In central Illinois, food sources for whitetail are beyond plentiful due to the agriculture fields. However, this does not prevent several of individuals such as myself from planting food plots. Through past year experiences, deer often transition through food sources throughout the seasons and what is available and essential. After harvest, those agricultural food sources are not as plentiful for the deer. Therefore, those individuals with available food sources after harvest can not keep the deer away. Whether you are an everyday hunter or someone who is just out there to fill the freezer, having an available food sources through the seasons, will increase the productivity and activity of the deer in your area. Especially if your hunting location is deprived of food sources for deer.
If you are intrigued, you are probably curious about what to plant. Depending on your location, clover food plots are often a go to. Clover is the first thing to rise in the spring and will thrive nearly until the end of December here in Illinois. Deer love clover and it is a cost efficient plot to plant if on a budget such as myself. Also, other mixes of seed can be included with clover such as chicory. Chicory prices are fairly high however, deer love chicory and the combination of clover and chicory is deadly. Also, clover and chicory are perennial, which means they will continue to grow years after planted with little management.
Another excellent food plot possibility is purple top turnips and tillage radishes. When winter strikes, the temperatures begin to fall, and snow, the deer will be in search of high protein food sources and turnips and radishes do just that. Deer will visit that food source 24/7 in order to keep warm and healthy in the harsh winter weather. If you are capable of providing deer in your area with a clover mix plot as well as a turnip and radish plot, then your hunting will greatly be improved as you provide them with two transition food plots. When the clover dies due to the cold, the deer will transition into your turnips quickly and there will be no reason for them to leave your property for food.
Article by: Brady Wilkinson