Winter "food" sustaining plot

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Winter "food" sustaining plot

Postby cmarberg18 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:36 pm

My friend has the access to a farm where we have about 8 or so acres to test plant different things for deer. The other parts of the farm are planted in about 15 acres of field corn and 10+ acres of sweet corn. The sweet corn is harvested before fall with the field corn lasting till at least the end of October. Now my friend has approx 5 of the 8 acres of the top field planted in white clover, with the remainder of the plot in turnips/brassica/rape mix for a winter feed plot. That plot has been destroyed the past 3 winters by the deer with no trace of any turnip left by spring. We know were at a point we know we have to rotate the turnip crop out, and with the farmers help, we can use part of his cornfield to plant the turnip mix to keep that going. However we are looking for a replacement for the top field for a "winter feeding/maintenance" plot for the deer that the turnips were doing. Any suggestions? I have found a lot of articles on winter wheat, and it seems to be a good alternative. Has anyone had any luck with it? Also anyone know if the wheat needs to have the grain for the deer to take advantage of the carbs in it, or are the carbs found in the stems itself? Thanks for any help!

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Re: Winter "food" sustaining plot

Postby rthomas4 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:06 pm

Winter wheat is ok, but naked(Johnson) oats are better. The oats put more growth into the plant and not into developing the seed head. This provides more nutrients and a longer lasting food source. Also, try Austrian Winter Peas, they are similar in appearance to garden peas (English Peas for those who aren't Southerners) and the deer will eat the pea pods quickly, but the plants will continue to grow and provide a food source until early spring.
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Re: Winter "food" sustaining plot

Postby bwhvacr » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:03 pm

If planting winter wheat you may want to try Daiken Radishes mixed in with it. These radishes put on large leaves and are very tough against grazing pressure. It has been my experience that the deer will hit the radishes hard and allow wheat or oats to flourish. Also after the pressure finally stunts the radishes growth you are left with a large bulb that the deer will dig up and feed on after the wheat or oats have been thinned. The seed companies claim these radishes also put phosphorous back into your soil. Bucks really seem to love the radishes.

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Re: Winter "food" sustaining plot

Postby msbadger » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:54 am

This is a bit late..but it depends on where you are. Here in the deep snows of NY the rotation for me is WW with a plow down type clover.
There are two reasons for that. I do not like weeds and WW is a good plant to aid in weed suppression...the plow down clover will add needed nitrogen back in the soil..I'm cheap..fertilizer is expensive.
The deer will get good protein from both and will dig through the snow for the WW. an inexpensive plow down such as Alyce clover will die out at first frost...but in the mean time feed the deer and fertilize the ground...WW is a good turkey hunting spring plot that is easy to disc in and replant with something like soybeans..another nitrogen fixer with great deer feed benefits. It will also allow you to simply over seed in the fall with your turnip /radish plot.
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Re: Winter "food" sustaining plot

Postby alice » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:04 am

You're still meat hunting even if you are trophy hunting, you're just accepting the fact that your meat might be a little tougher.
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