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FAQ Main Page Food Plots for Deer?

What do I plant for white-tailed deer food plots?

Many people establish various grains and forages as food plots for white-tailed deer. The most common motivations for these are to draw in animals during the hunting season and to increase body size and antler development. Most biologists agree that food plots are not a replacement to traditional habitat management. Moreover, past research has provided conflicting results linking the supplemental feeding of free-ranging white-tailed deer and antler growth or overall body condition.

Corn, milo and wheat make good winter food plots in Indiana. Rye and wheat can be used for the hunting season. Green browse food plots can be annual (spring oats, sunflowers, cowpeas, soybeans, and buckwheat) or perennial (alfalfa, clover). Your objectives combined with the availability of the crops listed above in the surrounding landscape, site drainage, and soil fertility will dictate your choice(s) of what to plant. Your county extension office can help you determine selections adapted to your site conditions. Food plots should not exceed 5 percent of the total acreage. For hunter concealment, establish food plots adjacent to good woody or brushy cover. Food plots for deer should be at least 1 acre; plots 5 acres or larger may be necessary in areas with high deer densities. Having more than one plot planted to a single crop is generally preferred to a single plot planted to several crops.

You should be aware of hunting and baiting laws. In Indiana, hunting over planted crops is legal. Hunting deer over bait is illegal in Indiana and most other states; bait is a product, such as mineral licks, that is transported into a hunting area and placed there for animal consumption. Contact your local conservation law enforcement officer available through your sheriff's office for more information.

The following are links related to white-tailed deer plantings and management:




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