• Hand rake: Often one of the first tools you’ll use when building a food plot. Use a hand rake to remove leaves or other debris from your plot before disking. This tool also comes in handy if you decide to conduct a controlled burn. 

• Backpack sprayer: From Roundup to fertilizers, a backpack sprayer is a must. It’ll allow you to stay mobile and comfortable as you spray any part of your plot. Most hold a few gallons. 

• Chainsaw: Sometimes a break in the canopy is necessary, which makes a chainsaw invaluable. Allowing more sunlight into the understory will encourage plant growth. 

• Four-wheeler: Tractors can’t get to those hard-to-reach places in the woods, but your trusty four-wheeler can. It also will help you haul all of your tools needed for a day’s work. Also, accessories like a seed caster and disc can be attached to speed up the planting process.

• Seed disperser: Whether you’re using a larger model on an ATV or a hand-held one, a disperser helps to evenly distribute seeds. Simply load it with seed and churn away, which is much more effective and uniform than casting by hand. 

• Utilization cage: While not a necessity, a utilization cage can provide insight into how heavily deer are using your plot. Create a small, square cage out of chicken wire and erect it in the food plot. Make sure it’s high enough so deer can’t reach inside. In a few weeks, after the herd has had a chance to browse, you can gauge just how much they’ve been eating — and how well your plants are growing.