Ed J. from Pennsylvania
writes to ask about food plots. "I watch the hunting television shows and have
observed deer feeding in food plots, eating a plant with very big leaves. They
seem to love this stuff. What is it and what do I need to know about planting
Ed, what you observed was a type of Brassica. Brassicas are cool-season annuals that are drought
tolerant, winter resistant, high-protein plants that produce huge amounts of
forage that deer love. They make great fall and winter food plots. Typical Brassicas are rape, kale, canola, and turnips, with Dwarf
Essex rape being the most common Brassica used in
food plots. Turnips produce lots of food because deer not only eat the
above-ground leaves, but also the root (the turnip).
I just read one article that stated that some turnip plots produce 20 tons
of forage per acre. That is incredible! Brassicas
grow best in well-drained soils with a pH from 6-8. They need nitrogen for
growth, so that must be applied. There is lots of "how to" literature on the
Internet. Just "Google," "how to
plant Brassicas for deer food plots."
Good luck with your food plot!
For a fine selection of Big Game Hunting gear, including food plot minerals and accessories, click here.
Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, Manager of Guide Outdoors at email@example.com.
Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He's also an outdoor writer and has been with "Bowhunter" magazine for more than 31 years.