To be successful on my CVA hunts, I make sure I have plenty of food on my property for deer to eat. One of our my show’s new sponsors is the Whitetail Institute of North America (http://www.whitetailinstitute.com/). Since I love bowhunting as well as blackpowder hunting, I plant many little patches with the Institute’s Imperial Whitetail Secret Spot and Bowstand formulas in areas where deer will stage before coming into bigger green fields. I’ve learned deer often will stop in these small patches and eat the plants there, while waiting on dark to move into larger fields. These products give me opportunities to take bucks with either my bow or my CVA blackpowder rifle, while I still have good shooting and filming light. In my larger fields, I plant corn and soybeans with patches of Imperial Whitetail Clover around them. Later in the summer, I plant wintergreens and other brassica mixes.
I have three Redneck Blinds set-up over 4- to 5-acre fields where I do many CVA hunts. I make sure I have a good winter crop for late-season hunting in those fields. Deer are browsers and like to feed on several types of food, so when I plant my green fields, I try to have more than one plant in each field. This gives the deer a variety of foods from which to choose. We often plant a large area of corn and leave it standing, and we catch the deer moving into the green fields from that corn.
I’m also trying to stay in shape. Often hunters wait until a few weeks before the season to start getting in shape for deer hunting, but I’ve found that staying in good physical condition is much easier than to wait until the last minute to get my body tuned-up. I’m planning a trip to Africa in May, and as soon as I get back, I’ll start my summer plantings. Then it’s whitetail season. So, we run a year-round hunting program. There’s always something to do, and always something for which we’re preparing.
The Advantage of Planting Year-Round Crops:
I’m a serious whitetail hunter who goes through all the steps all year to make sure I have trophy bucks to hunt when deer season arrives. Everyone wants to have big bucks to hunt on their property. The best way to ensure deer-hunting success is to plant supplemental food plots year-round. If you have winter food plots that will continue to produce food for deer during the first green-up as well as the winter months, plant your spring crops now, then plant summer crops followed by fall and winter crops, you’ll hold deer on your property after the season. You also will habituate your fawn crop to feeding in those green fields each year. If you consistently harvest the prescribed number of does for your land, you can build-up an older-age-class-buck population. If you don’t apply too-much hunting pressure, you can watch your bucks grow from fawns all the way to maturity. A serious deer hunter is involved in deer hunting all year, whether he’s planting crops, checking trail cameras, developing stand sites, putting-out minerals or just seeing the deer on his property.
by Andy Weichers, host of the “Campfire Stories” TV show on the Pursuit Channel that starts the last week of June, 2013.