A Message from Ray Scott: A Changing Conversation

By Ray Scott

As usual, noted whitetail expert Charles Alsheimer hit the nail on the head in his article on page 14. He writes of annual and perennial plantings but makes a larger point of how the whitetail world has changed over the last 15 to 20 years.

As a lecturer three decades ago, his audiences were interested primarily in hunting strategies. Today the questions are about management — notably forage and food plot layout.

Alsheimer graciously gives the Whitetail Institute much of the credit for this. We didn’t invent deer hunting and we didn’t invent deer forage, but we brought them together in a way that made them both better with the introduction of our flagship product, Imperial Whitetail Clover. It was the first forage planting formulated specifically for the unique needs of the whitetail deer.

We had a big challenge however. Imperial Whitetail Clover was and is still the gold standard of food plot products. But more was required. To reap the full rewards of our ground-breaking perennial planting, hunters and land managers would have to be educated that a commitment of their time, energy and money would produce a major pay-back in improved herds and hunting.

To that end, all of our print and TV ads contained a toll-free number that connected potential customers to highly qualified consultants who were not only hunters but land and herd managers themselves.

It was not long before we became a virtual clearing house of information for hunters and food plotters across the country. We not only exchanged know-how, we developed and tested new products that our field testers needed and wanted — nutrition products designed specifically for whitetail and for varying soils and other planting conditions.

The enthusiasm in the whitetail community was unmistakable. We were dealing with individuals whose interest in hunting went far beyond harvesting a deer. They were concerned with quality deer management and with being stewards of their land and their herds and playing a direct part in growing better quality deer. The conversation with hunters had changed.

And it came to pass that a multitude of city dwellers became part-time farmers and learned about annuals and perennials, soil tests, pH, liming, basic planting techniques and much more.

It was clear that in addition to product quality, education and information was the engine driving the success of the Whitetail Institute. To provide even more information and to make access to that information easier (before the days of the Internet) we decided to print a little tabloid we called the Whitetail News.

Today, you have in your hands the descendent of those first modest tabloids — a quality publication solely dedicated to helping you derive even more satisfaction and success from your own personal whitetail experience. Read, learn and enjoy!