Many Whitetail Hunters are looking to put in Food Plots, but where do you start? What is the goal? What do you plant? In the last three years MWOutdoors has been developing a 65 acre parcel for Deer Habitat and what a difference it has made. Our goal was to increase the mature Buck Population, hold the Bucks on the land year round, and start seeing Boone & Crockett Bucks within 4 years. It’s been two years and we have already seen all three of these goals met.


In 2017 we started doing some Tree Hinging and selected an area on the Southeast section of the woods. The impact was very noticeable as we saw an increase in Deer population and more mature Bucks. However, once the Rut came in the Bucks left the property, so we knew Tree Hinging was an improvement, but we still needed to do something different.


In 2018 we increased our Tree Hinging on the West facing slopes, took the horses out of the back field and put in a small pond. The impact was another increase in mature Deer population and we saw our first Boone & Crockett Buck by the pond. We also got mature Bucks to stay through the regular Deer Gun Season, but by Black Powder they were gone again. So adding a pond in the back field and getting the horses out of there made a nice improvement, but still not meeting our expectations, so it was time to do something even more drastic for 2019.


In 2019 we put in three Food Plots. One with Oats and Red Clover, one with Buck’s Banquet, and one with Rut-n-Ready.

The Rut-n-Ready was a great hit as the deer just tore it up. The only drawback is the seeds are all Annual, so you only get a one year benefit from it.

The Buck’s Banquet was also a big hit and the real surprise was the White Clover that came up the following Spring, what a field of clover.

The third Food Plot of Oats and Red Clover was a failure. We were hoping that the Deer would use this as a bedding area and feed on the Red Clover, but they did not. My guess is that the Oats are not a high priority food source and do not get tall enough for bedding and the Red Clover just gets too tough, so we tilled it up.

The impact we saw in 2019 was an increase in mature Bucks, which finally held up on the land year round. There were many times when MWOutdoors video taped four to six Bucks running together right up through the Black Powder Season. I won’t get into how my 50 Cal dried fired on a nice 180 Buck.


This year we built upon our findings from the past two years and made a few more improvements. These improvements also include Plots for Pheasant Habitat. We started by Hinging a lot more trees throughout the entire woods, doubling the number of Deer Food Plots, adding two Bedding Plots, putting in three Pheasant Food Plots, adding a second and much larger Pond, and we are trying a Soybean Plot for a late Fall to early Winter food source.

The Rut-n-Ready was a big hit for us, but since there are only Annual seeds in it we decided to go with the Buck’s Banquet as our Food Plot of Choice. With the Buck’s Banquet we will plant it in a new location each year and take advantage of the White Clover, leaving it for the next two or three years. Over time this will spread White Clover throughout our fields.

Buck’s Banquet has the following in it; Ladino Clover, Alsike Clover, White Clover, Rapeseed, Purple Turnips, Radishes, and Chicory.

Rut-n-Ready has the following in it; Radishes, Rapeseed, Purple Turnips, Kale, Brassica, Collards.

Plots We Planted

For the Deer we planted three Food Plots of the Buck’s Banquet, one Bedding Plot of Sunn Hemp Grass, one Bedding Plot of Switchgrass, and one Food Plot of all Soybeans.

For the Pheasants we planted two Food Plots of Birdseed with Soybeans mixed in and one Food Plot of Birdseed without Soybeans. Tip: Use Birdseed with only the Cracked Corn, Sunflower, Milo, and Millet.

Early signs: The White Clover from last year’s Buck’s Banquet looks incredible. The Buck’s Banquet looks great in all three Plots. The two Birdseed Plots with Soybeans look great and promising. The Birdseed Plot without the Soybeans is struggling and not as impressive. We will review the results at the end of the year.

MWOutdoors’s Expectations

The Buck’s Banquet, which the Deer love will be a big hit and will give us the added benefit of the White Clover for an extra year or two.

The Soybean Plot is for providing Winter feed for the Deer. We are also hoping this will help hold the Deer on the property. This is a trail year for Soybeans and we will know at the end of the year if this makes a good Food Plot or not.

The Switchgrass, which is a sweeter grass, will grow up to eight feet tall and should make for a great bedding area. However, we are trialing just a small area in the back field by the smaller pond as this grass is expensive.

The Sunn Hemp grass gets up to ten feet tall and should also make a good bedding area. This is also under trial and we will know the results by the end of the year.

The Birdseed Plots are for Pheasant Habitat and we are hoping it will increase our Pheasant population. The plots with the Soybeans mixed in are really looking good. We should know the results by the end of the year.

MWOutdoors’s Recommendation

The Buck’s Banquet is incredible and our top choice for Food Plots. Go with this for any size of plot. If possible plant it under or near Oak Trees on the edge of your fields. If you are going to try Birdseed add Soybeans, it makes a much better Food Plot. Note: we do not use any weed killer, roundup, or fertilizers on our Plots. To prepare for our Plots we till up the soil, wait three weeks, and till it again and plant.