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Summer food plots for deer

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04 October 2018, 04:39
TWall
Summer food plots for deer
Larry,

It seems like you have found out what to grow. Now you can fine tune planting times, plots sizes etc. Of course, every year is different so your results will vary.

Tom
09 April 2019, 00:14
larryshores
Well, it is getting to be that time again. In retrospect, I think that 95% plus of what I planted was a total waste of time & money. It wasn't that the critters didn't like some of it. They destroyed it is less than a week. I think the reality is that some of the sun hemp I planted was beneficial and that was it.

I have given it a lot of thought since mid- season. I know I had to make a change.

Here is what I have done or plan to do:

1- Starting on 2/1, I went heavy duty on the protein . I have 4 feeders that are 1250 pounds each and 7 that are 300 pounds each. The deer are terrorizing these feeders. The deer have CONSUMED over 10,000 pounds of protein feed thus far.

2- I had a skid steer come in and open up some super thick areas to create more natural browse.

3- I have been all over the property looking for patches of natural browse. For example, gall berries, black berries, green brier, etc. These have all been sprayed with Antler Grow . This provides micronutrients through the natural browse once they have been sprayed.

4- I have modified certain food plots to make them larger.

5- I have added others food plots.

6- I am reconsidering what to plant. Two things occurred to me. One is where I always see deer. The side of the road. The other is what I have had the most success planting up there. Grasses, rye grass and buck forage oats soecifically. I have decided , for the most part to make Argentine Bahia the base of the plots and over seed with something else such as Alyce clover or buckwheat. The Bahia is a perennial so there should be a long term cost savings. It is also reasonable high in protein.

7- By blind luck, I found a retired guy who lives close by. He has worked in agriculture for a very long time. He know the ropes in that area especially fertilizers, seeds, etc. His knowledge will be beneficial.

8- I am going to plant some more natural browse such as ragweed.

9-There is a particular vine that grows up there trees. I believe the deer are eating the leaves. No leaf appears low enough for the deer to eat. They have all been eaten. I am pulling all of those down low enough for the deer to eat.

This has got to work.
18 April 2019, 23:15
TWall
Larry,

It sounds like you are dialing things in.

Is the vine green with small thorns? Greenbirar, smilax, might be it. One an established vine you might be able to cut it off a foot high and then get a bunch of new sprouts. I have done this with smilax so just try it with a few first.

Tom
06 March 2020, 18:15
larryshores
Well, it getting to be that time of the year again. I learned a hell of a lot last year.

Some observations are:

1- My soil sucks at best.

2- Damn near any desirable crop will be wiped out in less than a week by the critters. Hogs are particularly bad.

3- The effects of protein have been incredible.

4- As is often the case, water can be a problem. Either too much or too little. We had 32 inches of rain in 2 days. We lost several plots to the standing water.


The plans are as follows:

1- We have spread 10 dump truck loads of cow manure on the most prime food plots.

3- I have 5 large plots where we have set up for electric fences. I am thinking about a couple of others.

3- Hopefully, they are going to burn about 150 acres next Tuesday.

4-I am on the process of buying a portable pump and irrigation system. I can irrigate several plots by simply dumping the drain line into existing water.

5- I had the trees thinned in several areas.

6- All of the plots with electric fences will have the prime crops planted. Sunn hemp did insanely well last year. I am going to plant more. I am going to try peanuts and cow peas.

7- On the plots without the electric fences, I am never going to plant the prime crops ever again. I am going to plant something they eat but don't destroy. Millet comes to mind. They eat it as long as it doesn't grow too high.

8- After cleaning up the aftermath of the logging, I am going to chop those areas and spread some seeds for desirable forbs.

9- I am undertaking to disturb the dirt wherever possible to try and stimulate growth of favorable forbs. Seeds will be spread here as well.

10- I am adding one more spin feeder and 3 more protein feeders.

11- There was a perhaps 10 area area that was pretty useless. Never saw a deer or hog in it. We have chopped it and disked it repeatedly. We brought in hay covered in cow manure from a local far and spread it. I am not exactly sure what we will do with it . Perhaps we will plant forbs that are favorable.

12- I have five old logging ramps that we cleaned up and chopped to hell and back. Buck forage oats or rye grass was planted there. On four of these, we are going to replant pine trees. In these parts, deer love to bed in young pines.



This is a lot of work and a lot of learning.
09 March 2020, 03:16
jdollar
As a point of info, I baited this year with shelled corn and shelled peanuts, both of which I can get for free. The deer completely ignored the corn and ate the peanuts. When the peanuts ran out, the deer shifted to the corn..... Right now, I am just keeping the deer happy and fat with shelled peanuts.
12 March 2020, 05:42
larryshores
I wish I could get peanuts.

Realistically, corn is an attractant. It doesn’t do much nutritionally.
14 March 2020, 08:24
jdollar
For sure peanuts are a lot more nutritionally complete than corn and high in protein. For you, it might be a problem in that bears love them too! We don’t have bears in our area. Hogs, of course, are a different matter!
15 March 2020, 13:38
larryshores
We have a bear pass through once or twice a year. Not a big problem.