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Feeding Plots vs Killing Plot


Deer Hunters and land managers across the Carolinas and Georgia and busy planting their food plots for the upcoming season. When planting these plots, careful attention needs to be played to the type of food and the location.

When possible and the land allows, try and establish two different plots within proximity of one another. A transitional plot and a killing plot. A killing plot is just that, a food source designed and set up the lure deer directly past a stand set up months in advance.

Bow hunters are especially prone to setting up killing plots since the deer need to be a lot closer for a successful shot. Gun hunters can still kill deer in transitional plots, but under most situations, bow hunters cannot reach these plots successfully. This makes a killing plot all the more important.

Seasonal foods need to be applied to these killing plots. Some of my killing plots contain clover for early season and in mid-August or early September, we will go and drill into the clover brassicas to provide a late season food for the deer. Most southern deer hunters overlook brassicas, but for late season, these can provide a lot of nutrients. If you don’t have access to a drill, a good alternative is to mix cow peas with soybeans. The soybeans can provide a lot of nutrition to the deer while growing and after growing. Kip Adams states that the husks of soybeans provide more nutrients than acorns. Allowing the soybeans to stay in the field will allow the deer to feed on the leaves while growing, and the seeds and husks when mature. The biggest issue with soybeans is that the deer will over graze the beans and not allow them to mature. Fencing is important to keep the deer from the killing plot until they have reached maturity.

If fencing is not an option for you, mixing cow peas with the soybeans you allow the cowpeas to grow while the deer are feeding on the soybeans. Deer seem to prefer cowpeas after they have reached maturity. This gives you additional time to draw deer past your stand.

If you can only plant one plot on your land, plant the killing plot. Nothing frustrates a bow hunter more than watching a mature buck feeding in a transitional food plot just out of bow range. The purpose of the plot is to kill the buck, not to watch him. Sure you are providing food for them, but you are also luring them past your stand to provide a shot at a true trophy.

Food plots provide hunters and land managers an added bonus to the hunting. It stretches your hunting season for months beyond the season and get you more in touch with your property. Knowing your property intimately will improve your hunting, your confidence and your success.