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There are countless strategies that go into bowhunting in order to increase one’s chances of catching any given target. Treestands, ground blinds, mating calls, scents, and more can all give a bowhunter the upper hand when out in the field. One strategy that individuals may use is planting and growing a food plot.

Hunting food plots are much different from agricultural food plots that most people may have heard of before. These are much smaller in order to decrease the range in which a deer can feed, typically no more than half an acre. Anything bigger will decrease your vision and chances of hitting your target, as it may be much further away.

As a bowhunter, your blind should be positioned strategically around the plot in order to gain the best visibility while also remaining well hidden. The foods that you plant should also be highly sought after by deer. Peas, cereal grains, brassica, and acorns are all beloved by whitetails and make for great plots to attract them. A common mistake hunters make is planting a corn or bean field, which often end up being far too large and too open to hide any type of blind.

So, just how exactly do you make a food plot? The first step is finding a prime area of land. Small openings within wooded areas or trails breaking up thick brush often make for great spots. Once you’ve chosen your spot, be sure to clear the surrounding area with the necessary tools and equipment, including herbicide to protect from weeds. But, make sure to leave some brush to cover your ground blind, or trees to set up stands in.

Know the best times to plant your food of choice. Archery season usually opens in late September. Take this into consideration when planning your hunting trips. Should you prefer to hunt in October or November, research how long it takes your chosen food to grow, and time the planting accordingly. Younger plants are usually seen as the most attractive to dear, so starting a little later could be beneficial. However, starting early could lead to overgrazing once the food has been in season for a long period of time.

Food plots can be highly effective ways to snare your intended targets if done correctly. While nothing is guaranteed, an alluring plot of land bustling with some of a deer’s favorite food is sure to receive some attention.