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How to Prepare Your Hunting Lands Now for Deer Season Day 5: What about Green Field Plantings for Deer

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Editor’s Note: Each state has different plant times when you’re planting for wildlife. The two best resources for knowing when to plant will be the companies you buy your seeds from and your state Department of Conservation. You can attract deer to an area, if you know what causes deer to come to certain foods at specific times of the year. You can find the magic ingredient that can put bucks where you want them during deer season right under your fingertips. Yet most hunters don’t know how, when or where to use fertilizer, which consistently will pay buck dividends each season. “I’ve seen deer walk through a green field to feed on fertilized plants and pass-by those plants not fertilized,” says Dr. Keith Causey, a retired professor of wildlife science at Auburn University and once head of the deer-research program there. “Deer seem to select the most-nutritious food they can find to eat. Therefore deer will come to and feed on fertilized plants more readily than on plants not fertilized.” You can fertilize green fields, nut and fruit trees and naturally-occurring wild plants to put bucks where you want them during hunting season. You also can plant seeds for wildlife food and put out mineral blocks.

Deer and Turkeys Share a Green FieldHow do you know what seeds or plants you need to plant in a green field in your area to produce the best crops for wildlife? If you live in a dry area, like the Southwest, you’ll need different kinds of plants than you will if you live in Maine. Companies producing seeds research what’s best to plant for deer based on the landowner or the hunter’s geographic location and his goals for his wildlife plantings. If someone wants a crop he can plant at the end of the summer that will enable him to see more deer for the fall, a landowner in Michigan may need to plant as early as late July or early August. But if that person lives in South Carolina and wants to accomplish these same goals, he may plant a different seed blend as late as September or even October.

Deer in Green FieldBe sure to check the amount of moisture in the soil. This factor also helps determine the type of wildlife planting you need to choose. If you’re growing green fields in arid, dry states, like the Southwest, you may want to choose one product. If you live in Maine and want to plant a food plot for deer, you’ll need to plant a crop that will get its root system well-established before the first winter snow.

Deer Feeding in FieldCheck out green-field plantings designed to produce best in your region of the country and the soil type you have on the property you hunt. You can Google, green field plantings, to learn more. Also, contact a wildlife biologist at your state’s Department of Conservation for ideas about the best crops for deer in your area.

Cover: How to Hunt Deer Up CloseTo learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions, “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” at You may have to copy and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the book for free, and you can listen to 10% for free).

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