Tactics

Deer Food Plot Management

August 17, 2022

iSportsman Staff

iSportsman Staff

The National Deer Association (NDA) recently shared in their recent blog post pre and post care routines for maintaining a top-quality deer food plot. Managing your wildlife openings can be costly and time consuming, and with as much time and dedication as many hunters put into managing their food plots, preventing weed infestation is a necessity. According to the NDA, disking and mowing isn’t quite enough—chemical weed control is the “big guns” of food plot success. 

How to Maintain Your Deer Food Plot 

The NDA gives you the rundown on everything you need to know about pre-plant incorporated weed control, which remains activated in the soil before weeds even emerge, as well as post-emergence control, which can be avoided with the correct pre-plant incorporation, but is still useful to have in your food plot management repertoire. Finally, NDA walks you through crop-rotation restrictions—having a minimum period between when the herbicide is used and when the next crop can be safely planted in the same field. 

Deer Food Plot Management: Enhancing Wildlife Habitat

Creating and maintaining deer food plots is a vital component of wildlife conservation and hunting management. These carefully cultivated patches of nutritious vegetation not only provide sustenance for deer but also contribute to overall ecosystem health. Effective management involves several key steps.

Steps

1. Site Selection: Choose locations with adequate sunlight and well-drained soil, considering prevailing winds and deer movement patterns.

2. Soil Testing: Conduct soil tests to determine nutrient deficiencies and pH levels, allowing for precise fertilization.

3. Plant Selection: Select deer-friendly crops like clover, soybeans, and turnips that offer year-round nourishment.

4. Maintenance: Regularly mow, weed, and monitor for disease to ensure optimal growth.

5. Seasonal Planning: Rotate crops and adjust planting schedules to accommodate seasonal changes in deer preferences.

By following these guidelines, landowners can establish thriving deer food plots, supporting both local wildlife and sustainable hunting practices.

Planting spring food plots is one of the many ways to ensure a healthy fall harvest that also keeps the game you have your eye on close to your property and obtaining maximum nutrition. 

Read more on Deer Association. 

Read more about deer food plot management on iSportsmanUSA.
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