6 Deer Food Plot Mistakes to Avoid This Year

If you want to start feeding deer, now is the time to start planning a deer food plot. But for the inexperienced feeders, not everything will go according to plan. Deer are extremely careful creatures and they will notice even the smallest of differences.

deer food plot seeds cereal plants

Thus, it’s important to avoid making these next 6 mistakes whenever setting up a deer food plot.

To know what those mistakes are, we have created this helpful article. With all that said, let’s get started.

6 Deer Food Plot Mistakes You Need To Be Aware Of

1. Not Doing a Soil Test – This is very important!

A soil test does one thing and one thing only; it makes sure the food plot is on the right spot. Since the soil is the most important thing, as we use it to grow the food, making sure that the soil is right will avoid a few problems.

For starters, a soil test makes sure that the soil has all the necessary nutrients to grow the food. Without these nutrients, chances are you’ll have a hard time growing them.

Secondly, it makes sure that what you’re growing grows fast and without any problems. And thirdly, a soil test can give you all the necessary information on what the soil is missing and you can effectively replace what’s missing from the ground.

2. Forgetting to Use Herbicides

Preparation is something that you have to do right after the soil test. Not preparing the soil is a common mistake that could render the deer food plot useless.

There are a couple of ways how we can prepare the soil. For starters, you have to make sure that no insects eat your food. And doing this is very easy as insects are attracted to other forms of vegetation. So, the easiest way to do this is to simply remove any other vegetation from the plot and plant new seeds.

Since the seeds won’t have any competition for food or water, they will grow faster. But small weeds will always be a problem. And small weeds always attract insects and pests. So, to prevent this from happening, you can spray herbicide to kill it off effectively and hastily.

3. Forgetting to Fertilize

If there is one mistake you’d absolutely hate to make is forgetting to fertilize the plot. How would the food grow without fertilizer? Sure it is possible, but you’re leaving it to pure chance. Fertilizer makes sure that your seeds turn out the way they’re supposed to.

Since every bit of plant can benefit from nutrients and minerals, the easiest way to give them that is to use fertilizer. But the real problem here is the actual fertilizer. Namely, this can be very expensive. Some fertilizers work like a charm, but they also cost a lot of money.

Whenever doing this, make sure to talk to a professional that knows and understands what pH means. You should do this because pH is directly related to how effective the fertilizer will be.

On another note, there are completely different types of deer feeders that don’t actually require you to plant anything. These feeders operate differently and are much more effective and less time-consuming.

4. Not Picking the Right Location

When it comes to making sure the deer gets all the things it needs, the soil is the most important aspect to look at. But what about hunting the thing? The best deer food plots have to on strategic places that make it easier for you to hunt game.

You can’t just pick a spot that’s in between lots of trees and lots of cover. These locations make it easier for the deer to escape and hear you coming.

That’s why hunters prefer nice and open spots with a couple of bushes and trees where they can hunt from. Ideally, the deer can be on an open field where the chances of escape are minimal.

5. Planting a Single-Type Plant

Deer is like any other animal. And while animals won’t really pick and choose what they eat, they will if they have plenty of food lying around. This is what a deer food plot does. It provides food for the animal to feed off.

But you’re not the only one doing that. If you’re planting the feeder in a well-known deer area, then chances are other hunters will come along. This gives the animal lots of options in terms of food. And that means only one thing; whoever provides better food gets to hunt the animal.

This is why a huge mistake to avoid is planting only a single species. You have to really diversify the food and give the animal options. Mixing various plants is always the preferred strategy. There are a couple of assorted mixture combinations that can help you attract every animal to your feeder. Easy to grow and no maintenance products are very helpful.

Whitetail Institute Imperial No-Plow Food Plot Seed (Spring and Fall Planting), 25-Pound (1.5 acres)



Instead of buying cheap generic single plant deer food plot seeds, make sure to purchase the more expensive option that has multiple types of seeds. Let’s take a look at some other food options they’ll love.

· Brassicas

Food Plots Brassica Seed 5lbs plants 1 acre



Deer has a hard time resisting brassicas. This plant is so effective that it can provide the animal with upwards of 80% of the total digestible nutrients it needs. Not only that, but it also contains 40% protein.

· Cereal Grains

Crooked Bend 25lb Whitetail Deer Food Plot Seed | Cereal Grain Rye Wheat Triticale Barley Oats | Last Resort Blend



There are a few cereal grains that love deer. For example, oat, rye, and triticale are some of their favorite. Apart from being excellent nutrient sources, cereal grains will really come in handy when the temperature starts getting hotter.

If you’re planting in the spring, cereal grain is the best and easiest way to attract game to your plot.

· Fruits and Nuts

Deer loves fruits and nuts. They’ll eat anything from blueberries to apples and nuts. The great thing about fruits and nuts is that they grow naturally. This means you can set up your food plot right next to these trees and shrubs. You can plant them to better diversify their diet or even add deer protein feed as a supplement.

6. Placing Deer Food Plots Next to a Road

This is the single biggest mistake you could do. Choosing a plot right next to a road, property, or any other location where people frequently go means one thing and one thing only; the deer will not come.

Not only that, but you’re effectively giving other people options. It’s not unheard of for other people to be using a hunter’s deer food plot for their own personal gain.

Maybe they have a hunting rifle sitting at home and are interested in deer meat. Avoid making this mistake as others will tag along and exploit your efforts.

While it might be tempting to choose an easily accessible location, it’s an obvious mistake as the elderly game won’t come and you’re also making your feeder easily accessible to others.

Conclusion to Deer Food Plots

When it comes to eliminating mistakes when creating a new deer food plot, it’s all about understanding the planning importance beforehand. It is also crucial that you know what to feed deer.

While some mistakes are related to the food itself, others are related to the conditions, soil and the best location of the food plot. Regardless, this article will hopefully explain some of those mistakes and provide a solution as to how to avoid them.

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