Small acrage Deer Farming (food plots)


Jun 21, 2004
Corbin, KY.
I've got a small farm in Eastern Kentucky that I have hunted for years with some success, but more failure than I'm comfortable with. I used to hunt another piece of property in the same area, but it has changed ownership, and last year found me back on my own place. This year, I'm starting to work my little place to see what can be done on the small tract.

I've got a highway on 1 side and 2 sides bordered by a good sized creek (Big enough to float a jon boat most of the time) The deer on my place have always been transients as there is a ford on the creek on the backside and an old dirt road that makes a good travel path for them. Of the 40 acres I have, 20 is in pasture, and while it would be ok to plant it, drawing the deer out in the field would be poacher suicide. The best plan is to keep them in the wooded sections along the creek.

My plan is to go back into the woods and clear small plots along the 3 old roads that cross the property. These little patches would be where there is room to take out dogwood and other small stuff to create a light hole in the canopy. I hope to find about 5 or 6 different places to do it where I can create a 30 x 100 or so plot. I could even eventually plant the roadbeds I suppose once I get my clearing accomplished.

What is a good low light vegetation for this kind of situation? Would you plant a mix or keep the plots pretty much 1 type of vegetation?

Any suggestions?

Skipper,I'd say you'd fare better working on Edge cover instead of in the woods,but I'm no expert.I can tell you that persimmons will grow good in shady areas like that,but I'm sure your looking for faster results.The state of Virginia division of forestry offers some great deals on wildlife seed and tree seedling packets for a variety of locations,I'm sure Ky division of forestry offers some wildlife packets too,but I don't remember seeing the things Virginia offered.
Here's some helpful links =


BBBC Members
Jan 2, 2004
Bowling Green, KY, USA.
I'm no expert but the first thing I would do is pick out a thick fast growing evergreen and plant me a good hedge row between the pasture and roadway. This will cut down on the poaching problem. Now you can concentrate on getting a good stand of Native Warm Season Grasses established, Preferably something that would create good bedding and nesting areas for deer and turkey. Part of the pasture would be planted in food plot, what ever you prefer. The clearings in the woods are a good idea same as planting the roadways. Also cut down the junk trees such as sweetgums and others that have minimal wildlife or timber value. Next, start a major tree planting program. Planrt trees that provide mast such as sawtooth oaks, persimmon, and apple. In 5 years I would think your 40 acres would be prime for the picking!


10 pointer
Nov 26, 2003
Kentucky, USA.
Skindog is right! Work on hiding the view from the road. If it were me I would plant a 2 staggerd rows of something like boarder poplars right next to the road because they grow so fast, but plant something more permanent in a row parallel to them, because boarder poplars tend to break. This would be very cheap and once they're established they have new shoots constantly, you'll be mowing down shoots.

Then work on your food plots. If you insist on clearing areas I think that would still be great, but I would say the area's would need to be near an acre of clearing to get enough sunlight to your crops. I've always heard to make the shape irregular.

Western Kentucky Boy


8 pointer
Aug 7, 2002
As far as grasses go, clover is hard to beat. Deer love Ladino. You could plant some woods edges with ladino. For deeper in the woods your best bet would be dutch clover. It is the most shade tolerant clover you can get.

If you've got water on the property, good food plots will turn the transient deer into residents. You've got to give them a reason to stick around.


BBBC Members
Jan 2, 2004
Bowling Green, KY, USA.
If you do clearings in the woods, let them run east to west to make the best of available sunlight. Also the best portions of roadbed to plant are the spots that run eastt to west!

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