Food Plot Poaching


Food Plot PoachingTips on preventing food plot poaching by J. Wayne Fears

Food plots planted near public roads or near property lines invite poaching and I am hearing from a number of readers who have trespass problems. I have an e-mail from one Global Outfitters reader who has planted turnips in a food plot within sight of a county road. It is not poachers who are coming in on his food plot, it is turnip lovers.

If at all possible never plant food plots near or within sight of your boundary lines, especially roads. This is inviting problems you do not want. However if you must here are some tips to help keep the problem to a minimum.

Posting land especially well managed land serves three purposes. First it notifies those on neighboring land that I do not wish anyone to trespass on my land without permission. Second it reminds my guest when they get to the edge of my property and not to trespass on my neighbors. And third if someone is caught trespassing there is little room for excuses if the property lines are well posted. It has been my experience that a well marked boundary is seldom crossed by honest hunters even if your food plots are within sight. Even poachers are reluctant to cross a posted boundary when it is obvious the landowner/hunting club is serious about trespass.


Keep posted signs clean and easy to read from distances.

Here are a few tips to consider when posting your land.
-A good boundary posting plan requires you to have an up-to-date survey to use to post the boundary.
-If possible, select signs that will last for years
-Use large headed aluminum nails, for loggers safety, that are long enough to leave the head at least 1/2-inch of the expanding tree.
-Placing signs high enough on trees, or post in open areas, so that it is difficult for vandals to reach easily
-Placing signs close enough so that you can see a sign from the adjoining signs
-Place signs on live, long living, hardwood trees
-Place signs on obvious travel routes such as old roads crossing the boundary, ridge tops, creek bottoms
-Clean brush, limbs, etc from around signs so that they can be seen easily
-In open areas use metal post such as T-posts and attach signs with stainless steel screws.

Selecting Signs

There are two posting signs that may be used – short term and long term signs. Short term signs are those which can go up quickly and can be used to temporally post an area or boundary. For these situations I use a wide yellow marking tape made for this purpose made by Radians, They have developed a new long lasting tape, pre-printed with a choice of three warnings – No Hunting, No Trespassing or Posted Private Property. The tape has a long life out in the weather, 4.0 mil thick, and is a fade-proof bright yellow with black lettering. It can be quickly and easily tied around trees or poles. It is an inexpensive good way to quickly mark newly purchased land until you can get time to put up permanent signs or to post an area temporarily. I have a line on my farm that is posted with the Radians tape that has been up about a year and it is holding up well.

Be sure to use aluminum nails on all posted signs.For long term signs a good rule of thumb is to get the best you can afford. Aluminum signs, 0.032 -gauge or heavier, make excellent long tern boundary marking signs, provided the paint is UV resistant. Heavy plastic signs with UV protection last for about five years. Voss Signs ( offers a good selection of aluminum and plastic signs.

Lettering on signs should be large enough to be read at a distance. I have seen homemade signs that had the message on the sign so small that someone had to get right up to the sign to read it.

If possible, always plant your food plots a distance from your property boundary and always out of sight of public roads. If you can not do this, post the area completely and get to know your conservation officer well. You will probably need his help.

For quick posting the Radians tape works and it is long lasting.

SLIDE CAPTIONS 1. Posting land will not keep criminals off but it will go a long way towards keeping trespass problems to a minimum. 2. Select signs that will show up good at a distance and will last for years. Look at them as a long term investment. 3. Signs should be maintained annually and send a clear message that the landowner is serious about trespass. 4. The landowner has an investment, both in time and money, in managing quality wildlife and it can be a loss to have a trespasser poach game. 5. The use of long, big headed aluminum nails gives you enough nail shank to hang signs properly on trees while assuring loggers when harvesting the tree. 6. Select live, clean trunk, hardwood trees for hanging posted signs in the woods.

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