Food plots offer an incredible opportunity to attract deer when hunted properly. With a non invasive stand approach and adequate bedding cover nearby, having a high quality food source is sure to attract a good number of whitetails. If you're not seeing daylight movement in your plots it's likely due to over-hunting. Introducing a high quality kill plot is a strategy that could greatly improve your chances of seeing more mature deer on your property.
Strategic Kill Plots
This 350 acre parcel has a restored prairie planting on the northwest side, multiple secluded ag and food plots locations, and great bedding opportunities throughout the property. After a property tour we decided to leave the centralized 20 acre woodlot into a sanctuary for the deer. This included a 2 acre food plot that had previously been over hunted due to the close proximity for access.
Spring planting included a 1.5 acre Soybean plot along with a 1/2 acre Soil & Forage plot. We also added Defender Screen for screening the entry/exit to stand locations to the southeast and northwest of the plot. Leaving the Soybean plot fenced off until late August, we overseeded cereal rye and oats as well as replacing the Soil & Forage with Brassica. We also added a mock scrape and game camera near the stand location to monitor activity with no intention of intrusion until November.
With this set up, we suggested an early November evening hunt* preferably with an approaching cold front. The intent was simple: gain intel from the hunt as well as the game cam pics. Following, come up with a game plan based off of deer patterns, weather patterns and wind direction. With a true kill plot strategy in mind we suggest only hunting this location a handful of times. If unsuccessful, leave the stand vacant until late season.
*Another option: with proper wind, check camera mid day after or during a rain.
Using a hunting strategy like this is not easy. Many hunters have ruined a great kill plot by not being able to leave the location alone after a few hunts. Using a strategy such as this will surely put deer out in front of you, however the more you hunt the location, the more educated the deer become and the less likely you will connect on a mature buck.