By Bob Humphrey
At first glance, it might seem difficult, if not impossible to evaluate how effective your food plots are - how much the deer are using your plots and which plants they prefer. Fortunately, there’s a simple and economical solution.
The answer is what biologist call an exclosure; or what new-wave food plot aficionados sometimes refer to as a utilization cage.
12 feet of 3-foot-high welded wire fence
1 5-foot metal fence stake
3 1-foot sections of wire, or wire ties
Begin by selecting a location that will give you a good representative average of your plot - equal parts sun and shade if possible. Use the hammer to pound the stake in, leaving at least three feet exposed. When you cut off the 12-foot section of fence, leave the tag or cut ends as single wire strands. Form the wire into a tubular cage, connecting the two ends by wrapping the single-strand tag ends around the fence at the other end.
Now use wire or wire ties to affix the cage to the stake. That’s it. In no time you’ll be able to easily see the difference between plant growth outside of the cage, and inside the cage where the deer cannot reach.