Dialing it in
How fast does your bow shoot? What brand of bow do you have? Is it an older model or a new and improved model? When you shoot your bow, how dialed in are you? How many grain broadhead do you shoot and why?
What brand of gun do you shoot? Is it a Mossberg or a Remington? What grain bullets do you shoot and why do you shoot that grain of bullet? So now that I asked you all this, I am guessing to many of you these are all important and well thought out. Many of you “dial things in",
"Yeah, but I just want to see deer!!!" This is commonly heard on social media. My first question I want to ask anyone who speaks those words is how often do you shoot your bow or gun? I would guess next to no one who "Just wants to see deer," heads to the woods without taking some time to do better in their preparations.
I sense many people want things easy. They want to just plant some random mix and hope it turns out good. I have gotten to a point where I rarely discuss pounds of forage yield per acre and instead have been using the term "deer feedings." Since the common thread for the average food plotter is to just see deer, there needs to be actual food in front of the deer to have deer sightings. I have written 3 books to help people see more deer. The solutions can be many. The process can be as simple or as complex as one wants to "dial it in." Perhaps the guy who just wants to plant something random and fertilize randomly is also the same guy who shoots his bow 3 or 4 times and heads to the tree stand, hoping he will harvest that deer. How could it be any other way? That would make no sense to me.
Here are my 10 things to "dial in a food plot."
1) Take a soil sample
2) Plant a mix that lessens your chance of failure.
3) Plant at least forages
4) Plant for unknown weather. Plant for hot. Plant for cold. Plant for wet. Plant for dry.
5) Foliar feed
6) Use sulfur
7) Keep the soil covered as many days a year as possible
8) Reduce tillage so you never work the soil more than 2" deep.
9) Leave as much residue on the soil surface as possible.
10) Plant improved genetics wherever possible.