The grass might not always be greener on the other side. But it might grow higher on the other side!
An unfortunate occurrence happens to many Hancock customers who use our seed blends to develop food plots for deer and other wildlife. They’ve done soil testing, and the weather has been great, so it’s tough to find a reason why their plot isn’t growing as advertised. We may be biased, but we promise it isn’t because of “bad” seed!
Fortunately, one of our friends and clients in Georgia sent a photo demonstrating a literal example of “the grass is higher on the other side,” which also helps illustrate the issue. Scroll down and you’ll see exactly what they witnessed: On one side of the fence, Hancock’s Spring & Summer Food Plot Mix is growing high and healthy. On the other side, the same mix is coming up in a patchier pattern.
The issue is deer. Our friends didn’t realize just how many they had in the area, and didn’t take proper precautions to keep the hooved mammals off of the young plot! Deer are hungry and they don’t care how developed the plot is, ultimately preventing it from reaching its potential. Our friends are smart people, and they’ll take steps to prevent the same thing from happening next year.
You can learn from their mistakes now, however! Read below to learn methods for protecting your food plot until it reaches maturity!
The defining feature in the photo above is the fence. Temporary fencing is the most obvious, and probably most popular, method of keeping deer out of a fledgeling plot. If constructed correctly, this will allow your food plot all the space it needs. There are even more advanced options available, including electric fences operated by solar batteries, for those who desire.
These range in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Considering that they’re only needed for a few weeks, you may ask if it’s worth it. The answer is “yes” for two reasons: In the short term, this investment will make sure you didn’t waste money on buying food plot seed and supplies, only for it to be eaten. In the long term, a fence will pay for itself when used for several years.
Don’t want to construct an entire fence? Using deer repellent is a simpler option.
These repellents are usually applied directly to the plant, and the scent of the applied chemicals is more than enough to drive hungry deer away. Your best bet is to speak with fellow hunters in your area and get recommendations as to which product works best for them; odds are you’ll have similar success when using it.
There is one downside to using repellents instead of fencing: If it rains, you’ll need to respray.
Deer are susceptible to more than just scents. One option that has gained popularity is audio deer repellants. These are typically electric boxes that detect motion, and emit an ultra-high frequency sound wave in the direction of deer. Much like a dog whistle, humans cannot hear the sound but more sensitive animals will find it unbearable.
These devices only cover around 4,000 square feet at the moment, so you’ll need at least 10 to cover an acre of food plot.
Don’t Blame The Seed!
It’s easy to blame the seed if your food plot doesn’t grow correctly, but don’t forget about the deer! Hancock’s deer plot blends are developed to respond well to drought conditions and sandy soil. Please make sure to take precautions to protect your food plot, so we can all sleep soundly tonight!