Why Should You Plant Food Plots?
There are a lot of key elements that factor into successfully growing and harvesting huge whitetails. If you have hunting land with whitetail deer the goal of the property is to create shot opportunities. A well placed food plot that encourages the deer to move past your stand can do just that. It is important to invest some money into creating a variety of food plots where deer can feed.
What About Supplemental Feeds
It has been proven that a deer will only consume 20-25% of their diet from even the best supplemental feeding program. Deer that live on properties with the proper foodplots will consume 75-80% of their diet from food plots. Most deer biologists will agree that in order for deer to truly realize their potential, they will need a diet consisting of at least 16% protein. While most supplemental feed offer 20% protein, remember the deer are only consuming the feed as 20-25% of their overall diet. By supplemental feeding, you will see little or no increase in the carrying capacity of the land.
If your food plot contains 25%-38% protein and the deer will consume 75-80% of their diet from the food plots, it is very clear the benefits of food plots over a supplemental feeding program. By planting food plots, the carrying capacity of the land increases significantly.
What Are Other Benefits of a Food Plot?
Not only will deer herds benefit more from food plots than supplemental feeding, the risk of disease being spread is much lower. When deer are eating from a pile, they are in much closer in proximity to each other and will transmit disease and parasites much easier. When they are capable of browsing through a food plot, disease and parasite transmission is much lower.
Most states do not allow “baiting” during the hunting season, meaning any supplemental feeding will need to be stopped prior to and during the hunting season. This allows for a maximum 8-9 months of feeding and nothing holding the deer on their properties during the hunting season. This is the most vital time to ensure your deer are staying on your property yet all feeding is being halted. By planting different varieties of food plots that provide optimum food throughout the year, you are able to provide 12 full months of nutritional food and keep the deer on your property during the hunting season. Excellent food sources not only help the deer reach their potential, but also provide many ambush points to harvest the deer.
Another benefit besides the hunting aspect in the fall, food plots provide deer with the ample nutrition during the winter to help keep them healthy. This way during the spring, they do not need as much forage to get back to maximum health. This leads to greater antler growth, and bigger deer. In addition to improving the health of the deer herd, all wildlife in the area can be seen using the plots throughout the year.
For more information on this topic we would encourage you to contact one of our many “food plot experts” here at Mossy Oak Properties Boley Real Estate.
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