Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Your place to discuss ways the habitats for deer can be improved!
crazyj789
 
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Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby crazyj789 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:15 pm

Hello everyone I'm new to the forum and was looking for some help.  I know this has probably been brought up a a lot but.....I'm looking to make a food plot however I'm not going the traditional new age food plot way.  I'm looking at plating trees for a food plot with maybe a acre of clover surrounding them.  I live in NW Indiana and have a 5 acre or so field to plant trees in.  I have a very safe and secure bedding area for the deer.   I have a very good pond for a water source.   I have great mature oak trees.  I'm looking to improve the fruit trees.  I'm looking at the paw paw tree, common apple tree, and some sort of crab apple tree (haven't decided yet).  The trouble I'm having is that I have pretty much ZERO winter food.  So I'm looking for help on what to plant to keep deer around for the months of mid November and all of December.  Any suggestions will help.  Thanks all and happy hunting.  Jason

bmstaaf
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby bmstaaf » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:51 pm

For late season food try standing corn with some sort of wheat. Standing corn is not the most nutritious crop but it keeps them around. I would leave oats or beans along with the corn for nutrition. I hunt in an Apple orchard every deer in the woods feed off them early, but after the snow cones they have them cleaned up big time. I would think the oaks would hold them with the acorns as well. You said you have the cover the oaks you should have mad deer, make a kill plot for early and plant corn you should be fine.

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Jslotter
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby Jslotter » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:45 pm

Woodswalker or msbadger on here could help you out. They know alot about trees. I'd say your oaks is enough to hold deer. Improving your land for deer is also a good thing. But, the one who has the food will have the deer.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:45 pm

Without seeing your place it's a bit hard to tell, but generally my first idea would be to use the native tree species that you already have there as an attractant. The easiest/cheapest (my favorite criteria!!!) thing I would do, is to start pruning the oaks and other favored browse species you have to encourage new growth lower down on the tree so that deer can reach it. Go to the search function on here and put in "hinge cutting" and you'll see what I mean.

You've stated that you have great mature oak trees. That's great for a mast crop (acorns) but they don't do much for winter browse. It would still be a good idea to maybe fertilize the White Oak species that you do have, as they are a prefered acorn for deer and turkeys.

If you have some woods area that has less desirable trees for deer or "junk" trees...Siberian Elm, Swamp Maple, etc.....then you might want to consider clear cutting or doing an extremely vigorous clearing short of a clear cut to open up the forest canopy to encourage new growth. In a few years this area will be a deer magnet.

It also wouldn't hurt to plant some cedars, as they not only are a good protective tree cover in winter for deer, but they also will browse them. Ultimately what you want is DIVERSITY. That, IMO, is the best all around deer attractant.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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crazyj789
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby crazyj789 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:52 pm

Thank you all for the advise I'm now looking into alot of options :)

kragevalley
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby kragevalley » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:13 pm

Your situation sounds very similar to something ive been dealing with the last couple of years. I manage our family farm in SE minnesota. We have mature hard wood forests, crop land, and food plots. However, we had about 2 acres around a creek that had nothing but junk trees and weeds (burdock!!). We planted this area heavily with arrowood and dogwood. Deer love to browse them, wich can present a struggle to establish them. it will also always grow low enough for them to access. In addition, once they are established, deer love the cover and feel safe in these areas during daylight as well. Just a thouhgt...

crazyj789
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby crazyj789 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:28 pm

Here is the problem with my property I have old farm fields on the property that used to be farmed.  My grandfather sold most of the property and now we have approx 10 acres that we could plant.  I don't have ANY farm equipment and the local farmer said he doesn't want to waste the time on the fields.  The total property is approx 35-40 acres located south of a major nature preserve.  Anyone that lives in the area of Valparaiso, IN that knows trees, farming, has equipment that would help improve this place is more than welcome to contact me.  Just PM me with a phone number and I will contact you.  If you help set this place up I will give free hunting in the area.  I'm always willing to make new hunting friends.  Let me know  Thanks, Jason

msbadger
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby msbadger » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:57 pm

Welcome to the forums and it sounds like a great place....As far as tree ...woods walker was dead on....You also look like you know what you want but research the trees well...Paw Paws great late summer...but 2 things...they really need a neutral soil to thrive and once the raccoons find them... gone...also any fruit tree will need protection ...first from girding ...mice ..voles then from browse and bucks just know what trees you don't want them to rub[;)]...If you go commercial instead of wild trees...the semi dwarf and space them with the Idea of using equipment around them...Once they're mature......gotta think well in advance saves money /time down the road......then you can plant the area in and around them in clover...I like pears and so do the dear...mulberries are great for deer and game birds and I like reliance and contender peaches....but hey they will need maintenance ...spray for borers and fungi.....for the apples go with late summer....Sept-Oct ripening reds and yellows...The winter stuff ...well I'm a woman and started out doing all plots with a 1 1/2 gal sprayer...stone and leaf rake and a tiller...actually the only thing I've changed is I have a disc now...but all trail plots ...still the tiller and elbow grease....so you could work an area for turnips ...winter wheat/rye....bramble patches very important as are native grasses...wild or planted grapes...you can easily start your own grape vines with cuttings...Look around the forums you'll see some of the pics on how I do things....These poor guys are probably tired of pics by now ...so I'll do them a favor and not re-post them...[:D]....It's work and you gotta love it...embrace any failures and chalk them up to a little improvement with a lot of knowledge...dust off and start again...I like working on a 5 yr plan...If I start a project.... I want to plan all stages looking to a final result in 5yrs..of just that spot....Go have fun!

msbadger
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby msbadger » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:59 pm

PS...where you are... research persimmons...if it looks good plant them and get some good ones that's a tree you won't regret[;)]

crazyj789
 
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RE: Need help about trees to plant for food plot in NW Indiana?

Postby crazyj789 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:21 pm

thanks badger for the help but the weird thing is I have 2 persimmon trees and the deer dont touch the fruit.  I also have 2 pear trees and the same goes for them.  It's kinda weird.  The deer destroy the apple trees and acorns  but nothing on those trees

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