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Prepping the Best Food Plot Area

When we at Shotem and Caughtem started to think about building food plots on our property we knew it would not be an easy task.  However, one thing we wanted to make sure we did was create a plan before we ever started digging or prepping.  One of the first things we needed to check is where the best place to put a plot and where on the property we had the most traffic.  In other words, you don't just build a plot, then decide where to place your stand. You take stand placement into account before you build the plot.

You must separate "hunting plots" from "feeding plots." Hunting plots are small, maybe just 1/4-1/2 acre in size. They are irregular in shape and seeded with plants that will attract deer during the hunting season. In a hunting plot you want irregular shape. There may be a peninsula of cover jutting out into the plot, positioned in such a way as to take advantage of the wind. Just a nice little plot in the woods that fits into the landscape.

Finding the right place for your Food Plot


The first step in building a hunting plot is to decide where you want it. In the spring, scout the area for trails, and always, always pay attention to the wind. Know where the deer bed. Also consider whether it will be hunted in the morning or evening or both. Determine how you will get to the plot, and when you've taken all these factors into consideration, then decide where you want the plot.

Food Plot Shape and Design


There are various designs for hunting plots. One that really intrigued us is the "hourglass" design, where the narrowest (the neck of the hour glass) is only thirty yards across. If you know the prevailing wind, where deer bed, and build the plot near thick cover, putting your stand at the narrow portion of the hour glass can be dynamite during the rut. We recommend building licking branches and mock scrapes at the neck of the hour glass. Interesting concept..



Other shapes such as boomerang and "s" shaped plots.  Then there is the corner plot that is built adjacent to an existing field. This is really a "food" plot, but is small and is a great place to set a stand.

You may have some small openings in the hardwoods that you hunt that may be adapted to a hunting plot. If so, now is the time to get it ready for the fall. Depending on the terrain if you only need 1/4 acres, you may be able to get by with some chain saw and small equipment tilling to build your own hunting plots.  Next in this series we will talk about what to plant to attract the most animals or specific ones to hunt.  But we always love to get your comments and ideas below.