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Landowners using food plots to attract wildlife

As more land is being bought for hunting, more landowners are using food plots to attract wildlife.
by Ed Godfrey Modified: July 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm •  Published: July 27, 2013
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photo - A deer food plot workshop is planned Friday near Slaughterville. The Noble Foundation in Ardmore also has scheduled a white-tailed deer management workshop in Norman on Sept. 19. Photo provided by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation  Photo provided by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
A deer food plot workshop is planned Friday near Slaughterville. The Noble Foundation in Ardmore also has scheduled a white-tailed deer management workshop in Norman on Sept. 19. Photo provided by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Photo provided by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Food plots also benefit other species of wildlife such as turkeys, ducks and geese, Herje said.

Herje recommends 5 to 10 percent of a landowner's property be planted in food plots. What to plant depends on what works best in the area.

“Not all soils are created equal,” Herje said.

A combination of grasses, forbs and legumes provide a diverse food source for wildlife and reduce the risk of losing entire plots to weather, insects or disease.

There are many commercially available food plot mixes that provide nutritious and preferred deer foods, Herje said.

Those attending Friday's workshop can learn more about seed blends as officials from local and wildlife seed companies will be there to answer questions. Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation biologists also will be attending to talk about the agency's deer management assistance program.

Even with food plots, landowners should still manage their deer herd by harvesting more does, not shooting young bucks, conducting controlled burns and managing the native habitat, Herje said.

But food plots are an important management tool, he said.

The vast majority of people who are buying and leasing property for hunting are planting food plots, Herje said.

“It seems like almost everybody you talk to is. It's a beneficial thing to do.”

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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