Plot Layout & Access

Food Plotting Guides

Plot Layout & Access


Plot Layout & Access


Laying out your plot(s) involves many factors including how many plot acres you have to work with. Of course it’d be nice to be able to put a plot in the exact spot you think it should be, but for most people that's just not possible. Sometimes it’s the lay of the land, sometimes it could be resources or even gaining permission to do it. Regardless, you can work with what you have.

To start, evaluate the property and sign and try to get it as close to the deer's natural movement areas as possible. One example of being off a little on the location. A few years ago I found a spot that wasn’t exactly where the sign was but it was a much larger opening. With the "build it and they will come" attitude, I proceeded as planned and hacked and cleared a nice 1/2 acre area. It looked great the donly problem was the deer stayed up on the hill 100 yards away in the natural crossing area and never showed up until well after dark at my brilliant location. Sure they would have eventually started using it as intended, maybe. But life’s short and I'm not wasting the time waiting to see. So, I relocated to where I should have in the first place and cleared a series of small lanes about 1/4 acre in total and went with a clover and oat mix and what do you know, things went as planned. I was just fortunate to be able to get that to work. It doesn’t always happen that way, but sometimes you just have work with what you have and wait. For what it's worth, I kept the larger plot operational because it wasn’t hurting the deer movement and did help take some browse pressure off the smaller one. As mentioned in the choosing seed section, if the smaller plot was planted in a mix that was mainly single use stuff such as radish and turnips it would not have been nearly as productive as long. A couple does and fawns would wipe that out very quickly. 

Once you’ve figured out figured a location, can you find a way in and out of there that won’t affect deer movement? Access can override location a lot of times. 

Something my buddy Dr Grant Woods is good about is not walking the edge of plots. When he must cross one to get to a stand, he resists the urge to check out scrapes and cuts down the middle of the plots so to not throw up flags that he’s there when the deer come out of the woods and cut his trail immediately or sense something's wrong as the feed along. That was another great tip that saved me the agony of does blowing, stomping and causing a scene just when prime time started. I can think of hundreds opportunities that I’ve blown because of that as youngster. Location and access should be top priorities when laying out your plot.