Wildlife Food Plot Management


The average deer hunter in West Virginia would agree that the best place to find a hunting stand is in farm country.   Positioning yourself between a bedding area and an agriculture field in a pinch point along a trail is about as optimal a setup as one could find.

Deer are the scourge of many farmers, so it seems odd to think planting a crop specifically for deer would be a worthwhile exercise.   However, just because whitetails will feast on the meadows of the Mountain State doesn’t necessarily mean they are getting the optimal nutrition from those areas.

There are parts of the state however where hunters have purchased farmland more for its deer carrying potential than raising cattle and corn.  Those are the target market of the folks at BioLogic.   The Alabama based company has become world renowned for their research and development of wildlife forage.

"We’re trying to deliver nutrition in the spring and summer, for antler growth and fawn production," said company product manager Bobby Cole. "But then we come back into the fall, all of our products are blends so that there’s something that’s super attractive to them in September-October, November-December, and then something else in December, January, and February."

The company produces a variety of different products customized for the wildlife a landowner wants to attract and to the geographical location of the land.   

"You guys are in a really cool part of the world," said Cole of the West Virginia landscape. "You can grow a lot of stuff and you’re in that transition zone where you can plant clover in the spring or in the fall.  You’re pretty diverse in what you can plant and when you can plant it."

The aim may be to enhance antler development and body mass through better nutrition, but in some cases food plot sciences are a way to improve the overall health of not only the deer herd, but all wildlife species.   Turkeys, bear, rabbits, and other animals will also benefit from the wide variety of leafy vegetation available.

Biologic helps direct customers on proper blends for their land, soil testing, fertilizers, and planting times and instruction.

"You can literally grow a lot of different groceries and store them on your property for the deer to eat later," said Cole.  "It’s kind of like having groceries in the refrigerator."

Having green plant material, with nutritional value, under the snow pack is especially helpful to deer in a year like this past fall when the natural mast was at a historic low.  

Cole says there are precautions you need to take.  The Biologic products are extremely rich in protein and while domestic livestock will eat it up, it may be too rich for their blood.  There’s a particular warning against planting in areas where horses will have access.  He says the rich plants can often lead to colic in horses. 

Cole recommends landowners plan for no smaller than a half-acre food plot, but says they do have specialized products designed to grow a "micro-plot" in an area of forest land where a tree has fallen or an area has become open to the sun through the forest canopy.  He says those "micro-plots" when planted at the right time, can be a huge attractor for deer during the hunting season.

You can learn more by starting at the Biologic Website


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