Planting a food plot for wildgame can be very rewarding. There is nothing like seeing deer feeding on something you have purposely planted for them. Whether it’s to supplement their nutrition, keep them on the property, or to draw them in closer for harvesting intentions – food plots are quickly becoming the norm when it comes to deer hunting.
As deer hunters are evolving into deer managers, one decision we all have to make each year is what to plant. Some factors like geographic region, soil conditions, and herd density can help narrow your options. But regardless, a final choice has to be made and that’s a decision that can have a huge effect on your hunting success this season.
One of the highlights of our summer was planting something new. I wanted something that was going to provide the deer with a smorgasbord of food all summer and throughout the fall and winter months. The plot was to be a 1/2 acre hunting plot but in addition would also provide high nutrition for the deer.
After researching many different types of seed mixes, the choice was made to go with Frigid Forage Monster Magnet. This is an annual mix of soybeans, spring peas, purple top turnips, sugar beets, black oil sunflowers, winter rye, and hairy vetch. Besides deer, this will also attract grouse, doves, and turkeys.
The chosen field had previously been farmed for many years on a corn and soybean rotation. The soil tests showed a pH of 7 so no lime was needed. Around the first of June we prepared the plot by nuking everything with 41% glyphosate and allowing everything to die off.
After a week or so we fertilized with 19-19-19 at an equivalent of 400 lbs. per acre. We used a no till drill and planted the Monster Magnet seed at a depth of 1/4 – 1/2 inch deep and let Mother Nature take her course.
Rain was abundant and within a month the plot was looking great. After 2 months I could see the sunflowers from several hundred feet away. With a closer look there was definitely everything growing that was supposed to be including soybeans, peas, sugar beets, and lots of turnips.
One thing I noticed at this time about the plot was that the sunflowers were getting so tall that some good trail camera pictures were going to be tough to get. Not that no trail camera pictures was a bad thing because it was then that I realized the plot was also going to double as a screen to slip into one of our stands which I hadn’t really anticipated.
By early September the Monster Magnet food plot is still holding up well despite some signs of browse. As winter arrives, the first freeze will make the sugar beets and turnips more palatable and I suspect to see deer digging in the snow to get to the bulbs. They’ll also be eating whatever bean pods are left along with the winter rye.
I’m excited to get out and hunt this plot and regardless of what happens, I can tell you the only thing I will be doing different next year is to plant more of it. In total we planted about 8 acres of food plots this year and the Monster Magnet is certainly one of the best looking and useful plots on the farm.