Have you ever had a really nice food plot that the deer just didn’t seem to use that much, especially during the daylight? One really easy way to encourage whitetails to use a food source is making them feel safe. The older age class of both bucks and does can be really shy of big, open fields or food plots that are void of close cover. Here are a few suggestions you can try to make your food plots as effective as possible.
- Create a screen around the perimeter of the plot or areas that allow the plot to be seen by a road or neighbors. We have seen great results from using tall growing blends like Blind Spot to create a transition zone from woods and thickets where the deer are coming from and the food plot. Planting a screen around the field can really help the deer have a better feeling of security and encourage daytime use. If you have plots that are easily seen by a neighboring property or public road, plant a screen to shield the view. You’ll be amazed how the deer know when they can’t be seen.
- Use blends like Blind Spot or Whistle Back to create a hidden path to your stand. We have all had one of those stands that was in a great spot for an afternoon hunt, but almost impossible to get to without being spotted. The 8-12 ft tall variety of sorghum in Blind Spot can make a great covered path to get you to your stand un-noticed. Just a tractor width wide planting is all it takes.
- Be creative…you can use these tall growing blends to funnel deer to a corner food plot or make them walk right by your stand for that up close archery shot. When deer have good tall cover to walk through, they feel safe and are more likely to use your connected plots during daylight.
- Make sure to get these blends planted with enough time to grow to full maturity. These sorghum, millet, and Egyptian wheat seeds need a good 80-90 days of growth to reach full height and maturity. If you wait till a month before the season starts to think about planting, you’ll be too late. June-mid July is a great time to get these blends started.
Blends like Whistle Back and Blind Spot can also be used to put in some strips on the edge of some of the roads or trails used to enter and exit the farm, this helps provide a screen as well as adding diversity and edge effect that whitetails love. This is an annual blend and would need to be planted each spring. To add additional height to the Whistle Back and increase the visual screen and cover aspect, I would suggest adding a small percentage of our new Blind Spot, or the Blind Spot can be used by itself to achieve the desired screen. It needs 90 days of frost free growth to reach maturity. Fertilizer recommendations would be 200 lbs per acre of 17-17-17. Planting depth should be about ½ inch up to 1 inch deep. Whistle Back does well planted with a drill or planter using a sorghum setting. Can also be broadcasted onto a well prepared seed bed and lightly covered with a drag or cultipacker. Planting rate for Whistle Back is 30-40lbs per acre and add 4lbs of Blind Spot per acre. If used by itself, Blind Spot should be planted around 16lbs per acre. A major bonus from using these blends to create screens and cover is the amount of seed produced that is highly preferred by turkeys, quail, and other birds.
Would you like to learn more about improving your hunting and get discounts on the products you need? Learn from the experts by joining the new Mossy Oak GameKeepers Club at www.gamekeepersclub.com. Or call 844-256-4645.