If you want To be successful this coming hunting season, you need to start thinking about whitetail deer fall food plots and what you are planning on planting this year.
By planting fall food plots, you are not only attracting larger male whitetails, but you are also drawing in the females, giving you a lot to choose from.
Let’s discover which plants will attract whitetail deer the most effectively during the fall months.
The Easy Way Plot
For those just getting started with fall food plots, an easy way to begin is to plant easy perennial plants, like chicory, alfalfa and white clover. Deer love these plants as they are filling and nourishing. These kinds of plants should be included in any fall food plot.
Next, think about which annual plants you want to include. We recommend cereal grains and brassicas. You could either plant these together or separately as they have the same effect.
Whitetail deer will come in droves when they smell brassica, radishes, kale and turnips. In terms of cereal grains, consider planting rye, wheat and oats.
The above plants are very tasty to whitetail deer and they will remember where this good source of food is. Even better is the fact that these plants are tough and will survive throughout the winter, even when there is a deep layer of snow. If you aren’t a good gardener, don’t worry, because they are very easy to plant and grow.
You can pick up some good quality cereal grains and brassicas from your local hunting store.
Mix For Appeal
To be very successful in your fall hunting, you need to combine the correct plants for maximum whitetail appeal. If you are a hunter with several spots that you can use for fall food plots, your best bet would be to plant some mixtures and then some areas where you only have one kind of plant.
The more variety you can give the deer, the better the chances of attracting more of them.
When it comes to brassicas, these can be planted during the late summer or in the very early fall: it all depends on where you live and your soil type. Generally speaking, cereal grains thrive when planted anytime from August to early November.
Brassicas should never be underestimated because deer love this during the fall. Brassicas is a mustard plant and contains 30% of protein. Kale and turnips are also quite high in protein and deer like to consume more of this in the fall to fatten up for the winter.
Another great reason why you should plant brassicas is that it is excellent for your soil and it will help your fall food plots become much more prolific for seasons in the coming years.
The brassicas’s big leaves provide shade and kill problematic weeds in your food plot. In addition, if you plant things like turnips and radishes, these will naturally aerate the soil.
A radish plant usually grows quite deeply into the soil (around 60 inches deep) and, when it starts to decay, it will allow any necessary moisture into the soil. This helps your soil to become more nutritious.
If you want to prepare planting for your first brassicas fall food plot, we recommend spray insecticide on the soil first to get rid of pests. After this, be sure to till the soil until it is fine in texture and has no clumps.
Follow the directions on the bag of seeds when sowing but, as a general rule of thumb, it should be around 4 to 8 pounds per acre of ground.
You may want to consider adding in some clover, crimson or arrow leaf just for variety as whitetail deer are known to love these plants as well.
Cereal grains have the advantage that they attract whitetail deer even during the winter months. Winter is a difficult time for deer and if they find a plot with cereal grains, they will return here often. Planting cereal grains can be done in much the same way as you do it for brassicas.
Another excellent option for deer fall food plots is planting rye. This is a very easy plant to grow, even for beginners. All you need to do is spread the seeds on a plot that has been tilled. After a while, the rye will start to grow and you will have groups of whitetails flocking to your plot. Even though it has less protein than brassicas, it is still a very attractive food source to most deer.
Oats, on the other hand, contain more protein and research has shown that whitetail deer do prefer oats over rye. Cereal takes a while to grow but when it is at its peak, deer love to feed on the plot.
If you feel you can’t wait for your oat plants to mature, you can intersperse it by planting some clover (which grows quicker). In this way, you will have a constant flow of deer to your fall food plot, regardless of how high the oats have grown.
Deer also have a great love for wheat. Like oats, wheat should be planted a bit deeper than rye. You can drill your wheat seeds into the soil and then lightly pack the ground to ensure good contact between the seeds and soil so that germination takes place.
An advantage of wheat is that is able to survive extremely cold temperatures. We recommend periodically mowing down your wheat plants so that you allow new and tasty shoots to emerge that will attract more deer.
Of course, when it comes to whitetail deer hunting, this should never be confined to a fall food plot and it is always much more fun to venture out into the open meadows, woods and a tree stand. However, if you provide the whitetails in your hunting area with plenty of tasty food and you strategically plant in the best places, you will have your pick of the best deer and you will almost certainly be successful each time you go out hunting.