Food Plot Strategies

NAH Staff Writer Larry Weishuhn heads afield to learn about - and hunt - food plots.

“When we laid out our food plots we left several mottes about a hundred feed in diameter in each of them to give deer and other animals a place to hide in those stands of brush and trees.  Because of that they tend to feed in those plots before dark, at least the does.”  I smiled listening to the ranch manager talk. “Then for starters we planted several rows each of different Tecomate food plot seeds to see what grew best in our part of the country and what deer liked the best.  Once we determine which of the Tecomate seeds we should plant based on those two criterion, we planted several fields.” He continued, “Then we declared those food plots off limits for hunting for most of the hunting season, meaning no sitting in Nature Blind “trees” other than photography until we start shooting does.  Then, we’ll put hunters in each of the Nature Blinds, toward the tail end of season and try to shoot all the does we need to take in a very few days.”  I continued smiling.  We had done the exact same thing on several ranches I managed.

“Most of the big bucks on the property don’t come into the food plots until after dark, and those that do we don’t want them disturbed for the time being.  However, if you want to hunt off site of the food plots you’re welcome to do so.” Now the manager was smiling.  I knew what he was suggesting.  The rut was just getting started pretty strong….

“Let’s look for trails leading into field, them follow them back into the brush.”  I suggested and the manager agreed.

Years ago I had learned that some big bucks will “stage” a hundred yards or so back in the brush from the food plot’s edge, usually where two or more trails come together.  Old mature buck will wait there for does to head to the food plot, then check every one that comes by him to see if she’s interested.

Following a primary trail in to the food plot I found a spot about two hundred yards from the edge where four trails came together.  There I noticed a huge set of deer tracks which moved across each of the four trails, back and forth where a buck had been checking on does going to the field.  I knew it was here I wanted to set up that afternoon.   I set up my Nature Blinds Stalking shield next to a big mesquite.  It blended in perfectly.  Setting up there the wind would be quartering toward me and the setting sun would be at my back.

I had used the hunting off of the food plot where trail converge to become one technique many times over the years in all sort of habitat and terrain, with great success.  I felt assured it would work on this property as well.

I headed to my ambush spot soon as we got back to camp where I changed into my Nontypical by Drake hunting clothes, picked up my Ruger FTW Hunter .300 Win Mag and a handful of Hornady 200-grain ELD-X Precision Hunter ammo, the cranked my Trijicon variable to 2 1/2X.

Let’s see what happens.

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