John's Journal...

Green Fields – Why They Work and Why They Don't for Hunting Deer with Dr. Grant Woods

Day 3: How to Create a Green Field Deer Will Utilize During the Hunting Season with Dr. Grant Woods

Editor’s Note: Planting a green field doesn't guarantee that you'll take a buck on it. Some green fields produce high-quality bucks every season, while other green fields rarely if ever even yield a buck. What factors make for a great green field, and what makes a green field a waste of time and money? To learn the answers to these questions, we've contacted Dr. Grant Woods ( of Reeds Spring, Missouri, an avid hunter and one of the nation's leading deer researchers and animal-nutrition experts.

Pinpoint the Deer

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View"Just because your green field produces plenty of food doesn't mean that deer will come to that food source to feed during hunting season," Dr. Woods reports. "For instance, although your field grows lush, green Johnson grass, deer don't like Johnson grass and rarely will eat it. Even if your field grows plants that deer like to eat, those plants may lack the nutrition to create the sugars and other parts of a plant that draw in the deer. Too, the amount of fertilizer you add to the land often determines the palatability of the plants in a green field to a deer. If the deer don't want to eat the plants in a green field during hunting season, the green field serves little purpose.

"To create a green field that deer will utilize during hunting season, first do a soil test. Then put the correct amount of fertilizer and lime on the green field as suggested, and use a herbicide to control the weeds in the green field so that the weeds won't steal the nutrition from the ground. I define a weed as a plant that continues to grow after the plant spends its energy that no longer tastes palatable to the deer. If you'll follow these recommendations, then the crop you plant for deer will produce a maximum yield.

"To guarantee the palatability of the green field's crops throughout hunting season, always plant blends of seed in your green field instead of single crops. A blend of seeds like Mossy Oak's BioLogic Full Draw will produce food for deer before deer season, during bow season, through late gun season and even after the hunting season. Then as the green field yields a crop, the deer can totally consume these early plants before the next plants in the blend mature."

Woods emphasizes that rye grass will produce abundant, nutritious food for deer during the early season. "However, the rye plant will continue to grow after the deer stop eating it. The unappetizing rye grass will rob the water and nutrients in the soil from the other seeds that will become palatable to the deer later in the season. Rather than planting rye, Dr. Woods suggests that you plant a seed blend with an early wheat in the blend. If you plant a blend of seeds that contains a variety of wheat that germinates quickly and comes out of the ground fast, the deer can completely consume the wheat during the early season. The wheat in Mossy Oak's BioLogic Full Draw that Dr. Woods has formulated comes out of the ground wanting to make a lot of leaves instead of a few leaves. According to Woods, "The wheat in Full Draw has a big stem with a seed head on top of it. Deer can browse off this seed, and the seed will continue to grow."

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewAfter deer consume the early-season plants on a green field like wheat, the other plants in the blend can draw the nutrition and moisture from the soil and become palatable to the deer for later in the season.

Mossy Oak's BioLogic Full Draw uses a blend of seeds in a green field planting to attract deer all during deer season," Woods comments. "Full Draw addresses the issue of wanting to attract deer into a food plot as quickly as possible while also having quality forage to keep deer in a food plot through the long season and providing them with nutrients they need to survive the winter and become productive in the spring.”

For the most-productive green field, use a blend of seeds that produces nutritious and palatable plants throughout the length of hunting season. Generally, one crop or one type of seed won't accomplish this mission.

Check out the new Kindle eBooks, “Deer and Fixings,” “How to Hunt Deer like a Pro,” “PhD Whitetails” and “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” by John E. Phillips. Go to, type in the name of the books, and download them to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: How Not to Spook Deer from Coming to Your Green Field with Dr. Grant Woods

Check back each day this week for more about "Green Fields – Why They Work and Why They Don't for Hunting Deer with Dr. Grant Woods"

Day 1: Why Your Green Fields May Not Produce the Size and Number of Bucks You Expect
Day 2: Don’t Shoot Does in Your Green Fields with Dr. Grant Woods
Day 3: How to Create a Green Field Deer Will Utilize During the Hunting Season with Dr. Grant Woods
Day 4: How Not to Spook Deer from Coming to Your Green Field with Dr. Grant Woods
Day 5: Tie Deer’s Bellies to Their Brains with Dr. Grant Woods

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Entry 694, Day 3