Fall Food Plots Could Be Crucial This Year.

From North American Whitetail

With the record-setting heat and drought like conditions plaguing the U.S. this summer, planting fall food plots is going to be important. I talk to a lot of deer hunters across the nation and no matter the location, we’re noticing the same patterns. Unless irrigated, most of the crop fields are really struggling. Yields are going to be lower, and insurance claims are already being filed in some areas to cover losses. Many of these “lost” fields will simply be tilled under or chopped at some point this fall, leaving little significant food left for deer. The mast sources of fruits and nuts aren’t doing much better either. People are reporting acorns the size of peas already dropping. I’ve noticed miniature hickory nuts falling in my area.

The intent of spring food plots is to ensure deer have proper nutrition through the summer months leading into the fall hunting season. Most spring plots are planted with nourishment in mind. This year, many well-planned spring food plots look like a wasteland, and haven’t seen deer traffic in months. Precious time and resources were wasted planting plots this spring that just never got enough rain to be sustainable, but all hope isn’t lost.

Each year, dedicated hunters and land managers also plant fall food plots aimed at attracting deer during the hunting season. Nutritional value is always nice for the deer, but the main focus of a fall plot is to attract deer during the season. It’s said that “variety is the spice of life” and deer crave choices when it comes to eating. There are several fall food sources that can still be planted in August for a productive fall hunting plot.

OATS AND WHEAT
I put oats and wheat in almost every fall food plot I create. Deer love their young, tender growth. Plus, they act as a distraction and nurse crop, for other more delicate food plot offerings. Both are hearty, healthy, grow quickly, and are cheap. Oats and wheat will grow almost anywhere. Several seed companies are now selling frost resistant breeds of oats that will grow well into the cold fall. Wheat doesn’t have a problem surviving the cold weather. No matter the location, oats and wheat are a must for an attractive fall plot.

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