John's Journal...

The Ultimate Year-Round Food Plot for Deer

Late-Season Shrubs and Fruits

Strawberry BushEditor’s Note: If you understand the Y design of green field planting, you not only can see and take more bucks, but you'll have a hunting site for both bow and gun season.  The Y-shaped green field enables the hunter to provide a smorgasbord of highly-nutritious, very-palatable food for the deer all year. You need to see and understand the components that make the Y-shaped green field the best design with the best plantings for hunting deer during bow and gun seasons.Click to enlarge

Many landowners and hunters opt to plant a permanent food plot of bushes and trees for the most-economical way to feed and attract deer. The permanent food plot will feature trees and shrubs planted all the way around a greenfield that's filled with annual or bi-annual plantings. Once you've set up a quality plot like this, you'll have a hunting and feeding area that will keep deer concentrated all year. Most plant biologists suggest planting fruit and nut trees, strawberry bushes and honeysuckle. The big advantage to planting fruit and nut trees and shrubs for deer around your green fields is that you'll be plowing, planting, fertilizing and mowing your green fields every year.  At the same time, when you have all your equipment and fertilizer at the green field, you can mow and fertilize your shrubs and trees. Too, you can remove unwanted plants out from under your trees and bushes.

Also you can bush hog a trail to your stop-off sites where you want to shortstop the deer before they arrive at the green field. You can plant honeysuckle, strawberry bushes and many fruit trees, including plums and pears, blackberries and nut trees in the shortstop areas. The more convenient your treesClick to enlarge and bushes are to where you're planting and fertilizing, the easier taking care of those bushes and trees will be. Too, don't forget to plant fruit, trees and shrubs in the middles of pine plantations that often will have skips where pine trees fail to grow. Also, when beetles destroy pine trees, the landowner must cut these trees down, leaving an open space where you can plant. Clearcutting a region means piling-up stumps, logs and brush in a windrow inside a pine plantation.  These sites make productive food-plot regions, especially for planting shrubs and bushes like strawberry bushes, honeysuckle anClick to enlarged blackberries. Then the deer will have plenty of cover and food inside that pine plantation where few hunters ever go.

Many deer biologists recommend supplementally feeding the deer soybeans after the season in the late winter before green-up. Many have learned that to get the deer to eat soybeans, you must feed them corn first. Then you can begin to mix the soybeans with the corn, reducing the amount of corn you put in the mixture until you're feeding the deer soybeans only. The advantage to feeding deer soybeans in the late winter is that the deer get twice as much protein from the soybeans as they do from corn. Too, because soybeans are so rich in protein, the deer can't eat as many soybeans as they do corn, which reduces the cost involved.

To learn more about planting where you live, go to

Tomorrow: Permanent Plantings That Work Best in the North and Those for the South


Check back each day this week for more about "The Ultimate Year-Round Food Plot for Deer""

Day 1: The Difference Between Deer Management and Baiting
Day 2: Defining the Y-Shaped Green Field
Day 3: Shrubs and Fruits That Attract and Feed Deer in the Summer and the Fall
Day 4: Late-Season Shrubs and Fruits
Day 5: Permanent Plantings That Work Best in the North and Those for the South



Entry 424, Day 4