Just the thought of food plots gets me excited for the upcoming spring planting season. Often times deer hunters focus their food plots on plants that will yield great summer and fall forage, and give little thought to winter nutrition. After all, the great summer food plots is where we get all those velvet buck pictures. While these types of food plots are great, don’t forget about the importance of providing adequate food during the harsh winter months for your deer herd. Deer spend the late winter months and early spring replenishing their bodies following the rut and the scarce food resources of winter. It stands to reason the sooner deer rebuild their bodies, the sooner bucks can put energy and nutrition toward growing antlers, and the better equipped does will be for birthing and providing sustenance to their fawns.
Many of my own plots are focused on summer and fall forage with a few small plots dedicated to winter food. This year I will take a step toward remedying this deficiency by dedicating more acreage to a winter food source. In an effort to keep cost down, I’ve also taken to the timber with a chainsaw to put food on the ground in the form of hinge cutting. At the same time the hinge cutting has opened the forest canopy to allow sunlight to hit the ground in an effort to allow the forest to regenerate creating natural winter browse in the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about providing your deer herd nutrition through the winter, check out the video below from the guys at Deer and Deer Hunting.