What Food Plot to Plant in Ag-Heavy North Dakota?

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Ben Sobieck
 
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What Food Plot to Plant in Ag-Heavy North Dakota?

Postby Ben Sobieck » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:10 pm

For the past 10 years, my family's 870-acre ranch in central North Dakota has planted food plots for two species groups: waterfowl and upland game. Part of the reason is we lease the land out every fall for 5-day wing hunts. The other reason is there aren't too many people in the area managing for birds.

Now we're looking to add a third species to plant toward: whitetail deer. Believe it or not, there are actually tons of white-tailed deer on the prairie (and one moose – no, really). The problem is they're never closer than a half-mile away and the wind never seems to dip below 25 mph. We've popped a couple, but I want to develop food plots to bring them in close enough for a bow hunt. A gun hunt isn't out of the question, but the season opens in early November and that's cutting it close to blizzard season. The ranch is remote and can get impassible.

So here's my question for you guys. What should I plant? Corn and sunflower have been the go-to for birds, but I'm not so sure they'll really bring in deer given the ag-heavy surroundings.

There's a satellite image of the property here. We've got lots of potholes and one good-sized lake with hilly terrain in between.

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jonny5buck
 
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Location: Land of Lincoln

RE: What Food Plot to Plant in Ag-Heavy North Dakota?

Postby jonny5buck » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:15 am

Not sure what ''agriculture'' you have over there...if it is mostly corn and beans..i would say alfalfa...in illinois on some vary small acreage that i hunt..we had planted all sorts of food plots for deer with almost no interest or limited results.

It doesn't help this land is surrounded on all sides by corn..sometimes 2 yrs in a row than soybeans...our plots were biologic mix w clover/chicory..than one year we planted turnips and even a brassica mix...all the plots turned out healthy ..we were floored that they never touched the turnips even right after a good hard frost....but,when we planted alfalfa years ago they mowed it down...they bed right in it [even after mowing it] and there was tons of sign,tracks all over it.

I know it stands well late in the year also...we watched a giant cross a road to get to a neighboring farmer's field ....this was after a blizzard...it was the only spot you could see all the deer kicking the ground up...and it was alfalfa...i have seen nothing but positive deer movement and a serious drawing power with it-good luck Ben-

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Ben Sobieck
 
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RE: What Food Plot to Plant in Ag-Heavy North Dakota?

Postby Ben Sobieck » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:00 am

That alfalfa is a great idea, Jonny. It sounds like our acreages are pretty similar. The main cash crops around our property are corn, soy, canola and straight up hay. I'm not sure if the soil is suitable for alfalfa, but it's worth looking into.

msbadger
 
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RE: What Food Plot to Plant in Ag-Heavy North Dakota?

Postby msbadger » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:45 am

Lime..lime..lime and sun[;)]

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: What Food Plot to Plant in Ag-Heavy North Dakota?

Postby Cut N Run » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:39 pm

Might it help to plant some cedar-type of evergreen to provide shelter or bedding area? As wide open as the place looks, a place to hide or bed down would probably be a good thing. I'd probably be checking with some of the seed manufacturers to see what they offer that is more frost tolerant and does well in that area. Good luck.

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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Ben Sobieck
 
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RE: What Food Plot to Plant in Ag-Heavy North Dakota?

Postby Ben Sobieck » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:15 am

Trees are hard to come by on the prairie, but the deer have made do anyway. Maybe cover trumps food in this case? It'd be a cover plot instead of a food plot.


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