Hunting Food Plots

D. Lawson

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Hunting fields and food plots seems to be a pretty popular subject going by the number of emails I receive. With a little scouting and pre-planning, you can have that field visiting Buck strung up in no time!
First off, it really doesn't matter if the field you’re hunting is an agriculture field, a grown over field or a food plot so long as the Deer are using it for food, cover or passing through. These tactics will help you find the best treestand locations.

Points Are Deer Magnets
Just as with Bass fishing, points running into fields attract Deer. They prefer to enter a field by using a point because they can remain in cover long. Take a look at the picture below.
When hunting points, deer will usually pass by the inside corners. Sometimes they will enter the field from the inside corners while other times they will walk out to the very tip of the point. I like setting my treestand up on the inside corners. Which corner depends of the Wind direction.


The Lone Tree
Have you ever seen a field with a lone tree in it? If so, I bet you anything that there were more deer tracks around that one tree than any other place in the field.
Deer are drawn to single trees or a group of trees in a field. I think that subconsciously they feel it's cover. Whatever the reason, a lone tree in the middle of a field is usually a hot spot. The closer to the edge of the field, the better.

Years ago one October day I was putting a stand in a small strip of woods that was bordered on one side by a river and the two other sides by soybean fields (the strip of woods was on the outside bend of the river.
Anyhow, it was warm that day so after I got done I made a quick escape through an old road that ran up the end of the soybean field. I walked out about 100 yards to sit down under the only tree in the field which was a huge old Pecan tree about 300 yards away from the strip of woods.
It was muzzleloading season and I had my Thompson Center .54 caliber Hawkin. As I sit under the tree eating a snack and drinking water, something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention.
It was a buck that had broke out of the strip of woods and was running across the field right at me! I guess he had caught my scent when I was hanging the stand and didn't know exactly where I was, so he headed across the field.
He would have been an 8 point, but one side was broken off. It didn't matter. It was late in the Muzzleloading season and I needed some meat in the freezer.
I thought the deer would veer off (“surely he's not going to run all the way across this field” I thought) but it didn't veer off and was coming toward that old ancient Pecan tree like it was caught in a Tractor Beam from the Enterprise. While he was running across the field, I was easing my Muzzleloader up and getting ready. At 30 yards he saw me, stopped, turned to run and stopped again to look back. When the smoke cleared, he was down and kicking.
Since that time I’ve proved time and time again that a single tree, or small group of trees, in a field is a great place to tag a Buck.
Ridges and High Spots
A small ridge or a high spot in a field is also another great place to put your tag on a Buck. They love to walk out and have the high ground. If it's a tall and wide ridge, they may come out on the sides. If it's a short or narrow, chances are good they’ll come out on top where they can see the surrounding area. I usually set up about 50 to 75 yards back from the edge of the field.

Draws and Gully's Can Be Deer Super Highways
Draws and gully's that run from the woods into a field can be a Super Highway for deer! They love entering fields from either the upper edges at the sides or along the center and pop out in the middle of the field. It all depends on the size of the Draw. Never overlook a draw or gully no matter how small it is!

Your field may not be as perfect as the ones in the pictures (who's are?) but you can see how deer use the features to move.
If it's a big Buck you’re after, you’ll do better to move further back from the field edge. If any buck is your goal, you can hunt the edge. I prefer back just far enough so I can see the field edge and a little ways into it.
So if it's a field you want to hunt, don't just set up anywhere, plan a little in advance and set up on a field feature.

Posted by D. Lawson under Hunting on August 22, 08 08:23 AM | Permalink

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