Scratch Ground Food Plots for Deer


Wildlife food plots for hunting deer do not have to be huge agricultural affairs. If you have a small property to hunt or even lack the bigger farming equipment to fully disk an area to plant, then consider scratch ground food plots in the areas where you hunt.

The biggest obstacle here is ground preparation. If your selected spots are grown up in high weeds and small saplings, then you may need to look elsewhere.  What you need to select is a small open tract of land or semi-bare dirt that you could mow with a conventional lawn mower to knock down the native grasses and weeds.  It’s too late now for an application of herbicide.

Scratch Ground Food Plots for Deer

Next an ATV disking attachment could be used to dig up the ground to turn over enough soil for seeds to be planted. If that is not an option, then consider a garden tiller operated by hand or if no other option except sweat equity, then get out a hoe and shovel to break up some ground like we used to do as kids for a vegetable garden.  This is hard work, but nobody ever said deer hunting was supposed to be easy.

Once you have some dirt turned up, then select a seed mixture appropriate for the soils in your area.  A quick visit to a local farm co-op store and or a call to the county farm agent should give you some good advice on what to plant.  If in doubt, then buy a mix or separate bags of wheat and oats to start.  If you want to go exotic, then buy a few bags of clover, radish, rape, or turnip greens to broadcast with a hand spreader on top of the other mix.  This should be a good beginning to a decent food plot.

Before you are done, either add some broadcast Triple 13 fertilizer because of the cost factor either before you cover the seeds, or add later once the seeds have germinated. This all depends on how much time you have.  It may be October, but there is still time for this type of food plot to work if you get it done now.

Finally, cover the seed beds with a drag of some kind behind an ATV or pulled by hand. Get creative here.  You can buy a commercial seed bed drag with a bar and chains or make one.  I have seen old steel coil bed frames used for this.  Once all this work is done, sit back and pray for rain.

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