Ask Dr. Dave Samuel About Whitetails: Food Plots: What To Plant

An e-mail from “COOLROD,” a hunter from West Virginia, asks what he should plant in a mountain field food plot for deer. He asks if “Shot Plot” from Evolved Habitats would be a good choice. He notes he has two small fields, and doesn’t have much equipment to use — only a small disc behind a four-wheeler.

Dr. Dave Samuel

Well, I don’t know anything about the mixture you suggested, and couldn’t track it down on the Internet. However, soil tests will dictate what will work so get your soil tested before you decide what to plant. That is especially important in mountain, forested areas.

And then two weeks before plowing, mow the area, then apply “Round Up.” And then follow that with your planting. Commercial mixes are fine, but you also can buy the seeds and save money over commercial mixes.

Clover works well and you should mix it with winter wheat or rye. “Imperial Whitetail” is a clover seed that many like. BioLogic Fall Premium Perennial contains four types of clover plus brassica and chicory. Charles Alsheimer, a food plot expert, likes this mixture because the clover and chicory are used early in the fall, then when snow falls, the deer come to the brassica.

I’m no expert on food plots, but Ed Spinnazola is an expert. He has just published a new manual that will give you all the details needed on hand-held equipment, ATV equipment, soil testing, fertilizing, seed selection, site selection, site preparation, planting, maintenance, etc. The manual is “Wildlife Food Plots; Easy as 1, 2, 3.” It is $13 and available from: Wildlife Food Plots, Box 688, Rose City, MI 48654.

Good luck with your food plots.

Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for If you have a deer question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of‘s content at

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 30 years.

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