Variety Maximizes ‘Flavour’ and Power of Food Plots By Jon Cooner Photos by Charles J. Alsheimer
ost of us have heard the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” Actually, the full quote is, “Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour.” The author, William Cowper, wrote that line in 1785, so it’s doubtful he intended it as advice for food plotters. It applies nonetheless, because planting a variety of carefully selected forages can maximize how well and for how long food plots can attract deer. Attractiveness to Deer: The Bedrock of Forage Selection When folks plant food plots, it’s usually to attract deer and hold them on their properties. Many factors influence our success at achieving both parts of that goal, including food plot location, food plot structure and forage selection. Consider, though, that food plot location and structure only affect how safe deer feel using a food plot, and those factors are irrelevant if deer aren’t attracted to the food plot initially. That’s why forage selection is the most important major factor in making sure your food plots can attract and hold deer.
Forages for Maximum Sustained Attraction Let’s start the step-by-step process of choosing forages for our forage group that will best attract deer and hold them on our property. Below, you’ll find a list of the steps to maximize the attraction and holding power of your food plots. Step 1: Is the forage highly attractive to deer? The first step in making sure your variety of forages will attract deer is to consider only those that are highly attractive. If you’re wondering why I bothered to say something so obvious, it’s because attractiveness to deer isn’t the only factor we must consider if we also want our vari-
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/ Vol. 27, No. 2