Abstract

Title:  Comparison of Food Plot Mixtures for Attracting White-tailed Deer
Author(s): Ryan E. Leeson - Southern Illinois University (SIU); Clayton K. Nielsen - SIU; William J. Banz - SIU
Year: 2016
Abstract: Despite the multitude of food plot mixtures available for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), few studies have assessed the efficacy of different mixtures at attracting deer in midwestern landscapes. During September-November 2015, we established 4 no-till food plot mixtures in 16 plots (5445 feet2 in size) in southern Illinois and measured deer use via 2 methods: vegetation growth in exclosures versus control (i.e., unfenced) areas and camera traps. We compared Big Tine Buck Brunch, Evolved Harvest Throw & Gro, Antler King No Sweat, and a food plot mix that we created. Deer used all 4 food plot mixtures (n = 292 - 2,522 pictures per plot over 9 weeks), having a negative impact on mean vegetation height outside of exclosures (F3,1148 = 6.71, P < 0.001). Analysis of camera data indicated that deer did not preferentially use any one food plot mixture over the others (F3,12 = 0.090, P > 0.050). There was also no difference in the proportion of deer pictured in the process of eating within each food plot mixture (F3,12 = 0.592, P > 0.050). We suggest any of these 4 food plot varieties could be planted by a hunter or wildlife manager in the Midwest and observe similar use by deer.

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