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I don’t make a living planting food plots, but I also don’t add up the hours and trips to the farm I spend trying to create the best environment to grow nutritious and attractive food for wildlife. I love the job of working the soil so my hard work will ultimately yield its bounty. At a primal level, my urge to garden and live off the land sustains me as a hunter. Although the dizzying schedule and obligations of my professional life often seem like work, the slow drone of a diesel engine and a tractor-pace breeze in my face keep me happy.

Food Plotters Care More I spend many hours each year overseeing and planting 10 acres of food plots in east-central Alabama. I’m one of seven members man-

aging and hunting 800 acres of Appalachian foothill. I’ve taken the approach of treating our food plots just like a farmer would treat his ag fields. I want to put into the soil the amendments it needs to create an environment to produce the largest yield of whatever I’m growing. It’s a time-consuming chore to maintain that level of soil health, but I enjoy it and the other members appreciate my efforts. If reading soil analysis and sowing seed makes you happy, you should be in charge of planting food plots where you hunt. The food plotter is intimately in tune with the changing seasons and is always thinking a couple of steps ahead. Never settling, he constantly measures success one soil test at a time. My desire is not to change things overnight, but instead to create a long-lasting and healthy soil where carefully selected plants can thrive and feed

The author’s son, Wyatt, poses with his first deer that he took from a food plot that he helped plant just a couple months earlier. These important full-circle experiences are invaluable to shaping the next generation of hunters and land managers.

8 WHITETAIL NEWS

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