Skip to main content

Food Plot Field Days

Food Plot Field Days

The guys at North Country Whitetails teach you how to grow em' right

Talk about taking a crash course in food plot science! This past June, Bowhunter Sales Manager Jeff Millar and I spent a couple of eye-opening days at Craig and Neil Dougherty's North Country Whitetails (NCW). Cut into 500 acres of marginal mountaintop land in south-central New York's Steuben County, not far from Corning, NCW has been transformed into nothing short of a whitetail paradise.

With BioLogic's help, Craig and Neil Dougherty have raised the art of habitat manipulation to its highest level. Besides being a demo center for cutting-edge management practices, NCW is also Mossy Oak BioLogic's Northern Research Facility. This is important because much of what is known about growing food plots for deer has come solely from planting large food plots in the South.

But thanks to NCW and BioLogic, the story of growing small food plots in the North is continuing to emerge. "It doesn't matter whether you have 30 acres or 3,000," said NCW friend and well-known QDM practitioner Charles Alsheimer. "You can do things to benefit deer."

And it seems that over the last few years hundreds of habitat management enthusiasts have heeded that advice, visiting NCW for public tours of the facility and seminars given by demo center manager Neil Dougherty. Maybe you even saw NCW last year on Mossy Oak's Hunting the Country, on The Outdoor Channel. In a very short time, NCW has developed into one of the nation's leading supplier's of habitat development and food plot products and services.


Neil can talk all day long about whitetail habitat management and food plots. And he knows what he's talking about, too.

"With my passion for education, and Neil's for habitat management and hunting, we've really found our niche," Craig Dougherty said. And based on our weekend at NCW, it's certainly hard to argue that point. With sound Quality Deer Management (QDM), habitat, and food plot practices, these guys took a hunting property that previously produced mostly spikes, fork-horns, and 6-pointers, and turned it into a hotspot for P&Y-class bucks.

As part of our weekend tour of the North Country Whitetails facility, Neil Dougherty arranged for expert classroom seminars on QDM, soil analysis, and the impact of whitetail deer on native habitat. Then we headed to the field to examine woodland, food plot, and sanctuary habitats; plot out and prepare our own food plot; and then plan one of Neil's innovative hunting food plots, which are small, irregular plots designed specifically to give a hunter special advantages. Among those advantages are good wind, cover, proximity to game, and desirable fall plantings like BioLogic's Greenpatch Plus (a mix of wheat, oats, clovers, and brassicas for early bow season) and BioLogic's Maximum (a mix of brassicas for late bow season).

If you can get to North Country Whitetails, I'd highly recommend it. You'll marvel at how the Dougherty's used tools ranging from rakes to chainsaws to ATVs to tractors to bulldozers to create wonderful whitetail habitat. But if you can't make it yourself, don't worry, because you can read all about it in their latest book, Grow 'Em Right: A Guide to Creating Habitat and Food Plots. Don't miss it!

To order your copy, see their ad on page 87, or send $19.95, plus $5.05 postage and handling, to: North Country Whitetails, P.O. Box 925, Fairport, NY 14450. You can also call (585) 388-6990 or order online at

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Curt Wells goes after all 5 species of deer in North America.  Here he reflects on a 2013 whitetail hunt in Kansas and an Alberta mule deer adventure in 2010.

Whitetail and Mule Deer Hunts from the Past

On this edition of "Better Bowhunter" Danny Farris goes over multiple options for hunters when it comes to movable sights.

Equipment for Extended Ranges

Having the proper gear is just one step toward a successful hunt. Curt Wells gives tips on how to effectively use binoculars to maximize your hunting experience.

Moment of Truth: Binocular Tips

Curt Wells hunts blacktail deer in his quest to take all 5 species of deer in North America.

California Blacktail Bowhunt

Bowhunter team members Rudy Bachraty and Mike Carney set their sights on Colorado for a Cross Mountain elk hunt.

Bugling Bulls of Cross Mountain

Curt Wells joins Andy Cardwell and Mark Land of Muzzy for some exciting nighttime bowfishing action in Kentucky.

Bowfishing with the Boys from Muzzy

The winner of Bowhunter's Youth Essay Contest, Alex Young gets to experience a turkey hunt in Wyoming.

Youth Turkey Hunt in Wyoming

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek and Tony J. Petersen head to Texas on a mixed-bag hunt which includes hogs, whitetails and axis deer.

Texas Mixed-Bag Hunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony Peterson sees plenty of action while hunting whitetails and hogs in Texas.

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Bowhunter Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Bowhunter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Bowhunter stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now