Deer Foood Plots

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:27 am

I was thinking of putting in some food plots for deer and such on a mostly unused hiil that now grows weeds and I have to constsntly mow. Has anybody done this, and is there something that is periennial that I can just broadcast that will take over. I can disc it to give it a good start. Just wondering. Also, how large of an area is practical to do?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:46 am

Your local conservation department can give you good suggestions, and many feed and see stores sell a food plot mix.

Thu Feb 03, 2005 11:04 am

Check these out:

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/wacrops.asp

http://www.mdwfp.com/newsite/Level1/wildlife.asp?subject=Deer

Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:30 pm

Cool, thanks. I stilll have not decided what to do. Maybe I'll just keep mowing..... I'll check the links

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:59 pm

Carm, the deer in my area like winter rye grass, fescue and bermuda in the summer. Their favorite grazing grass is gramma and lehman's love grass, but that's 35 bucks a lb. :shock: :shock:

We like having them around here but if you do attract them be prepared to see your evergreens and trees get eaten too :(

We have seven or eight around here all day. I feed them cracked corn and birdseed too.

What kind of deer are they :?:

Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:02 am

just whitetail

Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:41 am

After planting food plots for several years I have become tired of paying high prices for the seed. This year I am going to mix my own using black-eyed peas and popcorn from the grocery store. I may add some millet if it's cheap enough.

Best,
Mike

Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:32 am

:lol: Ha-Ha, Yoose Guys are trying to attract deer and I have been running them critters off any way I can. My neighbor got a big black dog about 3-years ago that patrols the area and for the last 2-years I haven`t had a deer or rattlesnake in or even close to the yard area. Guess you know which critter gets goodie snacks from me. :twisted:

Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:25 am

Carm. I used "Imperial Whitetail Clover" on a small plot surrounded by wooded acreage about 500 yards behind the house. The deer loved it. And, it's very high in protein to stimulate antler growth. It is kind of expensive, though. Had it going for 4 years before the weeds & grass over powered it. Got it at Agway.

When I first planted it, put several cages of approx 3 feet in diameter to prevent feeding inside the cages. Clover grew high and thru the cages where as the rest of the plot was kept low from feeding by deer, turkey, and with out doubt, rabbits. Saw some bear droppings there, also.

Used the cub with 144 cultivators to dig up and cultivate the whole plot. Used plenty of lime to get the PH up and fertilized with low nitrogen mix. Really worked well and lasted longer than what I thought it would as long as I kept it somewhat mowed to discourage tall weeds. I still mow it, but it just looks like a lawn in the middle of the woods the last few years............... May get the incentive to re-plant again.

I did harvest a few spring goblers out of the plot !!

Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:38 am

Carm,
If you are unable to plow the field, you might try broadcasting the seed just before your last snow or ice pack thaws. The repeated thawing and freezing of the last 3 or 4 inches of hardpacked snow (and the soil just beneath) in the last few weeks of winter will do a good job of forcing the seed into contact with the soil, if not covering it slightly. Here in western MA, I mow and then disk my fields that I can't plow in the fall. This tends to scar the soil slightly. Then when I broadcast over the snow in the early spring, I get better seed to soil contact. I have been using birdsfoot trefoil (a legume) and red clover with decent success. I've found that mowing the weeds helps the new clover and trefoil shoots compete, and once established, the red clover especially seems to spread on it own.

Good luck. We've got 2 feet of snow here, so it will be a while before I start broadcasting.

Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:09 pm

Well, snow is mostly gone, but I think I'll try just broadcasting ina small spot and then see what happens...Thanks

Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:30 pm

Good articles; Step-by-step food plot plans, natural foods, and antler growth anatomy, in "The American Hunter" magazine (NRA publication). April '05 issue.............

Fri Mar 25, 2005 9:50 pm

thanks ron. i think a friend should have that issue!