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Summer Food Plots

If you’re looking for something that produces a lot of protein and takes up key minerals from the soil efficiently, your best bet is to go with clover and alfalfa in your South Carolina hunting land food plots.  When you lime and fertilize food plots, you want to facilitate that calcium, phosphorus and protein to get into the deer as efficiently as possible.

The best clover to use is the one that grows naturally in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia or wherever you plan to hunt.  Typically, white clover has the highest crude protein levels, which is the goal in producing trophy whitetails.  The level of proteins in white clover is almost as much as the levels found in alfalfa, but white clover is much easier to maintain than alfalfa.  The Whitetail Institute offers the only clover varieties ever developed specifically for whitetail deer.  Imperial Whitetail Clover is a perennial and can last up to five years without reseeding.  After planting your Imperial Whitetail Clover, you will find that it is possibly one of the best things you can do to improve the quality of deer on your hunting land.

The next best user-friendly, high protein, high mineral food source is chicory.  Chicory extracts minerals from the soil efficiently.  A mixture of clover and chicory on your South Carolina hunting property is an excellent choice for spring and summer food plots.

While alfalfa can require more maintenance to grow and upkeep, it is a great summer food source for deer and is easy on your wallet.  Alfalfa is a great choice for larger fields where you actually harvest crops from your hunting land.  Alfalfa provides maximum spring and summer nutrition and deer will continue to use alfalfa in the fall.

You can use the rough measurement of 1 acre of clover for every 6 deer to determine the amount of food you’ll need for your summer food plots.  So if you think your SC hunting land holds approximately 70 deer, you’ll need about 12 acres of summer food plots.  If the neighboring hunting properties aren’t providing such lush food in the summer, you will likely attract their deer to your food plots as well, so plan and plant accordingly.

Keep food plots small; six one-acre plots are better than 3 two-acre plots.  By spreading the plots around, you make them more accessible.  It is very important to take good care of your food plots once established.  Be sure they are well-fertilized and get mowed at least once or twice over the summer because the deer will reap the benefits of the new growth.  It is more important to have a fewer quantity of quality clover plots than to have twice as many that aren’t properly cared for.

Planting your summer food plots will be a fun way to get out on your SC hunting land over the summer and getting a chance to check out the bucks and does as they grow.