I watched until the sun went down and, after plodding out through the snow, I drove over to talk to the farmer. He explained he couldn’t let me hunt because of a promise to a relative. He also expressed surprise about the amount of deer that were in the soybean field he had been unable to pick.
I told him they were all deer that had left my property. As we talked, it occurred to us that the key was the recent snowfall. The deer preferred my plots, but my plots were buried. So, they went for the easy meal—the soybeans that were still protruding through the snow cover on his property.
I never did bag a buck during that late-season hunt. Holding out for Mr. Big didn’t pay off, and I still blame it on the snow cover. But now, I have insured against this ever happening again.
Winter-Greens gets tastier with winter weather
Some plot plantings become less attractive with cold weather and hard frosts. Others may not lose their allure but, when buried in snow, they require more effort than the deer are willing to expend, especially if there are alternative food sources that require less effort.
The Whitetail Institute’s new late-season food plot product, Winter-Greens, is the answer to these winter problems. A brassica blend, Winter-Greens is designed specifically to attract deer in late season.
Winter-Greens is the most effective late-season food plot product you can plant. It works two ways. First, brassicas by nature actually sweeten with a hard frost. To be precise, the first hard frost triggers plant maturity, which in turn results in a sweeter taste. It’s like a banana. When it’s still green, a banana is not very tasty. Once mature or ripe however, a yellow banana is very tasty. Brassicas just require a hard frost to mature and get tasty.
So, while other food plots are becoming less appealing, or are getting eaten down, Winter-Greens is getting better. And don’t think the deer don’t know it!
The second reason Winter-Greens works is because brassicas stand tall and stay green, even in heavy snow. They won’t get flattened like so many other plants. So, had I supplemented my food plot plan with Winter-Greens, my deer would have stayed on my property and would not have moved to the uncut soybeans. It was a hard-earned but valuable lesson.
Winter-Greens is preferred 4-to-1 over other brassica-based food plots
The Whitetail Institute knows food plots. It also knows brassicas. Brassica has been a late-season food source component in various Whitetail Institute food plot products since 1993. One of the biggest obstacles the Institute researchers had to overcome with a pure brassica blend was palatability. Researchers tested hundreds of brassicas and brassica blends and after years of testing, finally discovered a specific blend of “hybrid” brassicas that proved to be incredibly attractive and produced tons of forage. In fact, in “cafeteria tests” performed using wild, free-ranging whitetail deer across the U.S., Winter-Greens was preferred over other brassica food plot products by at least 4-to-1. That’s right, 4-to-1. Now that’s a considerable difference.
Winter-Greens makes your herd healthier
You and I will buy Winter-Greens because it will attract deer to our property for late-season hunting. But there is another tremendous advantage to Winter-Greens. It also gives our deer an exceptionally nutritious, easy-to-eat food source during the most difficult time of year for deer—old man winter.
Let’s face it, we want big bucks. And bucks get big when they get the nutrients necessary to grow antlers during the antler-growing season. That is the main mantra of The Whitetail Institute’s Imperial Whitetail Clover and other food plot products. That said, a buck can have the best nutritional food sources available starting in the spring when he begins to grow antlers, but if he is in sorry shape due to the rigors of winter, his system is going to direct a lot of those nutrients to his body.
The point is this: all things being equal, a buck that is healthy going into the antler-growing season will produce a better set of antlers than a buck that is a victim of the hardships of winter.
Winter-Greens, because it does so well in the snow and cold and because it is so readily available to the deer, will give your deer a better start on their antlers. Of course, this applies to the health of your does too.
How to determine your food plot strategy with Winter-Greens
Winter-Greens is an annual. I recommend that you determine where your deer tend to hang out on your property during the late fall or winter and then supplement your food plot plan with a plot of Winter-Greens in that particular area. We already know deer will naturally follow the path of least resistance when it comes to food. Why make it any more difficult for them?
You will most likely have some activity on your Winter-Greens plot before the first frost, but the majority of activity will occur after the first HARD frost. At this point, the deer will make a decision based on the taste and availability of other food sources relative to Winter-Greens. In other words, don’t expect the deer to ignore other food sources and make a beeline to your Winter-Greens plot just because you’ve experienced a hard frost. But once other food sources lose their appeal (and they will) or once the snows come and other plots get covered, that’s when Winter-Greens will really attract the deer. Remember the situation I described at the beginning of this article and the availability component of Winter-Greens. You could very well, with the right conditions, have a virtual deer parade to your Winter-Greens plot.
Another huge advantage of Winter-Greens is it is extremely drought tolerant. With just reasonable amounts of rainfall, Winter-Greens will produce a lot of high-quality winter food.
Don’t take the chance of a poor late-season hunt
We all learn through experience. And you have the opportunity to learn through my experience. Don’t be left out in the cold if you have the opportunity to hunt in the late season. Plan to incorporate Winter-Greens into your food plot strategy.
Frankly, after watching that parade of deer in December, a Winter-Greens plot could very well create a situation where, given the right cold and/or snowy conditions, you could have deer coming from all around to your property. It could be one of those magic moments when you have the best hunting of the whole year. It’s a distinct possibility when you plan to attract late-season deer to your property with new Winter-Greens!