Deer Need Variety
If there is one thing that Ed emphasized in his book, it’s that deer need and crave variety in their diets. In almost all instances where Ed details food plot designs or plans, he includes blends of different seeds or multiple plots with unique forage. Providing variety in your food plots will benefit both the health of your deer and the attractiveness of your forage.
Deer are browsers, which means they feed on many different types of plants and need the unique nutritional value from the wide variety of forages available. No single plant can provide all the nutrients that deer need. Although deer do have four stomachs, unlike cows, if deer fed on grass alone they would starve to death. Providing deer with a wide variety of attractive food sources will both increase the nutritional value and digestibility of the deers diet.
Also keep in mind that different forage types are more attractive or more nutritional at different times of the year. Try and plan for this by providing a variety of food sources that will provide nutritional value throughout all seasons. For example, plants like clover can provide great nutrition during the summer, brassicas like turnips or rape will be very attractive in the fall and something like corn can be a great late winter food source to get the deer through the harsh weather.
Provide your deer herd with a delectable buffet of attractive and nutritious food sources and the benefits will be undeniable. With a healthy and thriving population of deer, you very well might be setting the table for an all you can eat venison buffet!