Ask The Biologist

Little Slice of Heaven

Little Slice of Heaven

By Bob Humphrey

Hunter with a sweet-sounding little lease wants to know what to plant.

QUESTION: I am a disabled hunter who has just leased 50 acres for deer hunting. This piece of ground backs up against a 150-acre nature preserve and is bordered on each side by farm ground with the front side being a road. I am wanting to put in a 2- to 3-acre food plot next to the woods. I was wondering what would be a good mix to put out.

The ground is currently in clover and alfalfa. I live in southwest Indiana. I would like to put in several types of food. I am planning on planting some fruit trees this spring. This is a lease that I am planning to keep until I am unable to hunt. — Brian J.

ANSWER: It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good handle on things already. Planting a blend is a much better idea than a monoculture, as it will have a longer period of attractiveness and also hedge your bets against varying environmental conditions like too much or not enough moisture, as well as insect pets and plant diseases. Fruit trees are also a great idea. They, too, will broaden the range of attractiveness, particularly if you plant several varieties.

If the plot is already in clover and alfalfa, you might want to leave at least some of it as is, particularly if it’s a perennial clover. Beyond that, I would suggest you look at what is planted on the adjacent farm ground. You won’t be able to compete with that, so plant something different — something that’s lacking on the neighbor’s ground. And don’t be afraid to create some bedding cover on your land with hinge cuts.

— Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
Timing is Everything: Late summer or early fall is the best time to plant a hunting food plot.
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Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd