About eight years ago, Buck Lunch found itself in a very enviable position. “We found ourselves being called quite regularly by growers, farmers, or hunters wanting to plant sugar beets for food plots. We were already in the commercial sugar beet seed business and by that I mean we raise the seed and sell it to commercial growers who harvest the beets for sugar,” said Ron Grofkopf, sales manager for Buck Lunch.
He continued, “Instead of having customers call into our commercial number, we decided to set up another number and launched Buck Lunch to better address the size and scope of this particular customer base.”
Even at this point, Buck Lunch had underestimated its customers. “We just never realized how big the wildlife food plot business was. As the business continued to just grow and grow, we decided to add additional products to the product line. Today we have three different main offerings. The first has sugar beets with a bunch of annual crops that deer love—Ultimate Enticer. Ultimate Enticer can be planted in the spring, but the best time for it is usually in the early fall or late summer, so it has a chance to grow before the first coming frost.
“Endurance Perennial is another of our products and consists of a blend of different perennial clovers. For those looking to attract game birds—pheasant, quail or turkeys—we have Game Bird Frenzy,” explained Grofkopf.
The Buck Lunch Advantage
If your game has a sweet tooth, Buck Lunch is certainly the “sugar daddy” you have been looking for. “Buck Lunch has the highest sugar (carbohydrate) content of any forage-type food for deer. Of course the leaves are high in protein, but the roots might run as much as 20 percent sugar. It’s like a giant potato or carrot that pokes up from under the ground.
“Deer find these in the fall and because it will last into the winter, the deer just keep coming back to paw them out of the ground. This differentiates Buck Lunch from other types of forage. Once a traditional forage dies back, there’s nothing left for the deer to eat. However, with sugar beets, as long as they can paw them out of the ground, the deer will return all winter long and that is a huge benefit for hunters trying to attract deer in the late season as well. It can also greatly aid in the survival rate during severe winter weather,” Grofkopf stated.
Some Regional Advice
“Sugar beets do well north of the Mason Dixon Line,” Grofkopf continued. “Sugar beets start growing in the spring and never really mature, they just keep getting bigger and bigger—up to the size of a football. You can plant them in the South, but you would want to do it in early September. Be aware though, that they will not get nearly as big and may suffer in the summer heat and humidity.
“Ultimate Enticer on the other hand is great for the South. It was designed to be planted in late August or early September and give the deer multiple different food choices, due to the variety of seeds in the mix, including forage canola, rape, chicory, turnips and [more],” Grofkopf advised. “Lastly, if you have a plot that is hard to get to or you do not want to have to plant it every year, take a look at our Endurance Perennial Blend. That will stretch the time between planting out to about five years.”
Retailers: Key To Growth
Although Buck Lunch does sell direct to the public through its website, it also considers the retailer a priority. “We have a very competitive wholesale pricing structure to ensure the retailers can stock and sell our product. They can maintain a good margin without having to compete directly with our online business.
“We have our products packaged in a smaller bag-type system that makes it easy fro a dealer to stock on the shelves, but we also sell a pail-type packaging in 10- to 20-pound sizes for those wishing to sell it that way,” Grofkopf said.
“It’s very important to us that we are not competing with local archery pro shops or sporting goods stores. We want them to be able to make the necessary margin to ensure their success as well. At Buck Lunch we are open to any dealer that wants to sell our products. We have a very simple process to sign them up as a dealer and can ship anywhere in the U.S.,” Grofkopf concluded.
Contact: (888) 373-0667; www.bucklunch.com