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Food Plot Prep: August Plans for Later Hunts

With the fall hunting season just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about those fall food plots that so many of us use to bring wildlife into gun range. While breaking the ground and throwing out some seed might eventually result with meat in the freezer, a little bit of planning can turn your favorite hunting spot into a wildlife beacon.

Take a Soil Sample
Soil testing is simple, inexpensive and effective. Kits can be obtained from the local county extension or Natural Resource Conservation Service offices for around $5. When testing your soil, be sure to:

  • Collect samples to plow depth (six inches).

  • Collect multiple samples.

  • Take a soil sample for every acre. If soils vary in a food plot, take samples from each type of soil.

  • Mix the samples together and let them dry.

  • Label the container with your name and reference number and mail per instructions from your county agent.

"Many hunters only think about their fall food plots right before the season and then try to do everything at the same time," said Scott Vance, assistant vice president of conservation programs administration. "Hunters who plan ahead increase the food plot's nutritional yield and create a better area for hunting."

August is the time to ask some questions to determine the best course of action for fall. Does the food plot have a perennial such as clover left over from last year? Have you recently conducted a soil sample to learn what fertilizer levels the soil needs? What plants will provide the most amount of nutrition for the species being pursued?

While it's not quite planting time, hunters should be getting their food plots ready. Here is what hunters should be doing:

For Perennial Plots

  • Mow clover or other perennial food plots low enough for sunlight to reach the plants. As cooler weather prevails, clover will begin to grow, but it needs some sunlight.

  • Determine what annual seeds should be drilled to produce a good mix of plants for wildlife and order those seed through the NWTF's Turkey Shoppe.

For Annual Plots

Food for the Soil

August is a good time to apply DeltAg Soil Solution to food plots to break down crop residue into natural fertilizer and creating a healthy soil cycle. A healthy, active soil cycle increases oxygen levels, creates a better root system and raises the root's capacity to absorb nutrients and water, which give plants some drought resistance. Disk Soil Solution, along with 30 pounds of nitrogen per acre, into the soil a few weeks before planting to ensure your wildlife food plot performs at its best.


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