Ever wonder why the biggest bucks tend to live in our most productive agricultural regions, like the Midwest, Central Canada and the wonderfully productive irrigated alfalfa country of the Plains and Prairies and West. There are huge bucks in these areas. Why is that? The answer is simple – lots of high-quality food.
Well, you may not be able to hunt these hot agricultural areas, but you can have the same high-quality nutrition as these places where you hunt…with food plots!
Food plots are wonderfully versatile. Everybody knows they can be used to attract deer, but more and more hunters are also realizing the great benefits of food plot nutrition and taking advantage of this knowledge to grow more and bigger deer than they ever thought possible.
A little math can tell us why food plots can have such an incredible impact. First, biologists tell us that deer need about 16 percent protein to reach their size potential. Now consider this: The average natural habitat can provide about 100 pounds of deer browse each year without suffering damage. Good native browse averages about 10 to 12 percent protein.
Now, compare this to food plots. Instead of 100 pounds per acre averaging 10 percent protein, a quality food plot can produce more than 10,000 pounds of forage per acre averaging over 20 percent protein! (And, that’s just on warm-season plots; total annual production with both warm and cool-season plots can top 15,000 pounds.) That means that one acre of food plot can grow more deer feed than 100 acres of natural habitat…and it’s far more nutritious than natural browse ever was! And, really high-nutrition plantings like Tecomate Lablab and Monster Mix and premium peas, clover and chicory have protein levels topping 30 percent! No wonder there’s magic in food plots.
How much magic? Honestly, you would have a hard time believing me if I told you what’s really possible under the most intensive programs. Conservatively, deer numbers can be at least doubled and body and antler size increased by as much as 20 to 25 percent under serious programs. That’s the difference between a 165-pound buck and a 200-pounder and one scoring 125 B&C points and 150! To us hunters, that’s all the difference in the world! This isn’t theory. I’m doing it…and so are countless other people across the country just like you and me. And, the beauty of the food-plot strategy is that you can take advantage of as much or as little of the menu of options as you choose.
Next time, we’re going to see why not all food plots are the same. You need the right strategy and the right plants to get the right job done. I’m David Morris. See you then.
Posted by David Morris