Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve learned during the past few food plot seasons:
Black bears will destroy small, remote standing cornfields. In bear country it’s often a waste of time and money to plant small (less than 1 acre) cornfields for deer because a sow with two or three cubs will eat almost every cob before it dries and becomes attractive to deer. In the photo above, my dad stands among the 1-week destruction left by a sow black bear and her two cubs. All remaining standing stalks were trampled and cobs eaten during the following two nights. Not good!
Whitetails will destroy small soybean plots during summer before the plants produce bean pods. If your area has relatively high deer numbers, save soybeans for fields measuring at least 2 acres. The “broadcast and bury” method works well with soybeans (see photos below). In spring after plowing and disking the soil, broadcast the seed into the grooves left behind by the disk, then pull a fence-drag to bury the seed. Finish by pulling a roller to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. As you can see in the last photo, this system produced a topnotch field for me.
In addition to planting soybeans, I also broadcast clover to lure September whitetails into bow range. And by leaving the beans standing, the pods will lure deer during late season. (In mid September, the whitetails are targeting the green leaves in the bean fields.) For me, soybeans and clover make an excellent one/two punch.
P.S. Did you know North American Hunter has an online store?