Food Plots: Make A Predictable Path

Zach R. from Kentucky writes to ask about getting deer closer. "I planted some food plots on my property, but the bucks are always too far away for me to get bow shots. I grunt and rattle, but to no avail. What can I do to get these bucks closer to my treestand?"

Dr. Dave Samuel

I just read a very interesting article about Tony LaPratt inDeer and Deer Hunting magazine, and this guy uses some very innovative methods to get deer close. They were things I’ve never thought of before reading the article. For example, relative to your problem, rather than planting a big food plot, creating one big opening, he segments the plots with warm season grasses such as switch grass. So in the rut, instead of a buck just standing in one spot and surveying the entire food plot for does, with the high switchgrass in various strips, the buck must move around a lot to check out each open part of the plot. In other words, he petitions the plot. He plants the switch grass in long strips over various portions of the food plot, so that when a buck wants to check out the plot he has to walk in a specific route. Voila. Now you know where to place your treestand. Cool idea.  

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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for If you have a 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 31 years.

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