Sugar Beets Vs Turnips for Deer: Best Bait Battle!

Sugar Beets Vs Turnips For Deer

Sugar beets offer higher sugar content for deer, whereas turnips provide both greens and roots. Deer are attracted to the taste and nutritional value of both.

Deer hunters and wildlife enthusiasts often debate the effectiveness of different food plots to attract deer. Sugar beets and turnips are two popular choices, each with its unique benefits. Sugar beets, rich in carbohydrates, are a powerful attractant due to their sweetness, providing deer with a high-energy food source.

On the other hand, turnips offer a dual-purpose appeal; their leafy greens attract deer early in the season, with the nutritious bulbs providing sustenance later on. Choosing between the two depends largely on the specific goals and the time of year for planting. Properly understanding these choices enables better wildlife management and more successful hunting experiences. Both sugar beets and turnips can be valuable additions to a deer’s diet and are commonly used to enhance hunting prospects.

Sugar Beets And Turnips: A Hunter’s Dilemma

Choosing the best bait for deer is vital for hunters. Sugar beets and turnips both attract deer. But which is better? Let’s dive into the details.

Comparing Nutritional Value For Deer Attraction

Deer love foods packed with nutrients. Sugar beets and turnips offer these:

  • Sugar beets are rich in energy. They provide deer with sugar and carbs.
  • Turnips give vitamins and minerals. They boost deer health during winter.

Both have compelling features. Sugar beets offer quick energy. Turnips provide lasting nutrition.

Seasonal Preferences Of Deer

Deer choose different foods by season.

Season Sugar Beets Turnips
Fall Preferred Good
Winter Available Highly Preferred

Sugar beets draw deer in fall. Turnips are a top choice in winter.

The Sugar Beet Advantage

As hunters and land managers seek effective ways to attract deer, the debate between sugar beets and turnips often emerges. Sugar beets hold a significant advantage when it comes to luring in these elusive creatures. This section explores the reasons why sugar beets can be deer’s preferred choice and provides practical advice for planting and using them effectively.

Sugar Content: A Deer Magnet?

The allure of sugar beets lies in their high sugar content. This sweetness acts as a powerful magnet for deer, especially during the colder months. Studies suggest deer crave carbohydrates and sugars to maintain energy levels. Here’s what makes sugar beets irresistible:

  • Better taste: The sweet flavor of sugar beets often wins over the more bitter taste of turnips.
  • High energy: During winter, deer seek high-calorie foods, and sugar beets deliver an energy-packed snack.
  • Attracts more deer: Fields of sugar beets can draw in herds, increasing your chances of observing various deer.

Growing And Storage Tips

Maximizing the potential of sugar beets requires knowledge on growth and storage:

  1. Soil Prep: Begin with well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.
  2. Sowing: Plant sugar beet seeds in spring to allow time for maturation.
  3. Consistent moisture: Regular irrigation helps develop robust roots.
  4. Harvest and Store: Harvest before heavy frost and store in a cool, dry place.

Tip: Use mulch to protect and insulate beets stored outdoors during winter.

When To Use Sugar Beets For Attracting Deer

Timing is crucial for using sugar beets to your advantage. Here are the optimal conditions:

Season Why it Works
Autumn Deer build fat for winter and seek high-calorie foods.
Winter Natural food is scarce, and sugar beets become a top food source.
Early Spring Deer recover from winter and search for nutrition-rich food.

Strategically place sugar beets during these times to attract deer to your property consistently. This approach not only provides nourishment to deer populations but also enables better wildlife management and observation opportunities.

Turnips: The Food Plot Staple

Turnips are a favorite among deer and a go-to for hunters looking to create an attractive food plot. Not only are they nourishing, but they also grow with ease and offer benefits throughout different seasons. Let’s delve into why turnips might just be the perfect choice for your next deer plot.

Ease Of Cultivation And Sustainability

Turnips require minimal effort to cultivate. This root vegetable thrives in a variety of soils, making it an excellent choice for many plots. Moreover, they have a low need for fertilizers and pesticides, supporting a more sustainable approach to wildlife gardening.

  • Adaptable to a range of soil conditions
  • Minimal fertilizer and pesticide needs
  • Withstands cool temperatures well

The Dual-purpose Attraction Of Turnips

Turnips serve a dual-purpose for deer. The leafy greens are a hit in the early season, while the bulbs provide essential nutrients as winter approaches. This two-fold attraction ensures deer regular visitation to your plot.

Season Deer Attraction
Early Leafy Greens
Late Root Bulbs

Optimal Planting Strategies For Deer

To maximize attraction, plant turnips late summer to early fall. This timing allows them to reach peak growth when deer need them most. Remember:

  1. Sow seeds 1/4″ deep and 1″ apart
  2. Keep soil moist for germination
  3. Thin plants to prevent overcrowding

Following these steps will lead to a lush turnip plot, teeming with deer seeking out both foliage and bulbs for their dietary needs.

Sugar Beets Vs Turnips for Deer: Best Bait Battle!


Real Field Experiences

Understanding what attracts deer can be the ultimate game-changer for hunters. Seasoned hunters often debate the effectiveness of sugar beets vs turnips. Real field experiences provide invaluable insights into this debate. Let’s dive into the stories of hunters and the testimonies of their cameras in the wild.

Hunter Testimonials: Success Stories And Preferences

Real-world feedback is essential in understanding deer preferences. Hunters who have tested both sugar beets and turnips share their success stories.

  • Mike from Michigan: “Sugar beets were a clear winner; saw more bucks in my plot.”
  • Emma from Iowa: “Turnips seemed to keep deer coming back, especially in late season.”
  • Dan from Wisconsin: “My game cameras showed deer favoring turnips, but can’t ignore the sugar beet crowd.”

These experiences suggest a regional and seasonal preference. Hunters acknowledge the impact of sugar beets and turnips on attracting deer effectively.

Trail Camera Evidence: What Do Deer Really Prefer?

Trail cameras watch when hunters can’t. Captured footage showcases deer’s true preferences between sugar beets and turnips.

Food Plot Type Deer Activity Levels
Sugar Beets High early season, moderate late season
Turnips Moderate early season, high late season

Evidence from the cameras reveals a trend. While sugar beets attract deer robustly in early season, turnips hold a steady allure as winter approaches. Each bait has its peak time for drawing in deer populations.

The Final Verdict

After a thorough analysis of sugar beets and turnips as food plots for deer, it’s time to draw conclusions. Both have unique benefits, attracting deer in various scenarios. The choice depends on the region, cost, and deer behavior throughout the year. Let’s dive into the specifics.

Effectiveness In Different Regions

Deer have regional taste preferences, so geographic location influences food plot effectiveness.

  • Sugar beets thrive in cooler climates where the soil drains well.
  • Turnips are more versatile, adapting to a wider range of regions.

Plant hardiness zones also affect growth patterns and attract deer accordingly.

Cost-benefit Analysis Of Each Option

Criterion Sugar Beets Turnips
Seed Cost Higher Lower
Growth Rate Slower Faster
Plot Longevity Shorter Longer
Maintenance More intensive, requires fertile soil Less intensive, tolerates poor soil

Turnips often present a better cost-to-value ratio for hunters on a budget.

Recommendations Based On Deer Behavior And Season

  1. Autumn: Turnips are a hit as deer prefer greens in cooler weather.
  2. Winter: Sugar beets can provide high-energy food when options are scarce.
  3. Sprouting phase: Deer flock to the fresh shoots of sugar beets.
  4. Late Season: Turnips remain hardy, offering sustenance even in cold.

Turnips may be the optimal year-round choice for consistency.

In conclusion, consider these factors to decide the ideal food plot for your hunting grounds.

Sugar Beets Vs Turnips for Deer: Best Bait Battle!


Sugar Beets Vs Turnips for Deer: Best Bait Battle!


Frequently Asked Questions On Sugar Beets Vs Turnips For Deer

Which Is Better For Deer: Sugar Beets Or Turnips?

Sugar beets tend to be sweeter, attracting deer effectively, whereas turnips offer both greens and bulbs for food. Preference can vary depending on local deer populations. Both provide good nutritional value during the fall and winter months.

When Should I Plant Sugar Beets And Turnips For Deer?

For optimal growth, plant sugar beets and turnips in late spring to early summer. They need this time to mature fully before the hunting season. Make sure to check your local growing zone for the best planting times.

Do Sugar Beets Attract Deer More Than Turnips?

Sugar beets are high in sugar, making them highly attractive to deer, especially after a frost when their sweetness peaks. Turnips are less sweet but still effective in attracting deer due to their nutritious tops and bulbs.

Are Sugar Beets Or Turnips Easier To Grow For Wildlife?

Turnips are generally easier to grow and more tolerant of various soil types and conditions than sugar beets. They require less maintenance and can also endure a bit of drought, making them a robust choice for wildlife food plots.


Choosing between sugar beets and turnips for deer is a matter of strategy and preference. Both offer unique benefits to wildlife enthusiasts. Whether you prioritize a year-round food source or a high-energy winter treat, your selection can significantly impact deer behavior on your property.

Balancing these options will help create a diverse, attractive habitat for deer year-round.

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