Food Plots for Deer and Turkeys

It’s never too late for some last minute food plot action. Make the most of your time by planting a crop to satisfy both deer and turkeys.

Donnie Buckland, private lands manager for the NWTF recommends fall plantings of cereal grains such as wheat, rye or forage oats to provide "green strips" that provide nutritional forage for both deer and turkeys.

“Winter wheat and Triple Threat Clover make an excellent combination for a green strip,” said Buckland. “They are beneficial to deer in the fall because of their nutritional value and they also rejuvenate in the spring which is good for turkeys because of the insects they attract. These strips provide perfect brooding areas for hens and their poults.” 

The NWTF Annual Fall mix is another option that contains winter peas, crimson clover and brassicas which will provide a good food source for both deer and turkey throughout the fall and into the winter months.

Each of the above plots can be planted in the fall unlike other favorable crops such as corn for deer and chufa for turkeys that are planted during the summer months; however, corn left standing in the fall provides a good source of food during some of the critical winter months. Try to plant your plot adjacent to woods as deer and turkeys prefer edge habitat. 

Get the seed for your land management project through NWTF Seed Programs. Availability of certain programs dependent on state participation.

If you have specific questions about planting food plots, contact your local agricultural cooperative extension service or talk with a local farmer, who may be able to supply some good advice. You may also consult your state fish and wildlife agency or a NWTF biologist for recommendations. 

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