How To Plan A Hunting Food Plot On A Budget

Many folks think food plots are too expensive, or that they don’t have enough land for food plots to be a viable hunting strategy for their property—this just isn’t true. Food plots can be scaled to suit any property however, defining the goal of the plot and how it fits within your overall property make-up is key.

In the video below, and the next one or two to come in the series, I’ll walk you through how I plan and implement an effective hunting plot on a budget. The scenario is this; the property is new, I have limited intel of the property and surrounding area, and I live 3 plus hours from the property. Since I lack historical information about how deer use this property, I’m not willing to make a big investment in money or time creating a large perennial destination food source/food plot. My plan is to make a smaller kill/micro plot with annual forage that will work with my perceived understanding of current deer movement, increasing my odds of a shot opportunity in this location this fall. I’ll be using nothing more than a weedeater, herbicide spray canister, hand spreader, walk behind rototiller, a garden rake, Whitetail Institute of North America Bow stand or Pure Attraction seed, and a little lime and fertilizer. I chose these two seed options as they are most attractive and provide food specifically during the hunting months.

In total I’m planting somewhere between a quarter to a half acre plot and it’ll cost me about $150 to create this plot since we have a tiller, spreader, sprayer etc. I suggest borrowing some of the items below if possible. However the  estimate  cost to purchase or rent the tools needed are as follows:

—Weedeater: Borrow this if you don’t already have one

—Garden rake: Borrow this is you don’t already have one

—Seed: $30-50 (depending on the product)

—Lime and Fertilizer: $50

—Herbicide: $40 (I used RoundUp but you could get a non branded cheaper glyphosate in bulk at a co-op)

—Hand spreader: $15-$30

—Herbicide sprayer: $15

—Rototiller Rental and Gas: $60 (full day rental)

Total plot cost: $245

With a few dollars and a little sweat, you can plan and create a food plot that can work for you. So, grab the tools you have and get started on creating opportunities for the fall!

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5 thoughts on “How To Plan A Hunting Food Plot On A Budget

  1. Well, we also see huge bucks shot show after show, week after week as well and we all know how easy that is… The reality of food plots for most of us is that they aren’t easy to put in and maintain. I like to plan my plots to allow me to hunt two different wind directions if possible.

    1. I know…if only those big bucks were that easy to find! I agree that some plots can be difficult, but overall, planting a plot is much more achievable than many think. Planning and planting for multiple winds to hunt is key. Hope the big buck winds treat you well this year!

    2. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” -Henry Ford

      The relative ease of installing a food plot, obviously, is dictated by the land that you have to work with and your access to it. But Clint has laid out a reasonable plan with a list of needed supplies and his costs associated with each. It is going to mean putting in some physical labor, but how can you tell him that it is not that easy??

      It seems to me that the point of this article was to encourage people to get out and do something to better their odds by showing that you don’t need $20 000 in farm equipment to plant some deer food.

      1. Great quote Rob! You’re correct. My intention is to show others that anyone who owns land or has permission to make enhancements, with a little sweat equity, can have a manageable food plot, for reasonable cost and work. As Steve Bartylla would say, continuing to stack the odds ever so slightly in my favor.

  2. I like that you mentioned how with a little effort and investment one can create a food plot that would be perfect for their needs. That’s perfect to learn since being able to create a food plot for the first time in our brand new farm once we move would be an experience to remember. Hopefully, my kids would be able to take part in the project. Thanks!

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