Large food plots that require farm-level equipment are beyond the average deer hunter. But small quarter-to-half-acre plots can be planted and maintained with hand tools and small machines. Two of my favorite stands overlook large weed patches that will soon be sprayed with clover, turnips, and peas — just enough munchies to keep deer passing by on their way to bed. Planting small food plots is fairly easy, as Scott Bestul points out in this post from Whitetail Institute.

My hunting buddies and I have been experimenting with these types of plots for several seasons now, and have made enough mistakes to feel like we’re finally learning something. Here are a few of the lessons we’ve learned.

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No. 1: Plot Location

Small plots — which I define as anything less than one-half acre — are best situated somewhere close to dense cover. The reason for this is simple. Because a small plot is never going to feed a lot of deer for a long period of time, their main purpose is to lure deer in for a shot. And to coax any deer into an open area during daylight, you need to make deer feel safe. Situate a small plot close to cover and deer don’t have to travel far to reach the food… [continued]

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