Upcoming Food Plot Plans – It’s Not Too Late

It’s late July and I am just getting ready to plant my fall food plots. I have to admit that I feel slightly behind this year compared to most other years, but as they saying goes, it’s better late than never. Soon enough, here in MI, I’ll be planting layered food plots. My food plot layering will consist of an initial brassica seeding on August 1st and 2nd, the second layer of Austrian winter peas will be planted roughly 2 weeks later depending on rain, and a third layer of winter rye will be planted a week later.

The idea behind a layered food plot is to provide levels of attraction to deer that spans the entire hunting season. A lot of deer love brassicas later in the fall after a good hard frost, but I know of a lot of guys who claim the brassica plots on their property get hammered during the early season as well. The winter peas create a sweeter food source during the early season in case your deer heard doesn’t care for that brassica foliage during the early season. Finally, the rye provides a level of attraction that should fill in the gap between the early season and that first hard frost. If all goes well, you can create a high level of attraction to your food plots from September all the way into winter.

Turnips, rye, and clover from last fall.

Most guys like to break ground right now and get an application of weed killer down, but I don’t have time for that. My thoughts are more along the lines of “it doesn’t have to be perfect” and “something is better than nothing”. I am hunting two new properties this year and don’t really feel like breaking the bank, but as I educate myself to be a better hunter, I realize the immense value of creating deer movement with food plots in order to better my odds.

Creating deer movement with your food plots can create opportunities that you might have otherwise never had. In order to do this, I urge you to focus on the length and location of your food plots. A long, narrow food plot will inspire deer to move through the food source as they eat opposed to coming out to a big square acre and just feeding in the middle. Something 10 yards wide and 100 yards long would be ideal if you have the capabilities. Secondly, the location of you food plot needs to compliment the natural flow of your property while providing hot spots for you to hunt. Think about areas that lead in or out of bedding, aim deer movement through your property, not off of it, and have good access for certain wind directions.

I know a lot of guys like to plant several food plots with all different food. Although this makes it easy to key in on a certain plot while that food is most attractive, your property isn’t working as efficiently as it could be. If instead, every food plot was planted the same, each doe family group will associate with one specific plot. Your property can now hold several more doe family groups and this will make a buck┬áhave to scent check each plot, instead of just one, causing him to be on his feet for longer periods of time. Hopefully this will cause a mature buck to cruise back to his bed later in the morning than normal giving you that opportunity to send an arrow through his pump house!


There are several different combinations you can use for layering your food plots. A combination of brassicas, winter peas, and rye layering is what I’ve had the most luck with. At the end of the day, establishing food plots requires a lot of time and work. I could write about my set plans and ideal technique all day, but in reality most of us know that not much goes according to plan when it comes to hunting. I can only hope that my upcoming plans up my chances of catching a good buck on his feet during daylight hours, and that maybe I can help you do the same.

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