Food Habitat Plots
Although food is normally available to wildlife in the form of waste grain and weed seeds, there are times when a well placed food plot is an important wildlife management tool. Food is an important attractant for wildlife. Animals will often readily move to good food sources. This makes food plots useful for attracting and keeping wildlife in areas where we want them. In order for a food plot to be effective, it must be strategically placed near dense winter cover such as cattail sloughs, woody habitat plantings, and warm season native grass plantings. When placed effectively food plots can help reduce winter mortality by allowing pheasants to find adequate food without exposing themselves to predation.
Annual weeds in a second year food plot often provide an additional food and cover source for pheasants. Second year food plots often have plenty of grain and tend to afford wonderful brood-rearing cover in the summer of their second year. When using this practice, if sufficient food is available, a cooperator can be paid in each of two-years for planting a single food plot. Landowners should consider planting two plots on a two-year rotation. Pheasants obtain a high amount of protein from annual weeds and insects, therefore, no herbicide or pesticide spraying will be allowed, except for spot spraying of noxious weeds.
SD GFP will pay $20.00/ac on food plots 1ac to 10ac in size. Payments of $40.00/ac will be given to Walk in Area cooperators. A maximum of 10 acres per 1/4 section and 30 ac per cooperator will be allowed. All food plots must be located within 200 yards of or adjacent to adequate winter tree and shrub cover. Individual plots should be no closer than 1/2 mile from winter cover.
South Dakota law (SDCL 41-2-23) requires that reasonable public hunting shall be provided when habitat management funds are expended on private lands.
Seed may be available through local sportsman's groups or through the department.