What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Your place to discuss ways the habitats for deer can be improved!
jdshro
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby jdshro » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:55 am

ORIGINAL: SHKYBoonie

ORIGINAL: jdshro

New to food plots and was wondering if anyone can give a good suggestion. We have an old family farm in S. Western Ohio. 200 acres, 100 acres of corn/soybean fields, the rest is creek bottom, honey suckle chocked with open paths up to 40 ft wide for the horse riders to use. We are thinking about closing down a section of the horse path and putting in a food plot... about 3 acres.... any suggestions for a type of food plot in this very very fertile ohio soil?

The area we are planning on using is subject to minimal flooding during the spring, the soil is some of the most fertile I have ever seen. The adjacent corn field is always the best producer out of all our plots. The flooding never hurts the soybeans or corn. We are big bow hunters, and hit it during the rut hard every year. We always have big bucks near the property, but we want to keep more does around during the rut. We have good bedding cover, so that is not an issue.


If you already have beans and corn through the Summer/early Fall, I would suggest you plant a clover mix if you want a perennial that doesn't take much effort once it gets going or a brasica/oats mix if you want to have that attracting growth from late Fall into late Winter. The brasicas/oats will be more work and more cost because you will have to replant every year, but they seem to have a little more attraction to the deer than the clover. Don't get me wrong, the clover will draw and hold deer but from what I have seen the deer prefer the oats early and the brasicas after a good hard frost. We had the heaviest use of our clovers in late Winter and early Spring. Both of these plantings will do well in wet conditions so long as they get started growing before a flood. If it floods before they sprout, you have a chance of the seeds floating out of the ground with anything you plant. Also, keep in mind that the farm crops get harvested. If you plant some beans and corn in your plot, they are there for the duration. I have had alot of luck with planting the beans and corn together, especially these new climbing soybeans. They work well together as the beans affix nitrogen into the soil and the corn needs the nitrogen to grow, so it has helped out with the cost of fertilizers over the years. Keep in mind that you will only need to add about 10 lbs. of corn seed to your beans to cover an acre. If you use more corn seed, the plots will be really thick and the deer don't seem to use them as well. (This is a mistake we have made in the past.) The only thing you want to remember is not to plant things in the same area more than 2 years in a row. Alternate your plantings to different areas. This will help keep diseases down as well as some bugs at bay.

If you have good stands of honeysuckle, you may want to consider fertilizing some of them as well. This is a practice I have been doing for years and it works great. I take a bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer and fertilize several honeysuckle spots every year. You will be able to tell the difference between the use these get from the ones you didn't fertilize. It also boost the plants crude protein levels to above 19% and makes these plants more palatable to the deer. It's a cheap way to increase the usage of your native brows.


Wow, thank you for the response. I was thinking clover or a oat/brassica mix would be best.

Another question on the honey suckle. Literally our whole property is overgrown with this stuff. It is old honey suckle, some of the plants literally look like trees, stetching 30 ft into the air... and it is thick as can be. When the leaves start dropping, the deer hit them hard. You can see them picking up individual leaves off the ground immediately. Is it still worth fertilizing this old growth honey suckle that sprawls the entire property (200 acres?) Should I pick one spot, and set it up for a prime hunting spot?

I also noticed that after all the honey suckle drops, the number of deer on our property drops from 10-15 deer to about 5-8 deer. Anyway to keep them on the property? Would the clover or brassica/oat mix keep them around later into the winter? Or is it a bedding issue with the loss of honey suckle cover?

GTOHunter
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby GTOHunter » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:47 pm

I have kind of an early start on this years planting...We planted a mixture of clover,brassicas,turnips,winter wheat,oats and some chicory last Fall and after the Deer cleaned off the brassicas and turnips there the winter wheat,oats,clover and chicory is left to finish coming up this Spring.I plan on top seeding some more Red Clover on top to fill in on the exisiting food plots then after the ground drys up a little here in March and April we will plow up some more area's for food plots and plant a little more clover,oats and brassicas and maybe some wheat too?

Stickman
 
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Location: Hayden,Alabama

RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby Stickman » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:33 pm

I have one field planted in Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover which is doing great for its 3rd year, so I will use basic slag and let it grow. I will let my other field, which was planted in soybeans lay until September and then I will fertilize and plant in Buck Forage Oats, which the deer love. If I had one more field I would plant Eagle seeds forage soybeans they sure look good on the website. I do not know how they look in reality but I am willing to try.  
If you can find it you can kill it.

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SHKYBoonie
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby SHKYBoonie » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:03 pm

ORIGINAL: jdshro


Another question on the honey suckle. Literally our whole property is overgrown with this stuff. It is old honey suckle, some of the plants literally look like trees, stetching 30 ft into the air... and it is thick as can be. When the leaves start dropping, the deer hit them hard. You can see them picking up individual leaves off the ground immediately. Is it still worth fertilizing this old growth honey suckle that sprawls the entire property (200 acres?) Should I pick one spot, and set it up for a prime hunting spot?

I also noticed that after all the honey suckle drops, the number of deer on our property drops from 10-15 deer to about 5-8 deer. Anyway to keep them on the property? Would the clover or brassica/oat mix keep them around later into the winter? Or is it a bedding issue with the loss of honey suckle cover?

 
Yes, just pick some areas on your property, maybe close to where you will have a food plot or just a secluded out of the way spot that you would like to create a honey hole. (no pun intended) Fertilize those areas and you will see the deer focus on those areas first.
 
If you have thickets on this farm, the deer will always use them. These are areas that should be treated as sanctuaries and never be entered or hunted close to if the wind is blowing your scent into them. Once the deer get note that they are being hunted, they will use the property differently than before. They also may have switched to a different food source that comes available at that time of the year. Deer patterns will change several time in one year. These are things that are taught to them from birth by their mothers. If she has learned how to thrive on this tract of land, the others will follow her lead. Chances are, they aren't leaving the property. They are just changing their pattern because of hunting pressure, food and yes, maybe even shelter if there aren't many choices in that area at that time of year. Most family groups are going to call a specific place "home" and will not change unless it justifies survival. They know their home range as well as you know your home. They know how to stay alive with the familiar surroundings. If they move to another place, they are much more at risk because they don't know all the ins and outs.
Hunt as though your life depended on it, because one day it just might!

Whitetail Underdog
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby Whitetail Underdog » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:01 pm

Any ideas for a swampy area? I share a piece of property with other hunters and have been "banished" to the swamp. But I love it there and the big bucks love it too! There are fields that surround the swamp that do not get farmed but, I don't have permission to hunt them. There are some high spots but, they get wet with a good rain. Any ideas welcomed!

bowman12
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby bowman12 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:41 am

We have some very wetspots too, one of our fields was actually underwater for over a month last spring, and the whitetail institute clover survived and did well after it dried out. Personally, I'd try the clover. Spray the weeds, rough it up, and broadcast some of the seeds. I'm sure you can't get equipment into it.
 
I've been really up in the air this year about what to plant. We have 6 acres of well established clover that gets hit hard every year, our nutrition plot. For our harvest plots this year I'm going to use a mix that has some sunflowers in it, and plant rye on the edges to provide shooting opportunities. In our existing clover field I'm also going to try and get some pumpkins started where the clover isn't very thick for our late muzzleloading season.

msbadger
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby msbadger » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:58 am

Perhaps rice or millet for the swampy area...I have a wet area that I planted Tritical in and it did well...but it needs sun and the area to dry some during the growing season

wdkoepke
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby wdkoepke » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:20 pm

i've got a small access road i'm planting in clover this year and i'm renting a 2 acre section of field from my dad that  i'm planning on putting turnips in

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby buckhunter21 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:29 am

ORIGINAL: jdshro

New to food plots and was wondering if anyone can give a good suggestion. We have an old family farm in S. Western Ohio. 200 acres, 100 acres of corn/soybean fields, the rest is creek bottom, honey suckle chocked with open paths up to 40 ft wide for the horse riders to use. We are thinking about closing down a section of the horse path and putting in a food plot... about 3 acres.... any suggestions for a type of food plot in this very very fertile ohio soil?

The area we are planning on using is subject to minimal flooding during the spring, the soil is some of the most fertile I have ever seen. The adjacent corn field is always the best producer out of all our plots. The flooding never hurts the soybeans or corn. We are big bow hunters, and hit it during the rut hard every year. We always have big bucks near the property, but we want to keep more does around during the rut. We have good bedding cover, so that is not an issue.

 
Lots of good ideas already given.  Personally, if you have beans and corn already nearby, I'd put in a perennial since it's always good to have a balance of perennials and annuals growing so they have food throughout the year. 
QDM!

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: What Are Your Food Plot Plans?

Postby buckhunter21 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:35 am

We have two properties.  One our one property, there will already be a good chunk of acreage in farm hay (when I say farm hay, I mean it's not made specifically for deer...My parents live on a hobby farm and we have beef cows and horses).  I already have a 1.5 acre of Whitetail Institute Alpha Rack Plus growing that I've overseeded last year with W.I. Extreme (clover mix).  This will be my third year on this.  I plan on putting in a 5 acre stand of corn, and then mixing in some brassicas and W.I. powerplant possibly in the other areas.
 
On our other property, we are renting out a good portion and they are putting in all corn I think, so I won't be needing to put any of that in.  I also have about a 2 acre planting of Alpha Rack Plus on this property as well that is overseeded with Extreme.  I'll prob. be putting in some soybeans (want to try those Eagle brand beans) and some oats possibly.
 
Should be a busy spring!!!!
QDM!

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