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Late-Season Deer Tactics: Food Plots

Posted by 
January 11, 2013
Published in News & Tips > Hunting > Deer
2574   Comment
expert

After the rut and when deer activity has slowed down for the season, it’s good for hunters to center their attention on the food source. By the end of most deer seasons, the acorn crop is gone. I like to focus most of my hunting around planted food plots.

food plot products bannerWhen beginning to plant your food plot, first pick a location where you can access this food plot with a favorable wind direction. It’s a good idea to have different stand locations at each plot for varying wind directions. 

When you’ve selected the area you’d like to turn into a food plot, prepare your ground by making a good, soft seed bed by disking or tilling and fertilizing according to the seed you’re planting. Really good attractants for deer are food plots that include winter forage such as clovers, turnips and dwarf essex rape.
 

Even for those without a green thumb, not much effort is required to plant E-Z Grow; this mixture comes up even with minimal seed bed preparation. Just like the bag says: E-Z Grow.

Once your planted food plots are in place, it’s important to avoid hunting some of these food sources during the early season. It can be tempting to hunt there from day one, but that’s often a mistake where you end up picking the low-hanging fruit too soon. Instead, I prefer to stay away from some of my food plots until the late season.

The less pressure that’s on that food plot, the more likely the big buck will be feeding there; your scent’s not there, it’s undisturbed, and that’s where the big buck thinks he can feed without being shot at. This is where your patience throughout the season really pays off: Hunting a late-season, secluded, undisturbed food plot will pay off.

In addition to or instead of planting a plot filled with winter forage, one can also capitalize on natural food sources, as well. Consider fertilizing a natural food source in your area such as honeysuckle and greenbrier. The deer will prefer fertilized honeysuckle over non-fertilized honeysuckle. Think of it this way: What tastes better -- sugar-free chocolate pie or regular chocolate pie? Regular chocolate pie wins out every time, and to deer, fertilized natural food sources are their regular chocolate pie, while other natural food sources are the sugar-free version.

Happy hunting!

Note: The sale and use of game feeders and supplies is restricted in some states. Please consult your local game laws before supplementing or hunting with feeders, feeds, baits or attractants.

 

Tagged under Read 2574 times Last modified on September 9, 2016
Steve Cobb
expert

Home: Union, South Carolina
Family:
(wife) Becky, (son) Michael
Hobbies:
hunt, fish and play sports
Rifle / Bow:
Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzle loader, Crossbow and Bow

Hunting Stuff

Years Hunting: Been hunting 37 years
Favorite Technique:
Run and gun wild turkeys and still hunt whitetail deer
Hunting Strength:
Being patient in the woods. I let things happen as they normally would
Favorite Game to Hunt: Turkey
Favorite Hunting Gear:
Redhead clothing in Realtree AP always
Favorite Places to Hunt
:
South Carolina but make a trip to hunt whitetails in Ohio every fall
Favorite Season to Hunt:
Turkey season
Favorite Time to Hunt: Daylight until around lunch time
Favorite Way to Hunt: Deer would be early morning in a climbing stand watching the sun come up. Wild Turkey would be early morning, hear him gobble, get close as you can the set-up.

Career Highlights

Biggest Kill: I have killed several eastern turkeys with spurs 1 1/2 inches long. Those were pretty old turkeys for South Carolina.
Greatest Hunting Achievement: Taking handicapped individuals hunting.
Favorite Hunting Moment: I would have been with my son when he killed his first deer.

  • 7 Time South Carolina State Turkey Calling Champion
  • 75+ Calling competitions – won or placed
  • Very active with NWTF JAKES events, Women in the outdoors and Wheel-In sportsman evens
  • Currently on NWTF State Board in South Carolina
  • Speaker for numerous NWTF diamond life events all over the country

 

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