Ask The Biologist

A Little Help from my Friends

A Little Help from my Friends

By Bob Humphrey

Your buddies might be right about food plots, but they might not be.

QUESTION: I have a small 20-acre tract on the Edwards Plateau around Harper, Texas. I would like to create a food plot but don’t know what to use, where to buy it, and if everything I’ve heard about food plots is accurate. I know where feed stores are, but I would appreciate knowing what specifically I should use in my terrain. I do not have access to water, so of course it would be wild. – Charles M.

ANSWER: While I have hunted there several times, I’m not real familiar with the specific plants that grow in that region. I will say you are going to be challenged building a food plot in an arid region with no water. However, woody browse makes up most of a deer’s diet throughout the year, and since your parcel is relatively small, you might be better off managing for preferred species.

Texas A&M Extension has a helpful brochure on preferred species - click here.

By eliminating or reducing undesirable plants in favor of preferred species, you should attract more deer. You could also consider planting some of those shrubs (particularly live oak for its mast), although you will have to protect them until they grow older and larger, and will again be challenged by lack of water. Also, leave enough cedar for cover.

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