How To Design The Best Kill Plots For Small Parcel Deer Hunting
A large number of bowhunters are trying to figure out the same problem: How do I make my small deer hunting parcel better? Although the answer can sometimes be very complex there are a few simple steps to take for getting better deer hunting on the back 40.
Exodus sat down with Jeff Sturgis of Whitetail Habitat Solutions to discuss this very topic in episode #185 of The Exodus Podcast.
Listen to the full discussion here:
#1: Access is KEY
When planning your kill plot, whether it is 1/4 acre, 1/2 acre or bigger the #1 most important factor is access. Can you access and exit that kill plot without bumping deer?
Clean access and exit routes are often the most overlooked when planning for a deer hunt, or when designing a deer parcel for bowhunting. However, it is the very first priority to consider. More people are ruining their hunts and their farm because of their access than any other factor.
This point applies to the hunt itself, but also checking trail cameras, bait stations, or anything you are doing on the farm.
#2: Food Determines the Foundation of Deer Movement
A kill plot is not a kill plot unless it is on the way to something else. When dealing with kill plots, typically under an acre in size, they must not be the destination. If deer linger, your food will be eaten down to the dirt and your movement is sacrificed.
The goal with your kill plot is to just be a window in their movement so they are just stopping for a bite on their way to a destination food source.
There are a ton of great resources on designing food plots on the Exodus Outdoor Gear Youtube Channel to learn more about what to plant on your farm for designing a better deer hunting parcel.
#3 Mock Scrapes WORK in Kill Plots
Adding an attraction to your kill plot like a mock scrape, or a watering hole are great ways to improve the attraction of the small plot. Again, keep in mind you do not want to hold the deer in these areas for long periods of time. The goal here is to lengthen the line of movement before your target buck reaches the destination food source.
The biggest advantage to adding a mock scrape to a kill plot is for stand placement. Without the "destination" in the kill plot, it is less likely to pattern the movement through the plot. Adding a mock scrape is a great way to get that buck to stop in an area allowing you to get a perfectly placed arrow into him for the kill.
In conclusion, a kill plot must have three factors to be effective, great access, great attraction, and an opportunity for the shot! If your plot is lacking one of these three factors and you cannot rectify the problem, it may be best to keep the plot for the additional food source and to keep the deer safe but don't hunt that particular plot.
Written by: The Exodus Team