There certainly is no shortage of food plot seminars out there to attend. It seems as if everyone in the industry has a “seminar” or a seed product to sell you. Watching the “Outdoor Channel” you certainly can’t miss the fortune some of the BIG companies have put into advertising and marketing. I guess as bow hunters we can be thankful that we live during these times. It wasn’t always this way though, I can remember back to the time when searching for good “food plot” information was difficult. Local agricultural places thought I was nuts to want to plant food that attracts deer. Most of the local agricultural dealers I dealt with wished there was something they could sell to farmers that deer would not eat!
As a bow hunter I have come to understand the importance and many different aspects of food plots and food plot construction. I have literally spent the last 10-15 years enhancing my knowledge of food plots and agricultural purposes relating to deer, and deer movement. When I started, there wasn’t a whole lot of info out there, and back then this internet thing was just going public, bowhunting.com was just an infant idea in the back of Todd Graf’s head somewhere. My knowledge and food plot journey began with a funny story, so here it goes. I had the pleasure about ten years ago of passing a similar Chevy truck on the highway traveling to and from my hunting camp in the Southern Tier of New York. Seemed to be that the guy in the similar green Chevy and I kept the same weekend schedule. I would pass him on Friday night headed south and he would pass me on Sunday night headed north. His truck always caught my attention being that it was the same make model and color as mine, and it too, had a Labrador retriever in the front seat looking anxious to get to his outdoor destination. The driver was a guy, similar age and good looks as me, so I figured he was headed South and North for similar purposes. He had a friendly smile and we waved often as the weeks passed by and we continued to see and recognize one another on the road. The only major difference between the two of us was that his truck had a couple of business signs and stickers on it. The door sign said NorthCountry Whitetails and the back said Mossy Oak Biologic. I finally figured I might as well call the number on the sign and see who this guy is and what he does. On the other end of the phone I found a pleasant guy who was eager and thrilled to talk about deer, deer hunting and food plots. For most of us who are serious hunters you know who that guy is. It is hard to miss him as in the last ten years he has been all over the TV and published in all the major outdoor magazines. He has co-authored a few books with his father and created a couple of “how to” DVDs on “Deerscaping.” He is no other than my friend Neil Dougherty. I recently caught up with my friend Neil Dougherty at Mike Price’s Heritage Outdoor Shop in Phelps, NY for a “Deerscaping” Seminar. It was a great night, full of information and great friendly conversation. The bbcue chicken dinner was great! Thanks Mike for hosting the evening!
Neil answered my call with great enthusiasm and interest as to who I was and where was I going. Come to find out that our camps are only about 9 miles apart and I like him was building a future deer hunting paradise, he was just way ahead of me in the game. After talking several times with Neil, I signed up and paid to take the NorthCountry Whitetails Demo tour of his place. Money well spent for any person who hunts game, and for most of us who also view ourselves as conservationists!
Neil and his father Dr.Craig Dougherty, have built a fabulous place they call Kindred Spirits. They were also smart enough to turn their passion into a profession and kind enough to share it with the rest of us. I have spent more than a few hours on the Kindred Spirit grounds with Neil as he has openly shared success and failure stories about his work. He has allowed me open access to his vital information and his friendship. His father Craig is exactly the same way. The two of them have helped me along in my quest to build a deer camp I am proud of, and can hopefully put the QDMA practices to good use. I have tried to locally support Neil and his lectures or seminars in the Western NY area by always being in attendance when he speaks. It also allows me some valuable one on one time with him, which allows us to catch up. We both lead similar but different lives, and like all of you, we are extremely busy with family and work and food plot work.
Last week I caught up with Neil at Mike Price’s Heritage Outdoor Shop in Phelps, NY. He gave a “Deerscaping” seminar which included food plot construction and seed selection. As usual he had an eager audience in attendance trying to learn from Neil’s professional expertise. For those of you who read this and live around here, stop in and see Mike Price, he can help you out with almost anything hunting related. If you are a beginner in the food plot world or an experienced food plot guy, you could save some time, money, energy and frustration by calling upon Neil and NorthCountry Whitetails to help you out. They have been there, tried it, failed at it and eventually succeeded at it, before. Their consulting and knowledge will go along way in your program of hunting or just general conservation. In the long run you will save yourself time and money by consulting with them. Trust me, it worth the price paid to save some of the anger and frustration. Any food plot seminar or lecture you can go to will definitely help you out, but I would search out some season professionals with strong credentials to provide you with valuable information. Seems like today, everybody claims to know about food plots and deer. Leave the professional work up to professionals, and allow more time for you to get your food plot work done early and spend time with family and good friends.