Ask The Biologist

Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

By Bob Humphrey

Late summer or early fall is the best time to plant a hunting food plot.

QUESTION: When is the best time to plant a food plot in northern Mississippi for gun hunting in November? — Keith M.

ANSWER: I could give you a long, drawn-out answer about developing a plan to provide proper year-round nutrition to attract and hold more and healthier deer on your property, which would certainly be a better long-term approach and investment of your resources. But as that’s not what you’re asking, I’ll give you a shorter answer.

Your goal is called a cool season plot. If you want the best level of production, and if time, money and effort are not a concern, you probably want a fast-growing annual that will reach its greatest nutritional potential in a relatively short time.

You have several options with regard to what you plant. Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks recommends planting cool season food plots with a mixture oats, wheat, crimson clover, and arrowleaf clover. That variety will have staggered maturity dates, with oats maturing in November and the other species becoming most attractive later. If you’re strictly interested in November, concentrate on oats, wheat or other cereal grains.

As for when to plant, you should consult specific recommendations for the crop you decide on, or consult with your local county agent. In general, you’re probably looking at some time around late August or early to mid September.

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Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd