A Whitetail Deer’s nutrition demands are especially high in spring. How does your food plot measure up?
Creating your own food plots for whitetail deer and wild turkeys doesn’t have to be a guessing game if you use the right tools and knowledge. The right tool begins by walking your proposed food plot location with a smoking scent stick to determine wind current direction. That’s just one of many steps for a Do It Yourself (DYI) food plot.
How do you know if your planted crop will work to attract deer and turkeys?
Will your plot provide enough nutrients to keep whitetails coming back for more?
If you notice deer browsing on twigs up to pencil thick in diameter it may be due to them being very hungry. The deer herd has likely exceeded the nutritional carrying capacity of this area at this time of the year, which is often during winter moths or hot summer droughts.
Of course if you see just tracks in the snow and no wildlife there is likely no food or cover to keep them. They were just passing through on their way to bed down or feed at another location.
Healthy deer feed selectively on green palatable moisture laden plants when ever possible. Known to be picky eaters they pluck tender tasty shoots hidden from view.
Most plants reach their peak in digestibility at different dates, and protein and mineral levels tend to come along on the same schedule.
Over grazing will kill off a crop of what ever you plant if deer numbers are too high. Stunted plant growth due to poor planting practices will also cause a crop to fail when deer over graze. Fertilizers & lime applied after soil testing will help boost the soil to provide the nutrition for your deer food plot. Another part of the key to Whitetail Deer nutrition is removing weeds permanently before planting a crop.
Providing diverse habitat and foliage allows the deer to selectively feed on the best plants each day. More diversity in food plots as well as naturally occurring plants in the local habitat will help spread the best quality over the longest period of time.
During the summer months prescribed burning, timber thinning, browse cuts, winter disking or soil disturbance and other methods release and encourage natural forages.
A balanced or managed property with oak, beechnut or hickory species helps fill the need for energy in the fall.
Planting quality wildlife seed blends especially formulated for your location or microclimate is another great way to help ensure high tonnage of nutrition for deer. Mineral supplements are another great way to boost the health of whitetail deer nutrition in the herd. Bucks, does and fawns all benefit from proper nutrition.
Deer love thick cover so why not make it healthy to eat? New Canadian wildlife seeds for food plots products now have seed blend mixtures suitable for upland game birds and wild turkeys that whitetail deer also eat and stay close to during those cold hard Canadian winters.
After all keeping deer and other wild game in close proximity to your food plot is essential for hunters during the fall season. Deer herds and flocks of wild turkeys using a quality food plot year round is almost certain if the foliage mixture is right and the nutrition is high to keep them healthy in cold or droughts.