What's the one thing you would plant?

Thread starter #1
We have 300 acres of mature pines and 5 year old regrowth. The are only about 10 oaks on the property. We have a fair number of deer that pass through the area, but are looking to draw in more deer from the adjacent WMA. We are not concerned with antler growth. We are mostly concerned with number of deer. Please consider these factors. 1) Grows well in shade. 2) It very durable, i.e. withstands little water and less than ideal soil qualities. 3) Requires little maintenance. 4) Cost.

Also, suggest something while considering the same factors except grows well in direct sun.


Senior Member
is this your land, or lease land ?
How much fudge factor do you have with the timber ?
how much area is possibly available for food plots?


Senior Member
how much area is possibly available for food plots?
One more key thing you'll need to do: soil samples. You'll more than likely need to choose your food plot areas in such a way that you can get a spreader truck to them in order to get lime on them. You'll most likely need to get several tons of lime on the plots before planting.
Another question for you: Are you wanting to plant plots for year-round use or just during deer season?
Thread starter #6
We currently have 4 existing food plots. Each one is about an acre in size and currently consists of some clover, and some winter wheat. The plots are mostly just grass though. The soil would definitely need to be treated prior to whatever we planted.
For deer season plant Buck Forage Oats. They grow well in just about every situation. I can't find anything that the deer will eat better than the buck oats. Mix in some turnips for a little variety.


Senior Member
Oats and soybeans would be my first two options
Pear trees
If it is somewhat sandy soil, I'd look into chinkapins, chestnuts, and pears. Sunlight will be the limiting factor for all three, as they all tolerate dry/well drained soil and low fertility well. They will all survive in partial shade, but will produce better in full sun. Don't bother planting Sawtooth oak unless you have at least 50-75% sun. I have Sawtooth in 50% sun that are 12 years old and still only two feet tall. Others the same age in full sun are 35 feet tall and have been producing for years. I've never seen a tree that needs more sun. A good oak to consider is dwarf chinkapin oak. They are a shrub oak (up to 20' tall) in the white oak family that produce at an early age.

Essentially all nut and fruit trees do better in full or near full sun. What you want is to pick some that tolerate partial shade better than most. If you have limited areas with good sun, I'd suggest you buy a few larger trees instead of lots of small trees. Then I'd suggest you plant these trees in the best (highest sunlight) areas and take very good care of them for the first two or three years. Keep in mind that most trees require pollination and should be planted close to others of similar type. This also helps reduce the labor of looking after them and makes hunting around them easier. The pear trees are likely to need protection from bucks rubbing them for the first few years.


Senior Member
How much native browse is available? Bushhog the 5 year old regrowth and really put the fertilizer too it come spring. Bushhog/Fertilize again in late August. This is the cheapest/easiest way I know.
Oats and arrowleaf clover.

I have tried the Buck Forage Oats and they are NOT worth the extra $. You can plant a locally grown oat for about 1/3 of the price with better results.