If you have enough ground to devote to your food plot program, most managers would agree that a well diversified plot with a variety of plants to give your herd what they need regardless of the time or conditions is the way to go. Some of the plants you choose would be perennials; however, for attraction during hunting season it’s hard to beat a food plot full of luscious annuals.
A common progression would see your herd switch from annuals like legumes to cereal grains to brassicas. With these three types of annuals planted you should have a palatable food choice throughout most of the hunting season or until each type of food runs out. Different crops will dramatically extend the palatability timeframe of your plot.
Take that a step further, within each type of crop, by planting different varieties that will extend the amount of time your plot will remain attractive. In the photo (taken near the end of October) you will see a section of Deer Radish in the foreground left that has been eaten to the dirt. In the foreground right is a section of Winter Bulbs & Sugar Beets that is about half ravaged. In the background, to the right of the corn are two varieties of rape we were testing that were consumed during late November. All are brassicas, but various brassicas develop their sugars at different times, so the variety of brassica(s) you choose will make a HUGE difference in when they will be eaten. All of these are great choices, but they’re eaten at different times or under different conditions - exactly why it is smart to plant a variety if you have the acreage to devote.
This tip is courtesy of the GameKeepers Field Notes, a weekly wildlife and land management email newsletter produced by the Mossy Oak GameKeepers.
A GameKeeper by definition is someone who truly loves AND lives the land, the critters and nature…not just during hunting season but all the time. A GameKeeper wants to be outdoors every day and work the dirt while living their personal “obsession”.
Find out more about what makes a GameKeeper by visiting our website.