Successful Food Plots Part I: Site Prep

Preparing your food plot sites will produce the best results

Preparing your food plot sites will produce the best results

There are a few things to keep in mind when designing a food plot or re-vamping a pre-existing food plot. Just because a plot was successful last year doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same results this year. On the other hand, just because you may have had lackluster food plot production last year doesn’t mean you can’t correct the errors.

Every year a property changes. The amount of sunlight available to certain areas varies with the height of the timber. The understory transitions during the various stages of succession and precipitation and weather fluctuates. All of these factors can influence the production of a food plot forages, so remaining idle is a sure-fire was to get left behind.

The first step in getting a food plot back on track or creating one is to take soil samples. When taking a soil sample I always ensure I cover the plot evenly. Pulling only a couple sample from around the edge or out in the center may not give you the most accurate results. For best results, simply follow the direction on the sample box and then have them sent off. This will typically have you meandering through the plot, probably in a zig-zag pattern when collecting samples.

When you get the results back you have a couple of decisions to make. Depending on what you need, you may have an easy fix such as purchasing a few bags of fertilizer and lime. Depending on the soil results and the size of the plot, you may be better off to go to a wholesale farm supply and get your own fertilizer made. It’s not as costly as you expect.

No matter what you have in mind for a food plot, whether it be a warm season or cool season plot, it will not be successful if not properly prepared for. No matter how well you manage your deer herd and how many stands you have. Not even the amount of acreage you have access to will help you if you fail to properly prepare your food plot sites. Luckily for you, this is the perfect time of year to get a head start and take a few soil sample.

For best results when designing and implementing food plots, be sure to use the best forages available…Mossy Oak BioLogic


Andrew Walters

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