View Full Version : Recommended mineral supplements/food plots/fall attractants
01-23-2002, 10:10 PM
The seasons are fading to reminiscing over photos, time to start thinking about how to promote growth of the big ones and holding them near your hunting spot for next year.
So, what supplements and food plots do you favor for best antler growth/body size. And what are the most-successful fall attractants for food plots (clover's supposed to be good for growth, but not a "holder" for the hunting seasons), for those of us who don't have the good fortune of having hunting spots next to farmer-supplied deer groceries?
Ledino clover and alfalfa are hard to beat during most of the year. Winter wheat will hold deer through most of the winter, they will dig through the snow to get at it. Standing corn is good year round and beans are good for browsing in the summer months.
I don't think you have to worry about mineral supplements to promote antler growth in this state. We have the genetics and the minerals to produce big bucks anyway.
If you are looking for other suggestions on how to manage for wildlife be sure to contact the DNR's Private Lands Staff at
01-24-2002, 08:40 AM
From my experience, I do not think that you can beat standing corn in Iowa! It is what they eat and it also provides cover.
01-24-2002, 07:00 PM
Can anyone tell me if all that you have to do is spread landino clover on the ground will it take hold? You don't need to drill seed it do you. I have close to 100 acres of CRP and plan to put alot of it in clover and switch grass with around 5 acres of corn as a food plot source. Any suggestions for another food source for the deer besides the two I have mentioned. I thought about milo for the pheasants! I have 150 acres of timber that borders the CRP and was wondering if anyone has exsperimented with food plots in sections of timber. What do you guys think about alfalfa?
01-24-2002, 08:10 PM
I am not a food plot expert but I do have some insights based upon experience(s) and research, etc.
I too am intrigued by food plots inside the timber. I hunt an area that has been logged recently and there are some fairly open areas in the timber proper that I have thought about planting some small food plots in. Not being sure about what might be a suitable planting under the canopy of the overhead foliage, I asked a gentleman that has researched this subject to a degree and he recommended planting orchard grass, whatever that is. It sounds like it is shade tolerant and of good nutritional value to the deer.
His advice was to go with multiple, smaller plots as opposed to fewer, larger plots too.
I can also say that standing milo will attract deer like crazy. There may well be better approaches, but there was a standing milo field near where I hunted last year and I swear every deer for three sections was using that field.
01-24-2002, 09:35 PM
In CRP, food plots are limited to not more than 10% of the acreage. There are also maximum/minimum sizes for food plot, in area and dimension, when the ground can be tilled, and where they can be located (not in highly erodible soils, for example) given the reasons for CRP. Be sure to check with your FSA agent before doing anything, and get an approved plan from the agent, if you want to remain in the program and get payments.
Hence the need to make sure your food plots provide the maximum return.
In woodlands, there wouldn't be a limit on food plot size etc., unless they're also enrolled in CRP (erodible can be planted in trees as well as grass in some cases). Or, if you have a forest reserve tax reduction, there's a minimum "population" to qualify, so be careful if you plan to thin. Also, in woodlands one might want to plant woody species like shrubs available from State Nursery, since deer are browsers??? There are books that identify best browsing plants, if you don't already know (trick might be to keep deer from eating them as fast as they grow, in higher deer densities), or could ask a State forester for advice on woodland management.
01-25-2002, 10:22 AM
I was told by the FSA that I can put as much clover on my ground as I want. I am aware of the limitations of total acerage amounts. I guess I am more intrigued on where to put my food plots and sizes and or variety of food sources. I know corn works well but would anyone suggest adding like milo strips along side the corn or maybe in just a seperate area altogether. What size food plots work best. What else would anyone suggest if they had the choice to do what they want. My timber section holds deer but not as many as the sections east of me that have corn fields that border them. They have all the cover they need in my timber as well as water source. I just need something to keep them there and keep them from traveling afar to feed. The part of planning and antisipating all of this is almost as much fun as the hunting.
01-25-2002, 07:43 PM
Soil Test, Soil Test, Soil Test!!!!
I planted Biologic 2 years ago. I didn't do much prep work and it showed.
Last year I planned on planting Whitetail Clover in the spring. My dealer told me my PH level said I needed alot of lime. He suggested I lime, wait until it greens up then round-up. I did as he said, disked up the ground, fertilizer, then seeded.
It came up great!!!!
[This message has been edited by BOWDUDE (edited 01-26-2002).]
01-28-2002, 09:44 AM
Lots of really great advice above. I agree managing the habitat is really rewarding. I've had great luck with white clovers in small patches inside the woods. Bucks show up on my interior woodland clover patches before they walk out into more open food plots. Clover still does well in limited sunlight. A cover crop of winter wheat works well when fall planting clover. It comes up quick and is a favorite of deer and turkey, fall and spring.
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