Welcome to South Louisiana, where the lush green landscape and abundant wildlife create the perfect setting for outdoor enthusiasts and hunting enthusiasts alike. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at a summer food plot project aimed at improving deer habitat and attracting these majestic creatures. Join us as we explore the process of preparing and planting food plots on Locke’s 400-acre property, and discover how simple steps can yield remarkable results in enhancing the early hunting seasons.
Setting the Stage:
As the middle of June arrives, we find ourselves slightly behind schedule for planting summer food plots. Ideally, late May is the preferred time frame for this activity, but life often throws unexpected challenges our way. The property in focus is Locke’s homeland in South Louisiana, serving as a home base for the project.
To counter the issues posed by wild hogs and the associated expenses of feeding them throughout the summer, our objective is to establish strategically placed food plots that will nourish the resident deer population and optimize conditions for hunting in the upcoming early bow season in October.
After the conclusion of the Turkey season in May, we initiated the preparation process for the food plots. To clear the area of unwanted vegetation and promote the growth of desired plants, we employed the use of glyphosate and two four-D herbicides. The initial step involved mowing the existing plots and subsequently applying the herbicides to eliminate any undesired growth.
We allowed a few weeks for the herbicides to take effect. Following this period, we employed a disc to break up the soil, creating an ideal seedbed for planting. By raising the back of the disc, we ensured the front discs penetrated the soil deeply, facilitating effective soil turnover.
With the groundwork laid, it was time to proceed with the actual planting process. Prior to this, we applied fertilizer to the prepared plots to provide essential nutrients for the growing plants. Using a disc set flat, we thoroughly incorporated the fertilizer into the soil, creating an optimal seedbed.
The next step involved spreading a mixture of iron clay peas and sunflower seeds across the plots. These two plant species possess several advantages for summer food plots: they are highly attractive to deer, and being legumes, they enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen. This enrichment benefits subsequent planting and ensures a healthier seedbed for the future.
To ensure optimal seed-to-soil contact and uniform distribution, we ran a harrow over the seeded area, creating a level surface that minimized the risk of seeds settling too deeply or accumulating in ruts. The final step involved dragging the plot with a flat drag to cover the seeds adequately.
Although the weather forecast predicted a 40-50% chance of rain, the regular rainfall patterns during South Louisiana summers assured us that the plots would receive the necessary moisture within the next 24 to 48 hours. As the rain would help settle the soil and encourage germination, we anticipated visible growth within two to three weeks.
Exciting times lie ahead as we eagerly await the growth and development of the summer food plots. We plan to install trail cameras to monitor the activity and capture the presence of wildlife, particularly the deer population.
Stay connected with us on social media platforms and YouTube, where we will regularly share updates, showcasing the progress of the food plots throughout the summer and leading up to the fall planting season. Witness firsthand how these efforts can significantly enhance your property, increase the carrying capacity for deer, and attract these magnificent creatures to your hunting grounds. Best of all, the process is straightforward, requiring basic equipment such as a tractor, disc, drag, and, of course, the enthusiasm of a 14-year-old boy eager to assist.
As the summer unfolds in South Louisiana, the cultivation of summer food plots offers a fantastic opportunity to improve the habitat for deer and enhance hunting experiences. By strategically establishing these plots and carefully preparing the soil, we can nurture a thriving ecosystem while providing a valuable food source for the resident deer population.
The simplicity of the process makes it accessible to anyone with basic equipment and a passion for wildlife management. Be sure to be prepared for the fall plots by reading our blog about planting in the fall! Follow our journey on social media and YouTube to witness the transformation of these plots and gain inspiration for your own endeavors. Happy hunting!