2017 food plot plantingFamily Trip To The Cabin

Prior to going in to what we did for our 2017 food plot planting, I want to take the opportunity to inform you of and ask you to check out the other articles from this trip (Chigger, Chigger Bites, & How To Get Rid Of Chiggers , 2017 Total Eclipse Viewing – Beauty and the Beast). If you take the time to read them, you will find that this trip was both very pleasant and painfully horrible all rolled in to one. Based on the above articles titles, it’s a safe bet that this trip was pretty rough overall.

2017 Food Plot Planting Plan

This summer we had a “mild” drought. It didn’t rain for around 45 days in a row. I can’t personally remember a stretch of time that long without any rain. Though not the only factor, the lack of rain had a major impact on our plans for fall food plots.

We did not want to put a bunch of money in to seed that may not get enough rain. Instead, we decided to leave two of our three fields alone. The Big field and the small field both still had clover growing from last year. Since they would still have some food growing, we decided to just throw out some fertilizer and call it a day on them.

The middle field was the only one we decided to plant. As usual, we planted it with Whitetail Institute seed. I believe this year we went with the Pure Attraction blend.

whats my plan - pre improvement

Here is an overview of the Southern Illinois Property and the food plot locations


Prep Work

Over the years, the edges of the food plots have had quite a bit of encroachment from the surrounding vegetation. We have been talking about cutting it back for a couple of years. Since we did not have to plant all three fields, we took advantage of the extra time to complete the project. My brother drove the Kubota while I stood on top with a pole saw. We drove the perimeter of all three fields first. After, we drove the entire length of the access road cutting branches as well. With time running down before the eclipse, we completed the bare minimum on the road. We will be having to complete a more thorough job this coming spring for sure.

With that out of the way, it was time to focus on planting. There are several ways that one can do the prep work for food plot planting. Stay tuned for a more in depth article on that in the near future. I will also detail the process that we are currently using on the family farm. Quickly, our current process involves the typical well known planting process.

  1.  Spray/Kill current groundcover (if necessary)
  2. Disk/Till
  3. Drag
  4. Hand spread seed
  5. Drag Again
  6. Hope for rain

2017 Food Plot Planting Conclusion

Finally, the part I eluded to in the teaser for this article. I believe that not planting those other two fields is a good thing for our hunting this fall. There are several reasons I feel this way.

First, the middle field is an awesome staging food plot to the big agriculture field the neighbor has. Now that we have taken away the other “big” food plot, our middle field becomes the main destination for staging before heading in to the agriculture field after dark (so long as we don’t screw it up).  We will now have a more specific place to focus our energy on. Another reason this is a good thing  is because it will make hunting easier. Knowing where the deer are most likely headed means that I can hunt travel routes with a higher success rate because more deer will be using a single source (in theory). Lastly, it’s just plain cheaper.

So far, I have stayed out of the family farm in order to let the firearm season be as good as it can be for my dad and his friends. I did not remember to send in for the lottery yet again and did not get to the store to purchase a tag before they sold out for our county. So, Late season bow hunting will be the extent of the family farm hunting I’m going to get this year. Regardless, I’m excited to see how our 2017 food plot planting turned out!

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