Spice Up Your Kill Plots

Whitetails might spend the most time feeding in big, destination-style food plots, but the chances of them hitting a smaller, secluded, hunting plot are much better during daylight hours, especially if you plant the right stuff and make those plots irresistible to deer. Mark Drury says his hottest attractant for mature bucks lately has been BioLogic Deer-Radish.

"I'd put them on a par with a cut corn field, they've been so successful for me recently," he said. "I always like to offer deer something green in a hunting plot, such as clover, brassicas or winter bulbs/sugar beets. In Iowa and Missouri, where I do most of my hunting, there are three windows of time where deer are all over greens: September 25 to mid-October, October 25 through early November, and the absolute killer time slot is November 25 through early December, when bucks are refueling after the rut and looking for that last hot doe."

Neil Dougherty stresses that, while he's had tremendous success with brassicas in his home state of New York, he thinks small plots have about a 3-year window before they need to be planted to something else. "That's especially true in poor soil," he said. "You'll just have to pour so much lime and fertilizer to it that it becomes cost-prohibitive. Switch to a clover or oats, which can take some grazing, to regenerate the soil. Another thing I'm doing a lot more of is planting fruit trees in and along hunting plots. Adding that soft mast is a killer attractant, especially during early season."