Jumpstart your fall season while preparing for spring
By Jared Wiklund
It’s easy to tell when early August has arrived across pheasant country – it’s hot, muggy, and buggy. The corn is tasseling hard right now in the Midwest, and the time to plant some form of grain for winter food & cover plots has all but passed.
Despite these dog days of summer, Mother Nature does provide a fall preview every once in a blue moon. Tonight, for instance, the thermometer has dropped to 57 degrees Fahrenheit in Minnesota, along with a tumbling dewpoint. The golden hues and crisp air of October aren’t here quite yet…but they’re knocking on the door.
What can these slight hints of autumn possibly mean? You guessed it, fall food plots. Even though favorite fall/winter critter delicacies such as grain (corn, sorghum, millet,) or oilseeds (sunflowers, for example) are past due for planting or any sort of production, that doesn’t mean your out of luck for fall food and cover plots. If you’ve got 45 days before an average first frost date in your region (currently, this would include nearly the entire United States pheasant range), Pheasants Forever carries a Signature Series Seed option worth your consideration for planting in the coming weeks. Additionally, our seed store stocks individual varieties of brassicas and legumes.
Here are some of our favorite fall plantings for birds AND bucks, with plenty of crossover for next spring! Click on the “Planting Guide” link for biologist-backed recommendations when putting in the ground.
Big Buck Brassica - $62.99 / bag
1 Bag Plants 1 Acre. Big Buck Brassica is the #1 seller for hardcore deer hunters. It’s the perfect blend of forage turnips, radishes, and other brassica varieties to attract and keep deer on your property all fall and winter. The high sugar content in the mature plants attracts and keeps deer where you want them. Additionally, these green food plots attract insects well into fall and can provide major protein sources for upland birds – and a place to rouse a rooster in October! BUY IT NOW / PLANTING GUIDE
The crop of this Minnesota rooster was stuffed with leafy greens and bugs after being harvested on the edge of a Big Buck Brassica plot. The author also harvested several deer over this planting later in the fall.
Whitetail 365 - $54.99 / bag
It’s the perfect Throw & Go mix for any situation on any farm. It can be planted anytime from early spring through late fall. The combination of oats, rye, and peas ensures that something is always growing and providing forage for deer year-round. It can be grown on the toughest ground in the toughest conditions. BUY IT NOW / PLANTING GUIDE
Clover Kandy - $68.99 / bag
Clover Kandy is the perfect blend of high protein clovers and other legumes providing the ultimate green browse for deer and turkey while providing nesting and brood-rearing cover for pheasants and quail. This mix stays green most of the year providing the ultimate all-around food plot for deer, turkey, pheasants, and quail. It can also be used for green firebreaks. Plant in the fall for late autumn food, and expect an explosion of growth the following spring. BUY IT NOW / PLANTING GUIDE
Jared Wiklund is a Public Relations Manager for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever