Even though it’s still blazing hot, August is a great time to locate and prepare a new place to pull in a big buck during the upcoming deer season. The neighboring agriculture field or the 10-years-going-strong food plot will always be good places to see some nice deer, yet the mature deer will quickly pattern hunters and anything they see as a threat during the daylight.
Many of these rich food sources will get pounded by deer, but mature bucks will not show until the stars are the only thing igniting the night sky. At some point, deer learn where not to be when the sun is riding above the horizon. A secluded food plot well away from the daily travels of man can be a honey hole, especially when the other food sources are pressured.
Animals of every shape, size and form are motivated by food, regardless of the season. For deer hunters, the food variable is always part of their strategy, and it should be.
What makes a good place for a food plot off the beaten path? Well, it is just that. Anywhere there are trails wide enough to drive a truck down or trails that circle the property will often get significant traffic throughout the season from hunters wanting to take a look. The roads that travel to and from or along the margins of fields and food plots are prime candidates as high-travel areas. While bucks can easily be noticed running a hot doe across one of these fields during the height of the rut, these easily accessible fields will rarely attract a mature buck on a consistent basis, especially during the daylight.
The best hidden gems are usually located in an area that is nearly impossible to access by truck and is only accessible by foot or ATV. As long as the food-plot areas are relatively open and clear of significant brush, hunters can prepare these backcountry food plots with the ATV using the various available implements on the market today.
Food plots need sunlight and fresh soil with little competition to grow properly. However, many of these potential backcountry plots are covered with saplings, brush and high grass that can make it difficult to prepare the soil properly with the typical ATV attachments. For farmers and large food-plot growers with a collection of heavy farm equipment, preparing the soil is rarely an issue. A heavy duty bush hog and a half-ton disk will get the job done.
But backcountry food plots are often too rough to access with a typical farm tractor, and something else is needed to get job done. These jobs are perfect for the compact, self-propelled series of tillers and mowers available on the market.
Heavy duty, self-propelled mowers are set up to pulverize brush and high grass, and the typical garden tiller is perfect for breaking up soil to the consistency needed to germinate seed — perfect for preparing out-of-the-way food plots. Alternatively, BCS America offers the perfect solution: a single, walk-behind machine and various attachments that are ideal for preparing these sites in remote places.
Joe Fowler of Open Season is the local dealer for BCS America, servicing North Carolina and South Carolina customers with a line of walk-behind tractors and attachments.
“Our tractors are perfect for the hard-to-get-to places where you cannot pull in a big tractor,” said Fowler (704-213-1264). “With the dozen different implements, you can mow trails, build food plots and then come home and mow your grass or power-wash your house. It’s a very versatile piece of equipment that is perfect for food plots up to five acres.”
The BCS Walk-Behind Tractor has been used for sustainable farming all over Europe and Asia, and it has become more popular stateside in recent years. The BCS tractor has many PTO-driven implements helpful for creating food plots, including: a flail mower, rotary tiller and rotary plow. Where the ATV equipment implements can be helpful for food plots, the BCS tractor’s PTO-driven implements are more effective at preparing the plots for planting. The PTO-driven implement is crucial for eliminating problem vegetation and the powerful tilling capabilities to break up tough soil and demolish roots.
“The BCS gives you the torque you need to get the job done,” Fowler said. “I will use the flail mower attachment to cut and grind up the head-high briars and brush with one pass and then go back over it one time with the rotary plow.”
Fowler loves the flail mower because it grinds up the material into very small pieces, unlike a typical bush hog, which just cuts and twists everything up 5 inches off the ground. The BCS Tractor will do everything a large tractor will do but is much more compact and easier to transport.
“I load everything up in my trailer, but you don’t need a trailer to transport the equipment. I can put the tractor, mower and one other attachment into the back of my truck with room to spare,” Fowler said.
Deer are suckers for a rich food source, especially during the fall when the temperature starts falling, natural food sources begin to wane and hunting pressure becomes an everyday threat. A secluded, super-rich food plot can be a hidden gem away from the constant disturbances of the paths of man and a super place to slip in and kill a wall hanger.