Fav food plots

Post topo’s and Aerial photos for free advice. Food plotting, land manipulation, water holes, ect.
matt1336
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Fav food plots

Unread postby matt1336 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:14 am

How do you position them? What shape are they? Where are they in relation to bedding? What's planted in them?

Hopefully that gets us going?


I'm regretting making some of our plots the way we did. We simply made them according to the topo of the land and didn't give a lot of thought to funneling the deer to our stands....like the horse shoe or hour glass shapes tend to do. I've used some snow fence that works alright to help remedy our oversight. We have them close to bedding....a little too close actually. This makes it tough to get 'em going to food at night. MY favs for plants are clover, rape/nips and beans. Wierd thing though- the deer devoure the rape and turnips on our property up north in Price Cny (WI) but won't touch it down south in Washington County...w/ the area crops off, late in the season.


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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby dan » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:02 pm

I think food plot location is very dependent on your exact property, and neighbors.
I can say, the way I pick locations sometimes raises an eyebrow.
Most "experts" seem to want to put food plots real close to bedding. That can work, but most of my choices would be to make the buck travel a short distance to the food plot.
Often, I will suggest a land owner put his plot in the center of a CRP field...
Two main reasons... 1st. if your hunting over the food plot close to the bucks bedding, you will educate him really quickly that this is a trap. Regardless of how hard you try to be "odorless" human scent will be left there every-time you hunt there and mature bucks will catch on quick. And if you don't hunt there, the bucks will rarely ever get beyond the food source to you... 2nd. Mature bucks don't like openings and even if there is no scent don't often walk out in the open during daylight during hunting season... Putting the plot to close might hold a 5 1/2 year old buck in his bedding area / safe zone till well after dark. On the few occasions he does come in during daylight, he is likely going to look at this "opening" as a possible ambush trap and only come in during daylight if he is able to get down wind of the plot 1st. Also, put a camera there and the game is over... just to much scent in the area checking and setting the camera.
Bottom line is in the area they move during daylight, they don't tolerate much human invasion. Conversely, in the open CRP field plot, they will feed there at night and tolerate a lot more presence, and you can use cameras.
I might however, suggest a "hunting" plot or two near your doe bedding areas... They make great "rut" buck hunting spots for the week of cruising, and when you get the hankering to kill a doe, they do usually move early enough to catch in a food plot.
Sooo, by putting the plots where the
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby Treejunkie » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:29 am

I am going to agree with Dan 100% on this. Chances are you are not going to attract a mature buck in an open field (food plot) with perhaps the exception of the rut. But as soon as I say that you will. :lol: But.....I am no expert but I do put tons of thought into my food plots. I love using clovers but my clover fields are narrow and long. Imagine my field (8 acres) as a pie shape. At the tip of the pie is where my woods starts and it is woods all around the sides that connect to the point. At the back of the pie (crust side) is the road.

I plant a narrow strip of clover about 30' wide all the way around the point of my pie. This strip if it was a straight line is about 100 yards long. 50 yards long on each side of the point. The food plot inside that clover is corn. This makes it feel very secure. One jump they are back into the woods, the other way they are in the corn. I use lots of corn in my plots just to make my field feel thick.

All my plots in that field are broken up by corn so I do not have one big open patch of 8 acres. Hopefully that makes sense?? :? I plant clover, corn, soybeans, rye, oats, turnips, rape & sugar beets. I watch deer after deer walk by one of my stands in that clover strip into the corn.

Now my trail into the back of that stand has a dirt trail that I use for my tractor. The trail is dirt. I spray it several times a year with Roundup. No vegetation means less smell. I want a dirt path. It is extremely quiet. I can literally walk in/out without a single sound. My tree stand is on the edge of this dirt trail and where my clover starts. I take about 5 steps on my clover and I am in my snarrly Box Elder tree.
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby tim » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:56 am

that sounds awesome treejunkie/dan. great advice .
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby lungbuster » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:26 pm

I agree keep plots away from bedding and do not use them as hunting plots but rather plots to keep deer on your property. I do have one or two small hunting plots that produce a good hunt or two per year, but that's it once or twice and then it's buggered for the year. those plots are small enough in size to shoot across them so deer are never out of range and are usually placed near staging areas so mature bucks will hit them before dark.

My absolute favorite type of plot is soybeans,planted later in the spring so they will be green longer in the fall and left standing through the winter they are a deer magnet! i think even more so than corn, which is my second favorite, but do not leave it completely standing after it silks, run it down with a tractor or four wheeler that way the deer cannot hide as easily in it, unless it is a feeding plot, then I let it stand to provide added cover and security and in some situations I can still hunt off the plots back into the woods a ways in staging areas and not mess up the plot.
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby AC Rider » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:30 am

I started my plots in 1997 using primarily clover. This lasted several years until I began experimenting with other crops. I've had limited success since then. It seems I never got the good early movement that I did with clover. This year I'm putting my hunting plots back into clover with my front field being beans and corn for the late season.
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby Sagittarius » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:35 pm

matt1336 wrote: Wierd thing though- the deer devoure the rape and turnips on our property up north in Price Cny (WI) but won't touch it down south in Washington County...w/ the area crops off, late in the season.
That is very common. If and when RR sugarbeets ever become available to foodplotters again, try sugarbeets in Washington county. This is a Feb-28-2010 pic of my sugarbeet plot in Waukesha county. 12 deer came in just before sunset, three of which still had antlers. :o
Image
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby Indianahunter » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:57 am

I think Dan is dead on. Here is something else to consider. I don't personally have any food plots on my hunting property, but started doing experiments on my buddies family property. He only has 70 acres and only 6 are wooded. A thin Strip that connects to another property about 100 acres surrounded by crops, and an island of woods about an acre big in the center of his crop field with a small pond at the edge. On the next neighboring property there is about 200 acres that a hunter hasn't stepped foot on in about 15 years as they are against hunting and patrol it heavily during season on four wheelers.
The first year we planted clover and deer hit it, but not really hard as there are acres and acres of cow pasture full of the stuff near by. The next year we tried this Mossy Oak Brasica(?) mixture which the deer destroyed quickly, in fact it was gone before we could even hunt the area. So the thought came to me as to why this happened. We were offering them a food source they couldn't get on another property. Since then we have planted oats and some quick growing trees. Persimmons are awesome...and some different variety white oaks that will produce in 3 to 5 years and drop at different times of the season Sept,Oct, and Nov. and this has proven to be extremely productive. So offer them something they can't get anywhere else and if you don't have a lot of acreage to plant then definitely mix some fruit or nut bearing trees in there as the deer may consume your plots before they become productive in season. but don't plant apple trees if you live within a mile of an apple orchard. Give them a treat exclusive to your property. The only other suggestion I would make is to not plant everything in one area. Oak varieties ok as they will drop at different times of the season. Strategically place them so the deer come to you. That Persimmon tree is a deer magnet and they will leave every other food source when that thing is dropping. Unfortunately by the first or second week of October it is done. Some deer food for thought. I am not an expert by any means but I have found this is working better and in the long run cheaper then anything else we have done.
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby matt1336 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:04 pm

Sag: The sugarbeets are interesting. In your expierience w/ them, do they start hitting them after first frost and then all the way through winter?

Also, are the southern WI deer (on our property) just not use to eating the nips and rape? I know other guys that plant it a couple miles away and they hammer it. My only conclusion is that they haven't discovered it yet. Should I just give them some time?
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby Sagittarius » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:17 am

matt1336 wrote:Sag: The sugarbeets are interesting. In your expierience w/ them, do they start hitting them after first frost and then all the way through winter?

Also, are the southern WI deer (on our property) just not use to eating the nips and rape? I know other guys that plant it a couple miles away and they hammer it. My only conclusion is that they haven't discovered it yet. Should I just give them some time?
I don't think so. Three years ago I planted a turnip/brassica plot that turned out great, the deer never touched it all winter. So the last two years I planted RR sugarbeets and the deer pounded it December through March. Up in Rusk and Price counties the deer never let our brassicas get even close to maturity.

It appears to be just a matter of preference, and what else is available to the deer. Since RR sugarbeets will not be available to foodplotters this spring ... I may plant turnips/brassicas once again ... just to test the theorys "the deer need to get used to it", or "they need to learn to eat it". If they ignor the turnip/brassicas once again, after two years of sugarbeets, the myth is busted. Then it is purely a matter of preference. ;)

If the deer do not hit your turnips and brassicas, it means you have good habitat for level the local deer population, with plenty of higher preference forage available. ;)
"The real problem is not how we shall handle the deer in this emergency. The real problem is one of human managment. Wild life managment is comparatively easy; human management difficult." Aldo Leopold, March 1943
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Re: Fav food plots

Unread postby matt1336 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:29 pm

"If the deer do not hit your turnips and brassicas, it means you have good habitat for level the local deer population, with plenty of higher preference forage available."

So I guess that's good news.

Thanks Sag.


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