Plan Ahead For Micro Plot Success
Spring and early summer are prime times to not only look for sheds and mushrooms but to start planning your fall hunts. The woods is not in full foliage yet and major and secondary trails are easy to locate; these are prime spots for hunt plots. Once you locate an area that has potential, a good stand location and the prevailing wind is correct, start thinking about your plot. This plot does not have to be a huge one acre plot, it can be a small micro plot; just enough to get the deer to stop and browse for a short time to give you an opportunity for a clean shot. Once the location has been determined it is important to clear the underbrush and weeds. You do not need fancy equipment; a set of tree loppers, a weed sprayer, a garden rake, determination and ambition is all it requires. Remove the small trees/brush at ground level, spray the area with round up and wait for approximately 2 weeks and return to the area. When you go back to the area take your rake, a sprayer full of brush killer and your food plot seed. This will allow you to spray the new sprouts on the trees and brush you have cut previously.
Game Changer Clover Mix should change the way you think about hunt plots. This new combination from Antler King is absolutely awesome for hard to reach remote areas. With 4 varieties of clover and a variety of brassicas that is shade tolerant, pH tolerant and drought resistant how can you go wrong? It is also a minimum to no-till food plot mix; perfect for logging roads and shady areas that will last 2-4 years once established.
If you have an area that has bigger trees (2″- 4″ diameter) in it that you would like to put a food plot in don’t get discouraged if you do not have all of the excavation equipment to clear the land. Do what I do; go into that area, cut the trees approximately 2-3 foot above the ground and clear all of the underbrush. From this point I continue to spray the area with a mixture of Round-Up and brush killer on a monthly basis for the entire summer. This allows me to kill any unwanted weeds that grow at different times of the year and it keeps the trees and underbrush from growing back. The first fall, usually August or early September, I will plant No-Sweat in this area. No Sweat is an easy to use mix of annuals and perennials that will grow quickly and attract deer all Fall. This will grow around the tree stumps and it will allow me to have a plot without tilling up the area. Once season is over and the next spring is coming; revisit this area with the intention of removing the tree stumps. These stumps, if sprayed, should be dead and you will be able to remove them with minimal resistance. Some of the bigger tree stumps may not be removed until the second year but with some patience you will have a stump free food plot.
If you plan ahead and have patience you will have some awesome food plots! You must have determination and realize that having a food plot program is a commitment that is ongoing for years….but your work will be rewarded with more deer frequenting your property and better hunting opportunities come Fall. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, attend your local or state deer expos and visit the Antler King booth to talk to the experts. Hopefully we will have a chance to talk; I look forward to it!
Good luck and happy hunting!
Patrick McFadden, Indiana Pro-Staff