The fall season is right around the corner, and deer hunters across the country are putting the wraps on gear prep and dialing in their weapons. But if you still haven’t gotten your fall food plot work complete, don’t sweat it! There’s still time. Here’s a look at how to plant a last minute fall food plot with minimal equipment.
WORK WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT
The focus of our efforts here is to identify potential spots for a micro-plot or “kill plot.” We are not planting large destination food plots here. We are simply taking a small chunk of dirt and developing a strategically placed plot to hopefully increase the odds for a shot opportunity this season.
The first step is to consider what you have to work with. Are there any areas of exposed dirt along the edge of an overgrown field? How about an old roadbed through the woods that receives a decent amount of sunlight each day? Look closely in the woods, and you’ll often find a small opening that could easily be cleared out and cleaned up to get adequate sunlight to the ground and green growth started. What about around your current treestand locations? Is there potential for a small plot within range of your stand? Keep in mind, the smallest little strip or green patch can be all that’s needed to put a deer where you need him for the shot.
MINIMAL TOOLS REQUIRED
You also have to consider what tools will be available to you. Again, this article is focused on plot planting for the minimalist. But there will be some basic tools needed to make it happen. Tools for the job can be as simple as a spot sprayer, garden rake, blower, and hand spreader. With these basic tools, you can create an attractive plot to draw a deer within bow range of your stand. The good thing is that you’ve likely already got these tools in the garage, so there shouldn’t be much in the way of equipment expense for this project.
If you want to go bigger, add an ATV and drag to the mix, and you can easily increase the size of your desired plot. I’ve maintained a ¾ acre plot for a number of years with a sprayer and ATV with a drag.
Again, the bottom line is to work with what you’ve got. Minimal tools will typically mean more sweat equity on your end, but the final product can be just as sweet.
Once you’ve selected your location, the next step is to clear the ground. A sprayer loaded with Roundup will make short work of any unwanted vegetation in your plot. Otherwise, you can use a blower or garden rake to clear the plot of leaves, sticks, and debris. The garden rake pulls double duty here for clearing the ground as well as scratching the soil up for maximum seed to soil contact.
CHOOSING THE SEED
Choose a seed blend like the BioLogic Hot Spot when planting these honey-hole locations with minimal equipment and low impact soil disturbance. It’s the perfect blend when you’re looking for something that doesn’t require heavy equipment and can be planted in low light areas or hard to access micro plots.
SEED TO SOIL CONTACT
Once the soil is clear, use your rake to scratch up and prepare a seed bed. You want your seed to fall on textured soil as opposed to hard packed dirt. Again, maximum seed-to-soil contact is the goal.
Once the soil is properly prepped, broadcast your seed with a hand spreader across the plot. Once your seed is on the ground, you can walk it in by foot, or roll over it with an ATV to pack the dirt. Don’t attempt to rake it again or till it under, as this will typically bury your seed beyond your desired depth (1/4” or less).
Once your seed is in the ground, it’s time to pray for rain, and watch the results. These strategically placed food plots on your hunting property can be just the trick to put a buck where you want him this hunting season. There’s still time to make it happen! Grab the hand tools and a bag of BioLogic Hot Spot, and get your plot started for the fall season.