food plot in low light

What's the hunt looking like this year in your area? Share!
User avatar
Deebz
 
Posts: 963
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:25 am
Location: Illinois

food plot in low light

Postby Deebz » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:21 pm

Hey All,

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

User avatar
Sailfish
 
Posts: 1639
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:12 am

Re: food plot in low light

Postby Sailfish » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:35 am

Tough spot. They are getting their food elsewhere(I assume corn/beans o plenty on the ground for browse?), plenty of safe bedding elsewhere why should they come to you?
Last season (for you) its calories for the deer right?
But what about variety. Can you put down some oats or winter wheat or peas for them?
Get something different out there for them?
There is also a product by whitetail institute called Secret Spot. Its a decnet variety of greens and such that grows well/decent ina few hours of direct sunlight. Your region you can plant it as late as mid-september
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."

User avatar
rthomas4
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:07 pm
Location: Hampton, SC

Re: food plot in low light

Postby rthomas4 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:55 am

I'm not a big fan of national branded food plot seed; but Throw 'N Grow or something similar would probably work. You might even want to scatter a bag or two of something like "Black Cow" on the ground and rake it in prior to planting. I'd suggest planting something along the lines of Chufa or sorghum if you want to also attract turkeys. Sorghum seed isn't very expensive, but Chufa can run a good bit so you might consider getting with a friend and buying the seed from your local NWTF( if you're a member of the NWTF you can buy the seed directly from their headquarters in SC and they'll ship it to your house) chapter and splitting the cost and the seed. Both plants will attract turkeys, deer, rabbits, quail, doves, and ducks.
NRA LM, NAHC LM, Buckmasters LM, The Second Amendment Foundation, GOA, NAGR, Palmetto Gun Rights, QDMA, DU, NWTF, ASAdisabled sportsmens' alliance, EDH, and Proud SC redneck REBEL for life.

User avatar
Sierra
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:03 pm
Location: Delaware, Ohio

Re: food plot in low light

Postby Sierra » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:42 am

Well I have never planted a food plot for deer... at least not yet. But I am an avid gardener and grow just about everything. I have had success with root veggies in shaded conditions. I hear deer like beets, and beets are more forgiving of poor soil. How much work can you put into preparing the plot? You can sow repeat planting of beets spring summer and fall. They also are fine with a frost. Radishes are also really fast growers and are ok with lower light. If you can actually take a bit more time and sow these under the soil, I think you might have some luck.

Keep us posted. I am thinking of asking the people that let me hunt their land if I can plant some things here and there.
And then the moon, like to a silver bow new bent in Heaven

richdevlin761
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:24 am

Re: food plot in low light

Postby richdevlin761 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:22 pm

what about variety. Can you put down some oats or winter wheat or peas for them? Get something different out there for them? There is also a product by whitetail institute called Secret Spot.

User avatar
Deebz
 
Posts: 963
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:25 am
Location: Illinois

Re: food plot in low light

Postby Deebz » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:52 am

Thanks for the input guys.

My goal wouldn't be to draw deer to my area... I know they are using it as a travel corridor. My one stand sits right on the treeline edge next to a massive waterway ditch that has a bunch fo switchgrass and willow bushes and whatnot growing up along it. It's probably 100 yds wide and 400 yds long, and it sticks out into the ag fields away from the timber that runs along the creek. So basically, I'm surrounded by food, and I'm hunting between the bedding/travel area and water. I see a lot of deer during the early season. The problem is when the crops get picked early and the farmer eliminates the food source by tilling the ground so he can get it treated with lime and such. The deer shift away. I still see deer, just not in the same places. The rut is usally awesome for about 2 days if I can hit it right, and then late season is totally different. Since the late season approach is usually "hunt the food", I'm kind of screwed when there isn't any. There are a few acorns around, but they're gone by late season also.

I'm thinking that if I can get a plot in that maybe won't get much attention while the corn and beans are around, then I can possibly hold some deer to their regular patterns longer into the post season if there is still a food source in close proximity to the bedding area ditch. That secret spot looks like it might work. If I get crazy this summer I might buy a bag just for the heck of it. If nothing else I could probably get some good trail cam pics...
"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

User avatar
rthomas4
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:07 pm
Location: Hampton, SC

Re: food plot in low light

Postby rthomas4 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:50 am

There is a product (I believe it's called "Plot Protector") that is a simple light weight fence that is sprayed with a deterrent to keep the deer out of the plot. You could plant your food plot, fence it in and then when all of the other food sources are gone, remove the scented fencing and open it up for the deer to feed. This would also allow the plot to grow to maturity without the deer browsing it to the ground until you're ready for them to utilize it.
NRA LM, NAHC LM, Buckmasters LM, The Second Amendment Foundation, GOA, NAGR, Palmetto Gun Rights, QDMA, DU, NWTF, ASAdisabled sportsmens' alliance, EDH, and Proud SC redneck REBEL for life.


Return to General Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


cron