Winter-Greens a Winner in Wisconsin

 By Tom Schneider

Every now and then, it all works out. On Nov. 2, this past season, after the Packers lost a tough battle to Tennessee, I headed to my ground blind. The weather wasn’t as cool as I would have liked, but I gave it a shot anyway. Soon, a mature bruiser followed a doe past my stand, grunting all the way. The deer was within 10 yards, but I couldn’t get a shot. He stopped and turned when he was 25 yards away, and that proved to be his fatal mistake.

This deer is my biggest bow kill. The beast rough-scored 162-3/8 Pope and Young points. He was 21 inches outside, 17-3/8 inside, and had 6-inch bases, an 11-inch G-2 and a 10-inch G-3.    After using Whitetail Institute products for years, I'm convinced that bigger deer are the result of my quality food-plot management. My bow-kill was 4-1/2 or 5-1/2 years old and was one of the heaviest deer ever registered in our area.  Whitetail Institute products work — period!

Let me go back to two summers ago. That summer was like any other, with planting food plots and taking evening tours about the countryside checking the quality of the year’s deer herd. My partner and I own properties about one mile apart, so it’s in our interest to ride around during evenings to get a feel for what type of deer are in the area. We have planted various food plots with Imperial Alfa-Rack Plus and Imperial Whitetail Clover to grow better-quality deer, and our visits and observations during summer were similar to any other year. We saw many young and yearling bucks and a couple of respectable shooters as summer progressed.  

For the first time, we had saved some areas for planting Whitetail Institute’s new Imperial Winter-Greens. We liked the fact that this product becomes most attractive  about the time the Wisconsin rut kicks in, in later October and early November. We planted Winter-Greens in the first or second week of August and watched it grow quickly to roughly 18 inches high.  

As the Winter-Greens brochure states, deer really didn’t like them immediately because the plants need to mature or turn sugary, somewhat like an apple does after the first freeze. After the first freeze, we immediately began seeing more activity in our Winter-Greens plots. After a few weeks, deer had some of them chewed to the ground. I had gone hunting in Michigan the first weekend in November because the Wisconsin rut really wasn’t kicking in as early as I usually see it, so I thought I would sneak one more weekend in Michigan before putting all of my energy in Wisconsin. After returning home from Michigan on a Sunday afternoon, I pulled the camera card out of my trail camera and saw four shooters anyone would hang on their wall. As my wife and I viewed the card on our home computer, our jaws dropped. “I think you better get out in the woods,” she said.  

I’m the type of hunter who likes to save my best stands for when the rut really gets going. I found that over-hunting an area can be a hunter’s worst mistake, so my prime stands were waiting for the perfect winds. These prime stands surrounded the Winter-Greens.  

The accompanying photo shows the result of the first afternoon. The nice 3-year-old 140-class buck made the mistake of following a half-dozen does towards the Winter-Greens for supper. After my partner congratulated me on what was my nicest buck yet with a bow, he came back with stories of his Winter-Greens plots being torn up as if you went through it with a roto-tiller. He was sitting over the Winter-Greens food plot a few days later when a shooter came walking in to harass a handful of deer. Soon, his tag was filled too. Needless to say, we cannot say enough about Winter-Greens. It is the perfect hunting plot. It's easy to plant, fun to watch grow and attracts deer like a magnet. Not only does it attract deer to the plot at the perfect time of year, it attracts the most and best deer. We saw deer on the cameras and in person that we had not seen during summer. This was black-and-white evidence that these food plots can attract numbers of deer. Further, when a lot of deer come to the plot, they drag along the best quality deer. The Winter-Greens also showed an amazing holding power. Although it only took the deer three to four weeks to completely consume plants that stood 18 inches tall, they continued to paw and chew at the sugary stumps late into gun season and even into Wisconsin’s late bow and muzzleloader seasons.  You can be sure we will plant Winter-Greens this fall along with the Whitetail Institute’s other time-proven products.