Welcome to TheOhioOutdoors
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Login or sign up today!
Login / Join

Food Plot 101

Hoytmania

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
11,065
1,075
131
Gods Country
#1
I am wanting to get into doing some plots this next year. I figured I would start a thread so that all the guys with experience can chime in with tips and tricks that they have learned over time.

There are probably 2 plots that I am going to be working on come late winter early spring. Both will be located in a wooded area. Both will not be very big (1 acre @ the max) but should make for some good scouting through the summer, and some good early season hunting come fall.

My idea is to do a spring/summer plot, then in the fall replant the plots with something that will supply winter forage. Something that stays green when there is snow on the ground.

So with that being said what would you guys plant for the spring/summer, and then what would you plant for the fall winter?

Looking to be learned here fellas.

How knows, maybe we can turn Food plot 101 into a sub forum for the Wildlife and Habitat Management Forum.
 

Milo

Tatonka guide.
7,808
363
110
#2
not gonna work i can tell you that...you would be better off doing 1 summer plot and the other fall. clover you can get 5-6 years out of with maintenance. winter will depend on what else everyone has available around you. if you are competing with corn then i would look at a standing bean or hardy green substance. I had decent success with buck forage oats in the fall plots ....what tools do you have available will be the key to what you plant.
 

Beentown

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
15,751
378
131
Sunbury, OH
#3
not gonna work i can tell you that...you would be better off doing 1 summer plot and the other fall. clover you can get 5-6 years out of with maintenance. winter will depend on what else everyone has available around you. if you are competing with corn then i would look at a standing bean or hardy green substance. I had decent success with buck forage oats in the fall plots ....what tools do you have available will be the key to what you plant.
He is right on.

On one property our early plot is a mixture of white and red clover. The other I bought a bunch of seeds at a closeout sale for next to nothing. I ended up planting .25 acre of turnips and they went ape crazy over them. I have left both properties alone for two years because of over hunting. We will see how that works out.

Beentown
 

jagermeister

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
16,065
5,906
166
Ohio
#4
Like Milo said, it's hard to beat BFO for a fall plot. Throw down some brassicas too and you'll be bringin them in pretty good. But if there's plenty of corn nearby, don't get your hopes up too high... an underutilized food plot is a disappointing mother fugger.
 

Hoytmania

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
11,065
1,075
131
Gods Country
#5
Here is the layout of the one food plot I have in mind. The red rectangle is the property line. The property to the north is off limits, the property to the south is hunted. I have met him and he seems like a really respectable hunter. It turns out it is a Bro-in-law of a good hunting buddy of mine. The green circle and lines are where I want to put the plot. The circle is a clearing on the peak of a ridge that will allow sun light in and the lines are paths that I would like to see food in. The blue circle is a water source that is absolutely off limits. I have seen on numerous occasions this season deer coming up these two paths to this clearing. I have also seen turkey coming through on a regular basis when I am hunting this property.



This second pic will give you a little larger view of the area and let you see that there is other crops in the area to compete against. I guess my main goal is to supply the deer with a good reason to hang out in this area on the top of the ridge instead of just moving through.



As far as tools available at this site. Probably minimal. I have a rototiller that I could transport there. I also have a bro-in-law that is a landscaper and told me he would help me with my plots this year. So I am not sure what kind of equipment he has available.

Any more insight would be greatly appreciated.:smiley_coolpeace:
 

jagermeister

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
16,065
5,906
166
Ohio
#6
You're gonna bust a nut trying to till a decent size plot with a walk-behind rototiller... I'm pretty sure Jesse did that a couple years back, so he can tell you how difficult it was. Get a tractor up there if you can.

Looks like a good spot for some beans. Oats work well, but they lose their attraction once it starts getting real cold. When that happens you'll have a lot of trouble competing with the surrounding ag crops, IMO. If you leave a plot of standing beans all season it should be a magnet when food gets scarce.
 

Beentown

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
15,751
378
131
Sunbury, OH
#7
I won't use Brassicus again. After two years the deer still didn't like it very well. They would dig up the ground for the old legumes and beans but not touch the Brassicus even after it frosted (makes it sweet).

Beentown
 

Milo

Tatonka guide.
7,808
363
110
#8
it will be easier and cheaper to just put corn out....hate to burst you bubble there hoyt.... clover is generally always good if you want to go that option. you need equipment....
 

Hoytmania

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
11,065
1,075
131
Gods Country
#9
Thanks for all the info fellas. I got a good friend that rents construction equipment. Mini excavators, bobcats, and such I am not sure what he would have as far as cultivating equipment goes. I will have to get a hold of him and see. Just out of curiosity if I was to plant clover how long does that last? Is that something that has to be replanted every year, how long does it last into the fall/winter?

The other plot I am thinking about equipment is not a problem. The neighbor to the property and I have become good friends and hunting buddies over the past 3 months. He has all the equipment necessary and plenty of interest in doing so. It is just clearing it with the land owner first, Which I don't think will be an issue.
 

Beentown

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
15,751
378
131
Sunbury, OH
#10
Thanks for all the info fellas. I got a good friend that rents construction equipment. Mini excavators, bobcats, and such I am not sure what he would have as far as cultivating equipment goes. I will have to get a hold of him and see. Just out of curiosity if I was to plant clover how long does that last? Is that something that has to be replanted every year, how long does it last into the fall/winter?

The other plot I am thinking about equipment is not a problem. The neighbor to the property and I have become good friends and hunting buddies over the past 3 months. He has all the equipment necessary and plenty of interest in doing so. It is just clearing it with the land owner first, Which I don't think will be an issue.
6 years if things go your way. Which they usually don't ;) Clover is a strong plant and can take more abuse than alot of others. I quit doing all plots but one because the deer preferred corn/beans when they were available. If I lived somewhere where grain farming wasn't so previlant I would do a lot more of it.

Beentown