Food Plot Question: “When is the best time to plant food plots for whitetail deer in Western Louisiana? I’m planning on planting iron and clay peas to a spring plot to supplement the diet of deer in my area, but not sure when to put seeds into the ground. Also, are iron and clay peas a good choice for deer food plots, and will they grow well in this part of the state?
Response: Honestly, there is probably not a better seed or plant for whitetail deer in your part of Louisiana. Iron and clay cowpeas do well in East Texas, which is the same soil and habitat found just across the river in western Louisiana. Cowpeas can handle the soil and grow like crazy, producing abundant forage for antler growth and fawn production. Deer love the high protein that peas yield too.
When it comes to spring planting plots, timing is everything. You’ve already know what to plant, now it’s just a matter of knowing how to plant your food plot. Wait until the soil temp reaches at least 65 degrees. This is typically around mid-April in your part of the world. Keep in mind that cowpeas do well in really warm and hot weather. If you have a high deer density then be sure your food plot size is large enough to get a good stand.
If deer bite off the peas before they branch then stick a fork in them, they are done. Make sure you have a good handle on the number of deer in your area as well as the amount of acreage you need to put under plow to make a difference. Spring food plots for whitetail deer can be very effective, but they must be allowed to establish before they can really help the deer found on your property. Iron and clay cowpeas are a good choice for whitetail, so you are on the right track.