With the record-setting heat and drought like conditions plaguing the U.S. this summer, planting fall food plots is going to be important. I talk to a lot of deer hunters across the nation and no matter the location, we’re noticing the same patterns. Unless irrigated, most of the crop fields are really struggling. Yields are going to be lower, and insurance claims are already being filed in some areas to cover losses. Many of these “lost” fields will simply be tilled under or chopped at some point this fall, leaving little significant food left for deer. The mast sources of fruits and nuts aren’t doing much better either. People are reporting acorns the size of peas already dropping. I’ve noticed miniature hickory nuts falling in my area.
The intent of spring food plots is to ensure deer have proper nutrition through the summer months leading into the fall hunting season. Most spring plots are planted with nourishment in mind. This year, many well-planned spring food plots look like a wasteland, and haven’t seen deer traffic in months. Precious time and resources were wasted planting plots this spring that just never got enough rain to be sustainable, but all hope isn’t lost.