Hey guys, Madison Cole here with Mad Guy Outdoors!
We have been using Hancock Farm & Seed Co. seed varieties for the last 8 years with massive success. From the start, the idea was to take a 30-acre parcel out of an 80-acre block of family ground and turn it into a wildlife paradise. We initially fenced off the best laid out ground to keep cattle off and that had always naturally funneled deer. We then started to strategically make openings and place these plots in the most huntable areas where access could be as “clean” as possible to stand locations.
Planting the Ultimate Deer Food Plot
Our area of Kansas is primarily 50/50 cattle pasture and row crops with majority of the deer population living in hedge rows and the occasional wood lot, so we knew going into this one of our main goals would be to have the cover to hold deer and also have the food plots tucked into and around the structure that would be a magnet once the vegetation around started to be harvested.
As the years have gone by, we’ve been very fortunate to harvest numerous mature bucks…keep in mind this has all been done on a marginal deer property that has historically always been a cattle pasture. Seeing the success of using high quality seeds from Hancock Seed Co. we decided this summer to step up the ante and transform the rest of this 80-acre piece into the ultimate deer paradise.
How to Plant Food Plot to Attract Deer & Wildlife
We have gone in and placed a 2.5-acre RoundUp Ready Buck Bean plot in. This was done by mowing out the spot then immediately spraying glyphosate and heavily broadcasting the beans in, then dragging the area. The idea behind this was not only to keep moisture in the ground by not discing because of the 3 year drought/dry trend we’ve been in, but also show that if the access to a drill is not possible anybody can still plant these larger seed varieties with minimal equipment use and a little sweat equity and while achieving great results.
We will go in with a handheld bag spreader around the end of September and broadcast Wrens Abruzzi Grain Rye Seed right into the standing beans. This will give the deer a green food source right in with the bean pods through the winter then come late spring/early summer, we will broadcast the new same Buck Beans right in again, the rye should be at the “dough stage” on the grain heads at this time and about 5ft tall, so we will terminate that crop by crimping or rolling it over. That will in turn provide 3 major benefits…
- It will act as a weed control barrier for the beans as they germinate.
- It will provide soil moisture retention and perform like a natural greenhouse for those Buck Beans underneath.
- The rye will begin to slowly break down and decompose providing great carbon to the soil.
As of just a few days ago we had an additional 12-acres of the cattle pasture baled off. We will plant half in a few weeks with Hancock’s Killer Clover Seed Mix then the other half will be planted by frost seeding in late winter, around February/March. This will not only act as a great destination and extremely high protein food source for deer, quail, and turkey but it will also make high quality hay that will be baled once, if not twice a year.
We are extremely excited to see how the wildlife in the area reacts to the changes we’ve made on what we once called the “Back 30” to now the “Home 80.”
We would love for you guys to follow along with our journey and continue to make small yearly improvements!