Learn how to build a thriving and successful hunting food plot using Outreach Outdoors strategy.

November 08 2013 – Shawn OConnor

Chances are you've sat in a deer stand and thought to yourself, "If I just had a food plot, the hunting here would be amazing." And for good reason: food plots are like deer magnets.  

Once I put the following plans into action, my farm became a magnet too.  Every deer I've shot on my farm has been on my food plot.  On my small 40 acres, I find at least 15 sheds on just the three-acre food plot. My CAMBUSH-covered trail camera consistently shows images of bucks grazing on sweet turnips and clover. 

Four years ago, I didn't know anything about how to build a thriving food plot. How do you even start? Where do you go for information?  I searched the internet, and I researched numerous sites before stumbling upon Paul Knox at www.outreachoutdoors.com.  Paul's site was exactly what I had been looking for. I read his materials, looked at his photographs, and followed his plan.  It worked! That fall I harvested a “big eight” with my bow, right in the middle of the food plot.  

Paul's strategy centers on crop rotation, which is a modified version of what farmers did in the 1930's and 1940's.  The goal is to utilize crops that produce the maximum amount of forage and build your soil at the same time.  This methodology has the ability to eliminate the need for synthetic fertilizer because the crops used in the rotation complement one another.  With Paul's plan, you can provide food for your deer herd 365 days a year, maximize the amount of food available and reduce your spending on costly inputs.

Paul outlines detailed steps to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your property through aerial maps.  He gives specific websites that can give you this information and then walks you through the process.  Based on this information, you determine where to plant the food plot and which crops to plant.  The typical rotation involves half of the food plot in turnips, rape and radish, and the other half in cereal rye, oats, forage peas, radish and clover.  I buy my seed at a local turf management company, but most co-ops will have these seeds in supply.  To say I've been happy with the results of Paul's program would be an understatement.  It works, and I encourage anyone to check out www.outreachoutdoors.com to learn about improving your habitat.  It's the best resource I've found on the subject, hands down.

What food plot strategies have you found successful? Do you have any tips or tricks to share with the rest of us? Comment below to get a conversation going, we'd love to discuss!

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  • Shawn O'Connor: November 15, 2013
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    Hi Adam,
    Thank you for your comment. I couldn’t agree more, his knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge has been a true blessing for me and my habitat goals.
    Stop by and say hello at the Iowa Deer Classic this year, we will be in booth #421.

  • Adam Miller: November 11, 2013
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    I run the twitter account for OO. I really appreciate your blog entry. If you ventured to others stories of Paul on our site, he is wise, kind, and one of the most-respected Christian men we all know. We do everything to glorify and bring people closer to Christ. Thanks so much for you taking the time to share with others.

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