By Haynes Shelton
Take a walk in the woods during springtime and you’ll likely find an abundance of lush, green native forage. The explosion of plant growth that occurs during the warm season is extremely beneficial to wildlife, especially whitetails. However, because woody browse and forbs are heavily consumed by deer, resources can quickly dwindle. In fact, by the height of summer’s swelter, many favorable plants have been over-browsed and/or become less palatable for whitetails.
Planting warm season food plots is one way to provide high-protein forage for your deer herd during a time when they’re actively seeking nutrition. It’s important to note that during this time of year, does are birthing and nursing newborn fawns. Hence, they require an excess amount of protein in order to bolster lactation. Providing does and fawns access to highly-nutritious food sources is an investment in the overall health and survivability of your herd.
Of course, the warm season also is when whitetail bucks are growing their antlers. Providing protein-rich food sources through the implementation of food plots and supplemental feeding programs not only can increase the overall attraction and carrying capacity of your property, but also increase the odds of your bucks growing bigger antlers. Better yet, summer food plots often are great places to set up trail cameras and early season stand sites.