Food plots?

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kwaldeier
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Food plots?

Postby kwaldeier » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:51 pm

Thinking about clearing out this area between the bottom 2 circles and putting 2 or 3 plots in. Think it would keep the deer better in the property? Only problem is there is cattle from June to Nov so I will have to put up a fencer with 2 wires probably. Thoughts on clearing? Plants to plant? Opinions on anything lol?

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IkemanTx
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Re: Food plots?

Postby IkemanTx » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:01 pm

If you are thinking about clearing, I would strongly consider the acces route, prevailing winds during season, where expected travel comes from/goes to, screening, time of day you would hunt it (food plots are hard in the mornings due to bumping deer on the food source).

You also need to consider whether you want more doe activity on your property. If a doe group decides your small piece of property will be their core area, they won’t tolerate bucks there out of velvet. This means early season could suffer in mature buck sightings until rut brings them around. You can avoid this with planting plots that provide less late spring/summer food and focusing on species that peak during season.

I hope to be at a point to plant plots (along with many other improvements) on some family land in the near future, and all of these things are already being planned for.
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kwaldeier
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Re: Food plots?

Postby kwaldeier » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:18 am

Any other opinions?
ODH
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Re: Food plots?

Postby ODH » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:46 am

Everything Ikeman wrote plus: Define your goal first, then plan a plot. Presumably you want "kill" plots and not destination food sources? At the margin It's generally not realistic to think we will significantly change the number of deer which call our property home. Unless you have a lot of acres and can create sanctuaries. But I have had good success using plots and manipulating travel routes. I think area of the country you are in plays a big part in the decision.
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Re: Food plots?

Postby dan » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:29 am

ODH wrote:Everything Ikeman wrote plus: Define your goal first, then plan a plot. Presumably you want "kill" plots and not destination food sources? At the margin It's generally not realistic to think we will significantly change the number of deer which call our property home. Unless you have a lot of acres and can create sanctuaries. But I have had good success using plots and manipulating travel routes. I think area of the country you are in plays a big part in the decision.

I disagree... Take Daves 70 acre (small) farm for instance. We do not do food plots every year because of different factors. Like last year when his Mom gave permission to two farm helpers to hunt there. And years I just couldn't get there and do the work. When there are food plots the land holds lots of bucks, like this year, we have probably seen 30 different bucks on the property and 6 adult does. Last year with no food plots there was one doe with no fawns, and a couple bucks seen. It took about 3 sits to see 1 deer. This year we average 3 to 5 deer per sit. Sign is much heavier, trails more beat, deer are not migrating off the property to winter... And this is the same every time we do or don't have food plots. It varys very little.

Back to the OP question... If you can keep the cows out, and you use quality deer blends, you should see more deer on the property. Kill plots are hard cause you need to get them just right and really put some thought into them, and then not over hunt them. My kill plots are usually within a stones throw from bedding and can either be seen from an observation spot, or monitored with an email camera. Centrally located food plots that offer food all season are certainly good for holding deer on your property. I have never personally seen does kick summer bucks away and I review a lot of properties and do a lot of summer glassing. More food, and more bedding will equal more bucks. My biggest issue with your property would be that cattle pastures often don't have good bedding. Cattle tend to destroy the vegetation bucks require.
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kwaldeier
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Re: Food plots?

Postby kwaldeier » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:59 am

Yeah cattle have always been a pain for me hunting wise. I plan on getting with deerslayer and talking about blends and whatnot to plant and his expertise. I think it would help the property a lot since the cows do take away some of the vegetation. What do you have planted Dan and what size areas?
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Re: Food plots?

Postby Twenty Up » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:18 pm

Not sure if you have any AG or gardening experience but you should do the basics before ever planting:

Soil test
Apply lime & NPK in regards to the soil test

Soil tests are free for land owners if you go through your county extention office.
Lime is extremely cheap and a basic 10-10-10 or 19-19-19 fertilizer is cheaper than the seed you'll probably buy.

The combination of the things I included above will allow your plants to reach their max potential in regards to nutrition.

Legumes such as clover, peas or beans are a good start as they're nitrogen fixing and take atmospheric nitrogen and put it into the soil. Or you could see what your neighbors are/aren't planting and try to draw some deer onto your property.

In my opinion I'd plant a variety for early, mid and late season then see how the deer react. The plots look like they receive a lot of shade so your clovers or brassicas may do best (bigger leaf blade = better shade capabilities).

Corn, soybeans etc require full sun or close to it for optimal results. I'd personally look into either cutting some trees or focusing on shade tolerant plants for the time being.

Sorry for the long winded post! I'm an AG guy so this stuff is what I do... hope this helps!
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