Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Throw Down Plot
By Bob Humphrey
There’s no question that food plots are an effective means of luring whitetails out of hiding during daylight hours. However, the amount of time, money and effort involved in building them often dissuades some hunters. If you’re among them but always wanted to give it a shot, there is an easier way.
They go by several names: Throw and Grow, Hidey Holes or Throw-down Plots. Regardless of what you call them, these small, back lot plots require considerably less investment but can be nearly as productive as larger more established plots.
The first step is picking a location and you needn’t be nearly as selective as with larger plots. For starters, you don’t need road or trail access, though proximity to an ATV trail will make getting what little equipment you need a tad easier. That’s also hepful if you want to build a slightly larger plot but can’t get big equipment in. Then, you can simply use an ATV with smaller implements.
Obviously, you’ll want a location regularly used by deer. Besides that, you’ll want an area with little or no understory, but enough sunlight reaching the forest floor to facilitate plant growth. And you only need an area of roughly 400 (20 x 20) square yards. If you have ATV access, you may want to make it slightly larger.
Basic equipment needs include a rake, leaf blower (optional) and hand spreader (or ATV with implements), 50-pounds of 19-19-19 fertilizer and three to four pounds of seed. You can pick a fast-germinating, fast-growing mix specifically designed for this type of plot or simply go with winter peas, buckwheat, oats or winter rye.
Using your rake or leaf-blower remove leaves and duff, the scratch the ground lightly. Broadcast materials by hand or with a hand-held spreader. Walk over the area a few times to tamp down the soil and provide better seed-to-soil contact. Then pray for rain. The whole thing takes between 15 and 30 minutes to build and should be ready to hunt in two weeks. Plan accordingly as you’ll want to hit it before the deer gobble up all the luscious new growth.