My friend Grant Woods, one of the top whitetail biologists in America and a hard-core bowhunter to boot, has designed, built and planted every size and shape of food plot that you could imagine. One of his favorite things to do right now is to scout a property and find 3 or 4 out-of-the-way spots where he can plant and hunt micro food plots later this summer.

Think Tiny

Scout a property and look for a 20- to 40-yard strip of old road bed, or maybe a 30 x 30-foot opening in a staging thicket near an ag field. Any hidden, remote spot where other people would never dream of planting, but where your gut says you might entice a big deer with a big rack—an open, moist strip near a creek where you’ve seen deer crossing, the flat end of a hogback bench that might funnel a buck around it… There are literally hundreds of spots for micro plots on any land.

“A small spot needs to be relatively flat and open, with enough soil moisture to germinate seeds,” says Woods. “And it needs to get several hours of sunlight each day to grow plants.”

Clear and Fertilize

To create a micro plot, you might have to weed-eat some grass and brush; in areas with mostly duff and leaf litter, you can clear it with a blower or rake. Eliminate unwanted vegetation and brush with a backpack sprayer and a herbicide like Roundup. Broadcast or toss some 10-10-10 and lime on your spots for good measure.

Seeds and Planting Tips

Do your scouting and ground clearing in the coming weeks, but don’t plant until 14 days or so before your bow season opens in September or early October. If you plant a tiny your spot any earlier than that deer will find it and mow it clean long before you get the chance to hunt there.

Good plants for micro plots are wheat, clover, chicory or your choice of a fall-attractant blend. These seeds germinate easily when broadcast (either with a handheld or flicked by hand), even in the sometimes sketchy spoil conditions of an off-beat plot. Don’t worry about over-seeding, as lots of deer will find and thin the plants quickly.

Watch your weather app and plan to plant in the days just before a rain, which greatly improves seed germination and the success of a tiny plot. Wait a week to 10 days after that first planting, then plant a few more mini-plots in other hidden, strategic areas across your land. That way you’ll have sweet greens to bowhunt over coming up at various intervals for a month or two.

Hunting a Micro Plot

Two best times to hang a tree stand on a small plot: the day you find it and clear the dirt, or on a subsequent trip back in to plant it. Pick a good tree for a 30-yard shot into or across the plot, and an easy and quiet access path into it. Set up where the prevailing September wind will be in your favor.

About 14 days later, once your archery season is open, slip back in, climb up and hunt. Either morning or afternoon will work. On that first sit, there’s a dang good chance you’ll bust a doe for the freezer. If you care to be patient and selective, a buck with a macro rack might stick his nose into your micro plot and give you a gimme shot.