wildlife food plots

Asked February 21, 2014, 8:56 AM EST

I live in Indiana county , and I am going to start some food plots for deer, turkey and pheasant . I have never done this before , so I am unsure of what to plant, and when . I will be plant 3-4 different plots , scattered throughout the property .Most of theses will be smaller (apx 1/6 to 1/4 acre ), and within 50- 300 yards apart. I also have some old logging trails that I want to cover . I have tested and conditioned soil last year, soil ph was 6.9 as of last test in fall. What I am looking for is some different ,proven attractants that I can plant to attract , maintain , and improve overall health of animals. I understand that it is difficult to recommend that 'best crop ', but proven perennials, and annuals that cover different seasons will be a good place to start . I realize this question may be a little out of the normal line , but I want to get qualified information , and PSU has the best program for agriculture that i know ! Thank you for any information you may provide Sincerely, Roger Wood

Indiana County Pennsylvania wildlife damage management deer management

1 Response

Roger,

PSU is a good choice for ag, but I'm kinda partial to Auburn. Universities aside, the "best" attractants out there is a well managed forest. Food plots/ feeding stations only supplement the native food sources (Big bluestem, little bluestem, switchgrass, partidge pea, etc). When you consider food plots, you are planning to bring agricultural crops into the woods. Most of these plants are not native to North America, but they do encourage the wildlife to stay around. Here we go; as you plant you will be planting warm and cool season plants. Down here in Alabama we can keep green plants in our fields/plots year round. In PA, you will have to deal with the cold of winter (look at your planting dates up there). Here is a link to one of our pubs: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0485/ANR-0485.pdf. I like alfalfa, brassicas, chicory, clover, corn, cowpeas, grain sorgum, lablab, sunflowers, oats, wheat, and wildlife soybeans. Read through our pub, and compare it to publications from PSU, Ohio State, Cornell, and SUNY-ESF. Also look at organizations like Quality Deer Management, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited. I also look at some of the seed companies like Pennington Seed. This will start you in the right direction. Blessings. - Andy