Food plots for deer Q & A
How do I run a balance between growing a doe herd to keep my bucks busy and having so many does my bucks have no place to bed?
Does are far more forgiving in bedding area selections than bucks. Where as mature bucks place a premium on selecting bedding locations that offer safety, assuming the property isn’t being pressure hard, family groups are more interested in sacrificing supreme safety for being located closer to the food sources. So, one can take advantage of this by creating numerous larger bedding areas closer to the food sources and small bedding sites a bit further away, in areas bucks naturally want to bed, such as knobs and points on high, dry humps in wetlands or pockets of thick cover.
What percent will my property improve each year with a good management plan?
I almost always suggest creating a 5 year habitat improvement plan. Create a list of everything one wants to do and prioritize the list by what needs to be done the worst. For example, on a property offering ample food, but very limited cover, adding cover would be at or near the top of the list. Each year, the list is redone and prioritized all over again. Some of the things at the end may never hit the top, but that’s OK. The important things are being addressed first, as they should be.
Frankly, the percent a property improves each year will vary wildly, depending on how good the property was to start with, how much work can be achieved and a host of other factors. What is safer to say is that it typically takes about 5 years to get the deer population’s age structure, sex ratios and general population dynamics where one wants it on a good piece of ground.