Food Plot Size Selection:
What size should my food plot be?
Many hunt clubs make a huge mistake by planting one or two food plots five to ten acres in size. They then surround these huge plots with deer stands or tree climbers. Hunting success drops dramatically with this type food plot system.
First of all deer will only use these five to ten acre food plots after dark. Very seldom (especially during hunting season) will you find deer browsing out in the middle of large open food plots. They may feed around the edges of these large food plots early morning hours or late evening just before dark. Guess what, early morning and late afternoons are when your club members are going to their deer stands. It doesn’t take long for the deer to pattern your hunting behavior and simply avoid these huge food plots except during the night.
Basically, food plots done right are multiple one acre plots spread though out your hunting track. There are several good reasons for many small food plots as opposed to the few large plots. Deer are browsers as we have discussed previously, browsers move and don’t spend all day in one place. No matter how good a food plot you have deer are not going to spend the day there. The deer will move constantly during their feeding time and browse in a lot of areas. The more different places you have for deer to stop and browse the more of your deer herd you will observe when hunting or watching.
Bucks do not feed a lot during rut, but they will keep watch on their doe herd. The doe with her yearlings will visit these various food plots different times of the day to browse and the bucks trail along to keep an eye on these girls. So, there again by having multiple small food plots you increase your odds of seeing a buck moving around during the daytime hours.
Spreading out your hunters to various food plots helps in many ways. The noisy hunter in your club doesn’t scare away all the deer from the one big food plot. He may scare away the deer from the one small plot he was assigned to, but this may help the quiet hunters stationed in other nearby food plots. Just easing through the woods hunters going to various food plots will cause deer to slip away from seeing a moving hunter which increases the odds of other hunters seeing deer movement. Also, having many small food plots spread out though out your hunting track spreads out your hunters giving them their own space