Subscribe Now!
 
 
   
 
 
BY Todd Amenrud on Aug. 13, 2019

Food Plot Utilization Cages

Why Use a Utilization Cage

How do you know if your food plots are working, or if you’ve planted enough acreage? Sure you can stake out a plot, and use the latest in surveillance equipment and “spy” in person. Or, you can blanket the area with trail cameras so you can see what’s happening when you’re not there. You can also keep harvest records of body weights and watch the browse pressure on your native vegetation, but the easiest way is to use a utilization cage. 

Sometimes called an “exclusion cage” or “browse cage,” it’s simply a sturdy three-foot diameter round of wire staked down so the deer can’t push it over. This way you can see what the deer are consuming on the outside of the cage and what the potential of your plants are on the inside. If the outside is all dirt, deer tracks and droppings, you need to plant more food or harvest more deer.

Building a Utilization Cage

Construction of a utilization cage is simple, inexpensive and can be accomplished in a very short amount of time. The dimension of the cage should be at a minimum 4ft tall with a 3ft diameter. All you need is wire mesh, two stakes, and something to connect the wire mesh to the stakes (ex: staples, ties, etc...). When selecting the wire mesh be sure the holes are small enough to not only keep out deer, but rabbits as well. Stakes can be metal, plastic, or wood, but we prefer not using a big metal stake for safety reasons. After assembling all materials, it is easy as forming your steel wire mesh into a cylinder cage, and placing a stake at opposite sides and securing. The stakes should be driven far enough into the ground to ensure it will not be knocked over by grazing deer.

Material List:

  • Steel Wire Mesh (minimum 48" x 9'6")
  • Two Stakes (metal, plastic, or wood)
  • Staple gun or wire to secure mesh to stakes

Using a utilization cage will help determine the amount of browsing pressure, preference by wildlife, and what plants grow best on your site. This simple technique can save you time and money when planting your food plots.

 

BECOMING A GAMEKEEPER IS NOT JUST THE BEST WAY TO PRODUCE GREAT HUNTING… IT’S THE BEST LIFE!
SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

~

For more from GameKeeper Farming For Wildlife, join our weekly newsletter or subscribe to GameKeepers Magazine. Your source for information, equipment, know-how, deals and discounts to help you get the most from every hard-earned moment in the field.

 
 

Join The Conversation Below

We welcome relevant, respectful comments below. Please read our Community Guidlines.
Comments are closed

Sign up for the free Weekly "Field Notes" Newsletter

This is your free, weekly update on land management. Short, to the point, and very informative, our field notes newsletter brings you tips from the field written by our staff of expert land and wildlife managers. Enjoy, and be sure to pass it on to your friends!

 
 

Featured Product

 
Green Patch Plus
NUTRITION. ATTRACTION. PRODUCTION. VENISON. Green Patch Plus is a fall planting that combines the proven attractiveness of transitional grains with the nutrition and attraction of genuine...
Price: $25.99-$47.99
Learn More
 


GameKeepers Farming for Wildlife