Food Plot Tools of the Trade
Bob McNally 05.23.15
You may feel more like a farmer than a hunter, but sportsmen wanting to enhance their whitetail property with food plots should have the following:
- A soil sampling kit, available from some universities and county agricultural agents. Follow kit directions to the letter, and when you get agricultural agents directions for liming and/or fertilizing, do as they recommend.
- For best results you must prepare soil to some extent. Disking is preferred, but even a light turning over of topsoil with a rake, hoe, or even a heavy drag weight or piece of chainlink fence is good before seeding and fertilizing. An ATV is a great help for this.
- A spreader of some type for broadcasting seeds and/or fertilizer. Some small hand-crank spreaders fasten around the shoulders or neck and work nicely. Standard walk-behind lawn spreaders also can be used. For larger food plots, spreaders that attach to an ATV or to a truck trailer hitch save time and labor.
- A chain saw, ax, rake, and hoe for clearing small woods areas for planting. For bigger jobs, a “bush hog” is needed. They’re like a lawn mower on steroids, can be pulled behind a truck or ATV, and make short work of underbrush when clearing plots for wildlife. They can be rented from some farm machinery outlets.
- A detailed topo map of hunt property is important. Mark the locations where food plots would be most desirable to attract deer from dense cover, like a ridge top overlooking a creek draw or a bottomland open flat near tangles of briers and brambles.
- In remote areas, the use of portable GPS navigation units for pinpointing food plots is helpful.