Posts Tagged ‘Food plot’

I saw this while browsing Twitter today, and it’s great information for anyone with a plot of woods they want to develop into better habitat.


Well, following the link leads to a fact-sheet from Clemson University Cooperative Extension, and it’s something I’ll be printing out and adding to my collection. The link leads to the following paper (Click the title to go directly to the paper.)

White-tailed Deer Biology and Management

Greg Yarrow, Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Fact Sheet 34: Revised May 2009

The part referenced in the QDMA twitter post above starts with this paragraph:

Forest Management

Pure stands of unmanaged pine timber generally provide poor deer habitat because of the low quality forage and the scarcity of mast-producing hardwoods (e.g. oaks and other fruit-producing trees). Dense stands and closed canopies reduce browse and fruit yields. Management efforts in this forest type should be directed toward increasing browse production. Intermediate thinning of pine stands is recommended to open the overstory and encourage desirable understory vegetation. Thinning should be sufficient to achieve a basal area of 50 to 60 square feet per acre prior to stand regeneration.

This is seriously good information, I’d recommend anyone who is interested in improving their property for whitetail habitat take a few minutes and read the whole thing.


Georgia Outdoor News

click to go to

Warm-season food plots can be enhanced.

By Joe S. Reams III
Originally published in the April 2014 issue of GON


Sweet Tea is a special selection of a perennial plant in the Mallow family named Sida that is highly attractive to deer. There are at least a dozen species of Sida that occur in the Southeast, some of which are native and some non-native. Sweet Tea has been identified as Sida acuta, which is a native plant of the Southeastern United States.

Sweet Tea is a special selection of a perennial plant in the Mallow family named Sida that is highly attractive to deer. There are at least a dozen species of Sida that occur in the Southeast, some of which are native and some non-native. Sweet Tea has been identified as Sida acuta, which is a native plant of the Southeastern United States.

Food plotting has come a long way in the last 10 years in the South and has evolved into a broader discussion about habitat. A number of informative studies have yielded tons of useful information on this subject but the volume of facts can be somewhat exhausting. Sometimes it pays to take a step back and look at the big picture to help us understand the microscopic. I hope to share some background on the subject of habitat restoration and then some specific steps to take that will directly and positively affect your hunting success. 

“Live and learn,” the wise old saying goes. Someone once turned this proverb around to convey another truth: “Learn and live.” 

There may not be a more agreed upon statement on earth. Society operates on this principle, but there is rarely a consensus about how to implement change for the better. Unfortunately, a lot of really important issues end up being political fodder, restricting our learning because of the “spin” put on the facts. There is also the divisive political labeling game…. “if you believe in ‘that’ then you are one of ‘them.’” 

Over time, as the dust settles people usually figure out the “real deal,” as my dad would put it. It’s a shame that we have allowed conservation issues to be used in political games. The good news is that, due in large part to sportsmen, things are changing. 

The truth of the matter is that hunters, being the very first conservationists, are now walking away in droves from the fruitless political fracas and are choosing rather to be engaged in educating themselves about good stewardship practices.

When it comes to conservation issues, I find that many landowners and sportsmen are choosing to ignore the nuts on both sides and are pressing forward and doing the right thing. We’ve always known that it is beneficial to everyone (not to mention the animals we hunt) to protect our water and air, but along the way we somehow allowed radical groups to hijack the discussion and lay claim to the entire conservation message. 

On the flip side, because we agreed on things like free markets and small government, we let other special interests convince us we were in with the crazy people if we went very far down the conservation road. We saw the “experts” dividing into camps, and we read stories of fraudulent skewing of facts. So we found it easy to be skeptical about some of this fanatical environmentalism. I still am, but I’m much more discerning in what I dismiss and what I pay attention to. I’ve heard countless stories from landowner clients who say they have been jerked around in the past by overzealous “government hounds,” as a landlord of mine called them, many times with bad science and manners. This caused some hard feelings and mistrust, but I have noticed that many of these landowners and sportsmen are refusing to allow those experiences to discourage them from their commitment to conservation. At the same time they smell plenty of bull coming from all directions, and not only from the folks who think guns are bad, hunting is murder and people are just two-legged animals. It’s also from a few who let their bottom line shape their views on conservation. Sportsmen have evolved into savvy fact-checkers and are not falling for junk science very easily. Thankfully, these days there is plenty of good, clean science out there, and we have seen measurable results with implementing various new practices. 

A hot topic in the southern hunting world is habitat restoration. In the industrial Northeast, because of the impact of a high population density and polluting factories, they witnessed the effects of wetland and habitat destruction earlier than in the South and were forced to begin taking steps to mitigate these damages. Over the last 30 years in the South, we have seen some ill-effects of our own. Now we are implementing various practices in order to enhance our southern habitats, keeping our forest systems diverse and productive, and sensibly protecting our water.

Read the rest at Georgia Outdoor News


Open Season TV shared this on FaceBook this morning – and honestly, I think it’s a damn good idea for folks to know this information, since a lot of you are in the woods or will BE in the woods soon.

Click the image for more information on venomous spiders in America.

Click the image for more information on venomous spiders in America.

One of the problems I’ve seen at the camp I frequent is that we’re entirely dependent on rainfall for our food plots.  Most years, this means we end up growing sand, and as Sam Kinison liked to say “Nothing GROWS in SAND!”

The late Sam Kinison

The late Sam Kinison

Then I spotted a post on Twitter from Advanced Power – now, at this point, I can’t AFFORD one of these systems, but for larger operations, or for leases that have a large number of members, this could very well be an excellent option for providing water to food plots and/or watering locations for wildlife.

Here’s part of their page:

For 25 years people around the globe have depended on our solar powered water pumping systems to pump water for livestock, wildlife, homes and cabins,  and small irrigation.
The newest line of business is our Prepper kits for those concerned about things turning bad in our Country.
Try our state of the art Aluminum housing, Brushless motor solar pumps with even greater pump life than before!  We stand behind our products with the highest level of customer service.  We take care of you!
We invite you to join the thousands of satisfied customers we are serving today.   Let us know what a solar water pumping system from Advanced Power Inc. can do for you. We think you will love our easy to use systems!

So, if you’ve got livestock that need reliable water, remote food plots, or a disaster prepping need for off-the-grid water from a well, head over to Advanced Power and take a look.  One of the projects that the company is working on is VERY interesting to me as well:

We will soon be offering kits to attach to your deer feeders with solar powered/battery green led lights to light up the area under your feeder so you can shoot hogs during the night when they like to feed.


No, I don’t get royalties, I just liked the guy on Twitter and the idea is solid, so I thought I’d do a quick write up. It’s my blog, I can do what I want. 😉 – Niko


by Brian Sheppard
on April 27, 2012

From - click to go to the original article

From – click to go to the original article

Buckwheat is an easy-to-grow, warm-season annual that is useful in sandy soils, remote food plots, or in blends with other warm-season crops. It also helps improve food plot soils by building soil organic content.

Buckwheat can be planted as a warm-season forage crop with cowpeas, grain sorghum or soybeans and also as a stand-alone crop. Because of its early competitiveness it is not useful as a companion crop while establishing cool-season legumes such as alfalfa or clover. It is easy to grow in areas with little or no seedbed preparation, so it is ideal for that isolated, hard-to-reach hunting plot. It can be planted in spring, but it is also useful for deer managers who get the itch to plant a late-summer plot in July or August.

This warm-season annual can grow in low-fertility, light-textured, well-drained soils. Buckwheat performs best in a cool, moist environment and is best suited for the Northeast or upper Midwest but can be planted in many areas of the South. It’s useful as a soil-builder: Once it matures and goes to seed, plowing it under increases organic matter and returns phosphorus and other minerals from the remaining root and plant residue.

Buckwheat is relatively short-lived and will provide some temporary forage benefits for deer. It offers digestible protein values ranging from 9 to 20 percent depending on soil fertility and pH. Buckwheat does not produce as much forage or the high levels of protein that legumes like cowpeas or soybeans do. It will mature in 7 to 10 weeks, creating a seed source for turkeys and other game birds.

Though buckwheat is useful in rough, remote plots, it certainly performs better in plots with good seedbed preparation and fertility. Seed buckwheat by broadcasting or drilling 1- to 2-inches deep. Summer planted buckwheat establishes rapidly and competes well against broad-leaf weeds and grasses. Since it grows rapidly, you can plant in late summer and produce hunting opportunities for early bow season. I wouldn’t hesitate to plant in August or even in September in the South.

Read the rest of the article at

Learn How to Take Inventory on Every Buck In Your Area

Bob Murdock (AllFlockedUp)

– See more at: ProHunter’s Journal

I’ve always been amazed watching hunting shows on television and how they seem to be familiar with every buck they encounter throughout the season. Most of the time, these hunters are using anywhere from 5 to 20 trail cameras on each property. We’d all love to have a trail camera in every funnel and food source on every property we hunt, but that’s just not possible for most of us. I’m down to only one trail camera for the season, and I’ve tried to put together a “Plan of Attack” if you will, to inventory each and every buck in my area. This sounds like a tough thing to accomplish, but if you take the time to study the land carefully and use Pro Hunters Journal mapping software you can have a nick name for every buck around.


Start by getting familiar with the FREE mapping software offered right here at .  If you have not already, you will need to register for a free account in order to use and save the hunt mapping software.  Our mapping programs are state of the art and offer many great features such as tree stand and water hole tags, trail markers and track and game icons available for everything from turkey and waterfowl to whitetail and elk. You can easily drag the icons right onto your aerial maps and either print them off to carry in the field or save them securely to your PHJ private profile.

Now, you’ll want to print off four aerial maps of each property you intend on hunting this season. Take the maps with you and head out to do some leg work. You’re going to be on the lookout for anything and everything associated with whitetails. Possible treestand placement sites, food sources, tracks, trails, old rubs and good places for trail cameras are all things you’ll want to record on your maps.

Before entering the woods you’ll want to label each map as follows.

Map #1 – Possible Stand Sites

On this map you need to mark EVERY tree you walk past that looks like a good possible stand sight. Don’t worry about the wind, food sources or bedding areas just yet. All we’re looking for are those instincts we as hunters have and tend to ignore. Once we have all our information on the table, we’ll go back and weed out what stands will and won’t work.

NOTE:  Many times I can remember saying to myself, “Man that would be a killer spot for a stand”. Only to later forget about it until I watch a nice buck walk 10 yards from the base as I sit atop a tree 60 yards away. Remember, our instincts are usually right, don’t try to convince yourself otherwise.

Map #2 – Food Sources

On this map you’ll need to take note of EVERY food source in the area. This includes all agriculture fields, (corn, soy beans, wheat, alfalfa) early season foods, (oak acorns, clover) and any other food around the property (apple trees, persimmons). Be precise, this information will be necessary later when we sit down to put our plan together.

NOTE: When I was 17 years old I got permission to hunt a new farm and I did not take the time to walk the property before bow season. I hunted this farm for three weeks without ever seeing a deer. I ended up taking my stand down and moving it to another farm. During the last week of October an older gentleman from down the road arrowed a beautiful 160 class whitetail on the very property I had just abandoned. While I was talking to him about the hunt he told me he had been watching this buck all season hitting an oak flat in the evenings, feasting on acorns. Lesson learned! I never even knew there was a vast supply of acorns on the farm since I didn’t take the time to scout properly. Ever since then I make sure I know of all food sources where I’m hunting.

Map #3 – Sign & Trails

This map will consist of all deer sign you find in and around the woods. Carefully mark EVERY trail, track, creek crossing, bedding area and old rub you come across. While food sources will help you determine where deer are moving, nothing is better than hard evidence. Take note of which direction tracks are heading and what size and sex they are. Many deer will travel the same trails year in and year out.  Same goes for rub lines – many bucks will run the same lines for years if they don’t get pressured out of the area. Even if the buck gets killed, another buck will take over that area and likely that same rub line.

NOTE:  A few years ago, while scouting a newly acquired property where I received permission to hunt, I happen to come across an old rub line leading out into a soybean field. I talked to the farmer and found out the field was planted with soy beans last year as well. I set 3 stands on this property and watched a nice 8 point on two different occasions hit this rub line on his way to the field. On the evening of October 12, 2006, I moved my stand to intercept him on his way to the dinner table. After that I have had a stand on an old rub line somewhere every season.

– See more at: ProHunter’s Journal

(The image below is NOT part of the original article – however the photo included with the original article is producing a ‘blockpage’ image from my current location.  The image below is from Elite Predator TV – I am one of EPTV’s “Death Dealer Federation” members.  – Niko)

Photograph property of Elite Predator TV - Click to visit their website

Photograph property of Elite Predator TV – Click to visit their website

From Mark Kenyon’s “Wired To Hunt” blog


By Mark Kenyon

Ice. Snow. Freezing rain. Arctic temperatures. This is what I encounter when I step outside my back door. It’s also the weather that gets me thinking about food plots. Not because this is the kind of weather that I’ll be planting food plots in, but because I know it’s the last weather I’ll see before I need to get working on those plots! Before you know it that ice will be thawing and it will be time to get seed in the ground, so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared in advance. That said, today I want to suggest four questions that you should begin asking yourself and answering now, so that you’re ready to get dirt in your finger nails at the first chance you can, and with great results to boot! So let’s dive right in.

1. What Is The Goal For My Food Plot/s?

Before ever thinking about what to plant, where to plant or how to plant, you must first determine what your end goals are. Are you looking to plant a food plot to attract deer during hunting season? Maybe you’re planting a food plot to provide nutrition for deer during the “growing season”? Maybe you’re wanting to plant a food plot cause you’re neighbor does and he always shoots big deer? Whatever it is, you must first determine what your end goal is, and then put together your food plotting strategy to fit around that goal. Too many people go about it the other way around – ie. I have an open area here and a bag of clover seed, this should make me hunt like Mark Drury! Wrong. Set a goal and then set a plan in place to reach it.

2. What Does My Property Or The Surrounding Area Lack?

Another question that ties in well with the matter of goals is the question of what is currently present. Take a look at what food is currently available on your property and nearby. Is there corn and bean fields surrounding your property every year? This might effect how you choose food plot forage options to provide something different, or to provide food at a time that those corn and bean fields aren’t as attractive to deer. Does your neighbor always have a 5 acre alfalfa field that deer flock to in the early season? Maybe that means you should work on providing a late season food source. Not only can this question help you understand what will be the most beneficial option for you as a hunter, but it can also help you determine whats the most beneficial food plot plan for the deer herd. If your area has plenty of beans and corn, you might want to consider a food plot option that will provide nutrition all the way through February and March – when many row crop fields have been eaten dry.

Read the rest at Wired To Hunt

January 11, 12, and 13th we will host the First Annual Archery and Whitetail Deer Expo featuring Team Bow Masters of Arkansas 3-D Pop Up Shoot-em-Up Challenge.
  • Team Bow Masters puts on shoots all over the country and this is their first shoot in the state of Indiana. This is a challenging and fun 3-D Pop Up Shoot open to the public and to all ages. There will be approximately $2500.00 in cash and prizes to be awarded after the shoot and many other door prizes to be given away through out the three day event.
  • We will also have a beginner range with state certified and well trained instructors to teach people of all ages who want to learn how to shoot a bow and learn about the rules and regulations of an archery range.
  • Peggy and Allen Royer will be putting on seminars throughout the event. The Whitetail fix TV show airing this summer will be here giving seminars throughout the three day event as well as a biologist who will talk about the effect that this years drought has had on the deer heard in Putnam County and the Mid West. If you have questions about food plots and property and deer management, we will have someone giving talks about this as well.
  • We have quality hand made crafts, art, jewelry, furniture, clothing and sporting goods, Trucks and ATVs from various vendors. There will be something for everyone to see at the expo.
Bring your bows and participate in the shoot or watch from the bleachers. We will be scheduling other indoor shoots for 2013 including a 3-D Pop-Up Shoot-Em-Up Challenge State Championship. In March of 2013 we will also be celebrating our grand opening of our Mid West (outdoor) 3-D Archery Range located behind the C Bar C Expo Center in Cloverdale, Indiana just off of I-70 and 231 which will be open to the public. Be sure to “like” the Mid West 3 D Archery Facebook page, and check out our website at

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.

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.