I have been hunting my small parcel of timber (probably under 15 acres of timber total) that runs alongside a decent sized creek for like 6 years now. Through personal experience, shed hunting, and cameras, I've come to realize that while this area tends to be a hot spot in the early season when there is a lot of food in the surrounding ag fields and during the rut when bucks are chasing hard, the late season is terrible for deer movement. Other than some nice bedding areas, there is nothing to draw the deer. Coupled with the fact that EVERY SINGLE field around me has tons of fencelines and waterway ditches, bedding is not a huge draw for deer. They are going to be where the food is late season. The farmer who lets me hunt always chisel plows everything under as quickly as he can. I think it was late October when he had the fields all plowed under this year.
My question is this: One of my stands overlooks an mostly open area right next to the creek. It's about 40 yds, and it's definitely bottom ground. If the creek floods, this whole area floods. The stand I'm using in a TV antennae strapped to a big straight tree with another big straight tree growing next to it. I have a plywood platform on top, and carry in my bucket with swivel seat top to hunt it. Early season I see a good amount of deer filtering through as they follow the creek and browse the natural grasses that grow here. Late season, the only deer I've gotten on camera for the last month or so is a young buck who is cruising through in the middle of the night.
I'm thinking of looking for some sort of vegetation I could plant that would possibly be a food source for deer in late season. I'm not necessarily looking to grow big bucks here or anything...more like attract some deer (maybe even turkeys) to the area in late season. The bottom ground is as the bottom of a pretty steep ravine, and I don't have a 4-wheeler or any kind of machinery to help with this. I'm thinking i'd go down there with a bow saw and a rake, clear out a bunch of the smaller saplings, rake away the litter that's on top, and try to spread some sort of "throw and grow" seed.
I'm not sure what the soil is like, but it's going to have a high sand content being next to the creek that floods occasionally. There isn't a whole lot of direct sunlight, but it's by no means thick and dark in there. There is a decent canopy from the mature trees overhead. I'm also not looking to spend a whole lot of money on something that may not even work.
What do ya'll think?
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear