This summer, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, hunting remains a popular way for Pennsylvanians to engage in safe, socially distant interactions with the natural world. Food plots, popular with hunters across the state, offer a sustainable way to attract and keep deer in one area, making them easier to hunt.
A Penn State Extension webinar series, which begins July 29 and continues through Aug. 19, will help hunters who are now planting or plan to plant food plots in the future.
“We will show them how to set up food plots in an economically and environmentally friendly way,” said extension educator Justin Brackenrich. “Online, there is a lot of emphasis on whitetail deer management, but much of the necessary information is lacking.”
The webinar series, which features topics ranging from picking a suitable site for the food plot to managing habitat, aims to fill that need.
“By working through soil testing, how to make soils suitable for planting, proper handling and use of pesticides, and proper species selection, participants will be better equipped for more holistic management,” said Brackenrich.
He emphasized the ecological role that food plots can play in Pennsylvania. “Food plots and hunting are not only about trophies, but about does and young ones for the next generation,” he said.
Brushy habitat and trees play a key role in wildlife habitat, he added. “If we can help people be better stewards of their lands and our state while encouraging them to spend time outdoors, then we are doing our jobs.”
There is a $10 fee to participate in each of the weekly webinars, and preregistration is required. The presentations, which will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, include the following:
–July 29: “The Food Plot Series: Planting and Site Selection” will overview the purpose of your planting, proper site selection and what to plant. To register, visit https://extension.psu.edu/food-plot-series-planting-and-site-selection.
–Aug. 5: “The Food Plot Series: Soil and When to Plant” will focus on how to soil test, what to do with the results, and how and when to plant your food plot. To register, visit https://extension.psu.edu/food-plot-series-soil-and-when-to-plant.
–Aug. 12: “The Food Plot Series: Weed Management” will focus on the weed management of your food plot. To register, visit https://extension.psu.edu/food-plot-series-weed-management.
–Aug. 19: “The Food Plot Series: Natural Landscape Habitat Management” will contextualize the place of food plots in a whole-ecosystem approach to forest habitat management, considering how deer and other wildlife species behave on and interact with the landscape. To register, visit
More information can be found at http://extension.psu.edu/food-plot-series.
About Penn State Extension
Penn State Extension is dedicated to translating scientific research into real-world applications to drive progress. In support of Penn State’s land-grant mission, extension programs serve individuals, businesses and communities, while promoting a vibrant food and fiber system, a clean environment, and a healthier population in Pennsylvania and beyond. With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization has a tradition of bringing unbiased information and support to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.
Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. It is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.