Just because it is green and pretty, doesn't mean that it is a great spot to create a food plot. While the temptation may be strong, here are 3 classic food plot locations to avoid, so that you can keep from creating chaos in your herd and hunting strategy this Fall.
GREAT SPOTS TO AVOID CREATING A FOOD PLOT IN
The #1 reason to avoid creating a food plot anywhere on your land, is if that location increases the risk of moving deer into your or your neighbor's path. Any top food plot spot will allow deer to use freely without the fear of ever being spooked, while at the same time maximizing the often limited acres that you may have to work with on your hunting land.
1. The Backyard Observation Food Plot Spot
Backyard observations food plots are obviously, extremely tempting. They are a great way to justify your food plot efforts to a non-hunting spouse, they are fun to watch at all hours of the day and they allow you to observe the growing rates of your favorite food plot blends. However, they are also great spots to avoid because not only can deer pattern each and every time you enter your cabin or home (they are great at patterning us!), even worse they can pattern every time you leave or return when hunting. Food plots are one of the great habitat improvements that allow deer to pattern us more than we can pattern them, and a backyard plot is one of the most temptating locations to avoid.
2. Mid Range Plot Depth of Cover Buster
By creating a food plot in the middle of your 20, 40, and even 100 acre parcel, you then limit the amount of depth needed, to adequately leave room for the potential of doe family group, young buck and mature buck bedding. For example a 5 acre food plot planted in the middle of a 40 acre parcel, leaves less than 160 yards of cover in any direction, between the edge of your food plot and your parcel border. That's not much room to layer the various ages and sexes of deer, and to access your stand locations while hunting, without spooking deer. Instead, by locating a plot near (but not on) your borders, you can maximize your depth of cover to create 300 yards or more of bedding space; even with a 5 acre plot!
3. Border Placement Food Plot Troubles
There is typically a safe border or two of your land, to potentially create a food plot nearby, and typically 1 or more border spots that can lead to a lot of hunting season headaches. No matter what border you choose to create your food plot, you still have to keep in mind your ability to completely move around the plot without spooking deer, off of the plot. I love dead end plots. What that means is that a great food plot location pulls deer out of or across your land to feed during the afternoon, without allowing them to travel any further in that direction, after dark. For example a plot next to a school, an industrial park, behind your cabin (but in no way visible), and next to a pond, swamp or lake, are all safe spots for an afternoon pattern of deer use, to create a plot by. It pays to consider that if a plot is on your border and adjacent to heavy neighboring hunting pressure, that not only can aggressive neighbors enjoy the spoils of the daily movement you are creating, but you will place a % of the deer that use the food pot every day, on your neighbor's land within the hours of daylight.
By creating a food plot near a safe border, on the opposite side of your land from heavy hunting pressure and in a location that allows you to maximize your depth of cover, you are well on your way for avoiding some of the most tempting but also damaging food plot creations.