We will soon begin our food plots for 2020 consisting of clover and chicory. While waiting for our favorite time of year, we tend to the local herds by providing a supplemental source of nutrition. This is to help promote growth and encourage them to remain in our hunting lands. Though food plots only provide for a portion of the animals’ needs, they can help to maintain a population within a certain area. Stay tuned for plot updates!
There are many things to consider when putting in a food plot. For deer, a plot size between 1 -5 acres is ideal. One of the most important being nearby coverage for the animals. Part of ensuring adequate coverage is making the plot as long as possible. This way, the animals do not venture too far away from the edge of the field to eat.
Rotating plot ground is also important. This allows a formerly planted area to rest and grow some of its native plants. One thing to avoid with food plots is creating a situation where the population has grown too large and too dependent on this crop. Unlike natural vegetation, food plots must be created each year. If a herd has become too dependent on this crop it can be devastating if that food source is not regrown. Plot rotation and proper hunting management help see this is not the case.
We will be growing clover and chicory plots in 2020. Food plots of orchard grass, alfalfa and mixed planting also make great crops for this purpose. This can provide different lengths of coverage and food throughout their season.
This page summarizes some of the information found on the Ky Fish and Wildlife website at https://fw.ky.gov/Wildlife/Documents/foodplots.pdf. It reiterates the point that while food plots do not meet all of animals’ needs, it has a role to play. They provide supplemental food near a covered area that can promote retention of deer population.