Kentucky Hunter Credits "Tools" for His Success

By Chris Farmer

As the big 10-pointer slowly slipped down the ridge, it was like a dream come true. At last, a plan was going to come together. I slowly raised my grunt call to my lips and gave a soft grunt. That was more than the big buck could stand, and the big 10 turned and came straight down the ridge to me like he was on a string. I raised my muzzleloader and with one well-placed shot ended my deer season in Kentucky.

On the farm I was hunting, we have been planting high-quality food plots for the past eight years. We have used several of the Whitetail Institute products through the years and found them to be high quality and great for the overall health and size of deer and turkeys on the farm. 

My favorites from the company's line of quality seeds are Chicory Plus and Imperial Whitetail Clover. Chicory Plus is a blend of chicory and Imperial Clover that is great in the hot Kentucky summers. My deer really love the Chicory Plus. The deer and turkeys just can’t seem to get enough of these two great products in spring and summer when bucks are growing their antlers or turkeys are raising poults.

 Another huge piece in the food-plot puzzle has been my “tools”. My all-terrain vehicle is a good example. It helps when you have high-quality equipment to plant your food plots where you want them instead of as close as you can get with a tractor. With my new ATV, I can disk, plant and fertilize in one trip. This is one tough piece of equipment. I have never seen anything close to its size break rough ground like it does.

 Another piece of equipment that works great is a 40-gallon sprayer with a trailer. This unit will cover a 30-foot area in one pass. With the small hunting plots in my area, you can get your spraying done in one to three passes. There is nothing better than watching deer and turkeys use a well-placed food plot throughout the day.

 Another tool I can’t do without is the game camera. I use many on my hunting farm, and they work great. I kept an eye on the travel patterns of the Big 10 by moving the cameras around and found where he was during daylight. I think I have about 60 pictures of the big guy, most of them at night.

I know there is a lot of talk about the flash from cameras running the deer off, but I have not seen that. Deer might jump at the flash, but they do not run off. I think cameras are a great tool that anyone can use to make sure they hunt the right spot at the right time. You can bet I’ll be using my ATV next spring to place a few more Imperial Clover and Chicory Plus food plots and game cameras to see what’s using them.

On this small 200-acre farm, I've been able to produce a buck in the 150-inch range every year. There's no way this could be done without quality food plots. This buck was very hard to get a handle on during daylight — as with most bucks of his size — because he did most of his traveling at night. However, I found a travel route he was using to check does late in the evening, so I hunted him every day when the wind was right. The last day, I decided to stay on the stand all day. At about 2:30 p.m., I heard a noise on the ridge behind me, and with a little help from my grunt call, I got this great buck to come right to me.

I wish everything worked that well every time, but if it did, it wouldn’t be hunting.