Food: Clover/chicory along with any other spring season perennials should be in the ground now that we’re nearing the end of may. We planted our clover/chicory plot last weekend. With some timely rain it should be looking good soon. Farmers have already begun to plant a lot of their corn and it’s starting to show good signs of growth. You’ll want to make sure you get any corn or beans you’ll be planting in the ground sooner then later. If you want green beans for the season opener wait to plant your beans until late June/early July otherwise get those crops in the ground now.
Plot Preparation: First we did a soil test early in the year. Now we’ve sprayed nearly all of our plots. We’ve also cut them to knock down all of the dead vegetation. Then we proceed with tilling. We’re in the process of tilling and planting right now. One of the plots is done and a few more are already tilled and should be planted soon. When we go to seeding we’re spreading the fertilizer and the seed. After that we roll the plot to ensure for good seed to soil contact. Then it’s time to let Mother Nature do her thing.
Minerals: I’ve been getting the minerals going good as of late. My preference is to mix the minerals with dirt as best as possible. Deer like to eat minerals mixed in with dirt better then they prefer straight mineral. I have a couple of mineral sites that are getting buck and doe activity in them. Deer certainly love the minerals this time of year. I’ve made it a priority to have minerals at each of the properties I hunt.
Water: With the dry summer thus far I’ve had to dig my water holes a bit deeper to keep the water in them. That technique has worked quite well for getting some water to show up in the hole.
Trail Cameras: My trail cameras over scrapes are continuing to get decent activity. I’ll be leaving a few cameras over scrapes for a long time. The cameras I have over minerals are getting a lot of activity as well. Beyond those two areas, green food plots are the other great option for trail cameras or growing soybeans.
Mock Scrapes/Rubs: All of my mock scrapes are basically old deer scrapes that I make sure to freshen up and add scent to. Most of them are getting pretty good deer activity. This is an effective way to get deer to stop where you want them too. All of these locations are just off of or directly on deer trails.
Food Source Scouting: I’ll be holding off on this type of scouting until the beans are bigger and the bucks have put some serious headgear on. It’s still quite early for that. I am not seeing a ton of buck activity in the alfalfa fields at this point.
Stand Scouting and Preparation: I have one more new stand that I really need to trim shooting lanes for and get a nice access trail too. Once that is done I’ll be somewhat happy with where I’m at for getting stands ready for the season.
Shooting Practice: I’ve been slacking in this area. Pretty soon I’ll need to get the bow out and begin fine tuning my shot.
Continual Learning: It’s food plot season so I’ve been teaching myself as much as I have time to regarding food plots and how to go about planting them. Whitetail Institute has a good web TV site dedicated to all of their various blends. They also have a planting date recommendation for all of their products as well. It’s based on specific states as opposed to regions, which I found to be quite helpful. The QDMA has compiled a list of good resources to visit regarding different plant species and planting ideas.