Food Plot attractiveness.

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Food Plot attractiveness.

Postby Seabiscuit » Wed May 28, 2014 8:34 am

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I have a small 1/2 acre food plot of a hybrid clover mix already up and growing here in southeast WI. Just north of the Milwaukee area by 20 minutes. The food plot looks great. It's accompanied by 3 young apple trees for additional deer foraging. My main question is this; I've got turkey and other birds already taking interest in the plot but haven't seen a single deer yet. I know they're around, I see them within a mile of my location. My current location has a river, brush, trees and buts up to a corn field. The local area is filled with corn and soy bean fields. My property seems like the perfect location for deer! They turkey found it, will the deer smell it of know it's there. On a side note, I've recently planted tall rye grass and sunflowers. They're not coming up yet, it's more gearing up for cover in fall. I also have lots of sugar beets on the way for a June planting. I've heard to get them in the ground early to give deer options. I just want to know if deer will find me and how long it normally takes with a new plot. I have room to expand if that's the need. Any input would be great! Happy hunting!}

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Re: Food Plot attractiveness.

Postby rthomas4 » Wed May 28, 2014 1:15 pm

You can bet they know it's there, but if there's a soybean field close by, that's what they'll hit before they hit anything else. Do you have a trail camera covering the plot? If not, get one. They may even be hitting it even though you aren't seeing them, it may also depend on whether or not the does are already dropping fawns in your area or not as to how much they're hitting the food sources.
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Re: Food Plot attractiveness.

Postby VT Outfitter » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:31 pm

I have found here in the North East U.S., Vermont specifically, that there are a few factors for food plots to be successful.
To start, If it is a new food plot for deer hunting it may take the summer period to see constant traffic from deer. The deer live in those woods their whole life. They know what is in their area for food, cover, water and safe passage routes. If the new food plot is made away from travel corridors, it may take some time for the deer to figure out a safe way to use it. If they already have ample food sources, they may not search much for new food places. But if the new plot is in the deer's normal travel route, then they will include that plot into their routine. To sum this up, sometimes a plot is untouched in the spring yet devoured in the fall/winter and can be just the opposite.
If your hunting area has a lot of deer than you should plant a bigger plot for viewing in off season/winter food source/deer season destination food source. I use those 1/2 acre plots as hunting plots near buck bedrooms, thick bedding areas to intercept bucks searching for doe's, and staging areas on travel routes. If you plant too small of a community or destination food plot, the deer will chew it down to bits before season gest here. Not to mention the feeding done by turkeys, rabbits, and any other critter that visits. The small hunting plot is to entice deer to pause in a strategic place where you have a stand put up. It gives them something to nibble. But if that area is where most of the deer congregate it needs to be big enough so they cant eat it all or they will just move on to better supply. I have had small hunting plots that after several years being established (5-7 years) I had to vastly expand the 1/2 acre to 3 acres then make a new hunting plot up wind of the now destination plot to intercept the deer. I have planted just about everything available for food plot seed. To show that all plot seed is not the same I will say I have planted three different clover plots, all of different kinds of clover seed, and witnessed deer walking straight through two of the clover plots without so much as a sniff then arriving at the third plot to feed. So sometimes you have to experiment with different types to find what works for your spot.
I also found that offering a different food source than what is already available can prove to be very important. If you have corn on one side, clover on another side, then maybe planting something sweet like sugar beet would create more opportunities to attract deer. If you are surrounded by soy beans and corn maybe planting oats or rye or a brassica may work well. A cheap way to monitor food plot use is to make a few 3 foot around chicken fence cages and place them in the food plots. This will show you how your plot would look if it was never eaten. This little trick will help you determine if you need to expand you plot if it is chewed down to the dirt around the cage or if you should build a plot in a different location or change to a different kind of seed if the deer aren't feeding there much. Maybe the deer don't feel safe in that spot or there is the same kind of food source nearer to their bedding and they feel no need to travel further to get the same feed.
I am a hunting and fishing outfitter and professional guide in Vermont. I am not one to act or talk as though I know everything about the outdoors. So I hope I don't come across that way. I have made thousands of mistakes and will make thousands more I hope. All of this information and suggestions are as a result of those mistakes and have proven to remedy those problems. I hope this helps and if you have any questions send me an email.

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Re: Food Plot attractiveness.

Postby eshall » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:18 am

Where we hunt in N. Wisconsin, most of the cedar swamps are over mature and not being cut. They provide really good thermal protection for deer when it's cold when they are young and dense. I'd leave it as a sanctuary.


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