Today I’m excited to introduce a new guest series featuring a few members of the Wired To Hunt Nation that many of you are already familiar with. Mike Hunsucker and Shawn Luchtel of Heartland Bowhunter have become good pals of mine and great supporters of Wired To Hunt, so I’m thrilled that they wanted to share some of their experiences and advice with us as they go about their year preparing for and chasing monster whitetails of the midwest! Keep an eye out for more posts throughout the year, as Mike and Shawn give us an inside look at the life of a heartland bowhunter!
Today, Shawn Luchtel gives us the lowdown on the HB food plot strategies for 2011.
When it comes to planting our food plots for the fall there are numerous things that come to mind. But the first two are growing and attracting big whitetails. In order to do this you have to think about what type food you want to plant, where you want to plant it and how much you want/need to plant.
Food Type – You want a food source that is going to attract deer but also last long. Your food needs to have some sort of nutritional supplement as well. This year HB has been turned onto Eagle Seed Soybeans. Eagle Seed beans are the highest protein based bean, creating the most tonnage and are also the most drought resistant soybean on the market. According to Eagle Seed Beans their product includes “up to: 40% Protein, 3 times the leaf area, 2 times the plant height, and thirteen tons of food per acre.” These beans can also be browsed off and will continue to grow unlike other soybeans. With a high density of deer this product works excellent as a long lasting nutritional food source. After visiting Dr. Grant Woods farm in Southern Missouri I have been a strong believer of Eagle Seed Beans in almost any location of the country. I would encourage everyone to try out this product.
Food Placement – Food plot placement plays a huge part in stand placement. The two locations correlate very closely in the success of our hunts. Looking for the perfect tree is vital when deciding where to plant food. Hunting right over a plot also may not be the best thing to do if you have a high density of deer traveling to the source. Finding the highest traveled course to that plot is where you would want to hang your stand.
The most important tool in food plot placement is your exit route. Since deer normally travel to food in the evening, you will want find the perfect path to exit the plot without spooking deer. Stand placement on your food plot is vital when trying to leave the plot at last light. A tree or ground blind should be located off to one side or heavily covered area to where you can safely sneak out without alerting the feeding deer.
To see Shawn’s tips in practice, check out the aerial map below of a Kansas farm that Shawn is hunting this fall. The light green painted areas mark Eagle Seed food plots and red dots are stands!
Food Density – How much food should you have on your property? There might be a technical answer for this but a reasonable answer would be that you need enough food to last throughout the entire year to support a healthy herd of deer. Whether you have a 50 acre track of land or a continuous track of 4000 acres it is very important that your deer have a healthy, abundant source of food. If there are not crops planted on the farm or in the area then you will need larger food plots. If you hunt a farm that already has crops planted then your food plots might want to be smaller to keep your deer confined to your stand sites. But keep in mind that smaller food plots must be big enough though to support your deer herd after the crops have been harvested. Experimentation and trial and error has been the key to success to figuring out how large our food plots need to be to support our deer herds on the different farms we hunt. The more food the deer have available, the less stress they’ll have and in turn your herd will grow healthier.
For more info, visit the Heartland Bowhunter website.