No, Food Plots for Deer Hunting Are Not New or Terrible

Food plots can provide year-round supplemental nutrition for wildlife.

Social media is an interesting, to say the least, way to get some insight into what’s going on out in the world in regard to just about anything.

Hunting? Of course. But also politics, food, cars, astronomy, whatever. Pick a topic and you’ll find like-minded folks with a variety of opinions, facts, tinfoil theories and more.

It’s also a great place to get the giggles. Here’s an example.

I recently saw a Facebook post in which the “be real and hunt the hard way!” guy was complaining about how food plots have helped ruin things for deer hunters in the last 20 years.

Twenty years? Hahahahahahaha.

My old rake, some Evolved Easy Plot and some sweat resulted in a few small throw-and-grow plots that attracted deer during the season and after.

I started deer hunting in the late 1970s when I was 11 or 12 years old. The first hunting club we were in was truly old school: we hunted in the woods, no food plots, didn’t shoot does or little bucks, and you got your shirt tail cut off if you missed. The older men who ran the camp hunted raccoons at night with their hounds and didn’t put up with any bullcrap.

The next one we were in was with a different group of men. I was in my early teens and remember my father going down “to help plant food plots.” I had no idea what that meant until I went during the season and saw patches of emerald green rye and wheat growing in gaps of the planted pines.

Oh. A little garden for the deer. Nice. Deer came out occasionally and we shot some deer in the plots. I killed my first buck, a forkhorn, when it stepped out following a skittish doe. The antlers still hang on my wall. My first deer, though? It came when I was big briar-studded cutover with no plot anywhere near. I love hunting wherever the deer will be.

But plots aren’t new. They’re not something from the last 20 years. Heck, that was only 1997. Ray Scott started Whitetail Institute in 1988, for cryin’ out loud. We were hunting over plots 10 years before that, and I’m sure some folks were trying them before that.

Did we need them? No. Still don’t. You can hunt deer without food plots by hunting in the woods, which is fun. But so are food plots. I think it’s pretty neat to work the dirt, plant seeds, see what comes up, and have deer, turkeys and other critters enjoy the work. You can do it inexpensively or spend a bunch of money.

Don’t hate on the plots, though. They’re just part of the fun whirlwind we’re on as hunters.