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Advice

deadeye

Active Member
My father along with his two brothers purchased 50 acres in the Wapsi river bottoms. It is very low. It floods when the river floods. There are some higher spots that others but only +/- 10 feet at the most. No existing fields. It just got logged this winter. My uncle works for a guy who has a dozer that will bring it in to clear a small area for a food plot. We have acorns available but they have not been producing very well the last 5 years or so. We have problems holding deer all year. It is thick enough, but without a source of food they leave. The rut brings them through - mainly bucks looking for does. Turkeys are around in the spring, but leave during the winter also - which doesn't really bother me. I want whitetails to be around during late muzzleloader season.

So now that you have a little background I am asking advice. This food plot that will get put in will be small. Maybe an acre or two. We would be on a pretty small budget also. What would you recommend putting in or is it even worth it. Dad is thinking winter wheat. He thinks it will be a good spot for turkeys to strut as well as some food - I must agree.

I question if it will not work out well - being all the deer eating it down to nothing. Also is it too small. Wrong type of land - mainly elevation with flooding. Soil is fairly sandy in spots. I wonder also if it won't bring deer into ours, but help the neighbors out also when they would come and go from ours.

Don't know much about food plots since we don't farm and don't really have enough land to make it more valuable to learn more. But if you were to plant something what would it be and why?

THANKS
 

muddy

Administrator
i think clover or winter wheat would be good. you could fence off (a high fence) half of it through the growing season and then unfence it once season got there. would keep half the stuff there at least and still let game feed. i'll even help put the fence in.
 

Limb Chicken

Administrator
I would clear 12 acres right in the middle and plant an attractant plot... I would think that and acre or two would get depleted rather quickly...
 

deadeye

Active Member
Our land is best described as a L. A pretty wavy L that is. 12/50 is a huge hunk to lose to an opening. Plus the highs and lows are hit and miss. Don't see dad clearing 12 acres. Also to many trees in that 12 acres. Would be a better size for a food plot though.
 

Big Timber

Moderator
Deadeye,
As far as what to plant, I would first test the soil to find out the PH level. Once tested, I would contact the DNR and they will tell you what type of forage will prevail in your conditions. If you want the plot to last through the winter you should note that your looking for a cool-season forage, which will grow best from fall through spring.

As far as size goes, between 1/2 and 3 acres in size, and as evenly distributed through your property as possible. 1/4 and 1/2 acre plots will be difficult to manage and be more vulnerable to overbrowsing.

Look into QDMA.com and you should find some more answers to your questions.

Good Luck,

BT
 

m_kat

Member
For a late season plot you can't beat rape (canolla), it is dirt cheap, grows fast, and the deer don't touch it untill it freezes.
 

Ogz

Life Member
Rape, as it is called, is in the Brassica family. It is similar to cabbage, with a thick stalk and large leaves. It works well but sometimes it takes the deer a while to really key in on it. If left it will eventually rot and smell bad, but that rarely happens as the deer keep it eatten down. Try and keep your plot in the middle of your ground to help "hold" the deer in you property. Of course they are going to travel on and off of your place and you are indeed going to make things better for your neighbors, but that's the way it goes. I help work on a property that is several thousand acres and we still loose several bucks a year to our neighbors. It is unfortunately something that is unavoidable. You need to realize that anything that you do WILL have a positive affect on your deer and the benefits will come back to you over time.
 

bjkpharmd

New Member
Deadeye,
I'd make sure someone who knew about timber looked at it. Your plot may qualify for TSI $ that would help you improve the quality and provide more acorn mast. Just being able to thin some trees has helped my acorn production by quite a bit. Try to make any openings big enough to let the sun really in, I have a road I seeded with clover & you can really tell the difference where more sunlight gets through. I have used either a combo of winter wheat & rye or straight rye for the last few years as a fall plot. The deer browse 2 acres of this down close enough for a golf green but it pops right back up in the spring & turkeys love to strut in it and at least in my area there are tons of bugs in it for the poults.
 

deadeye

Active Member
Yeah, actually we just were approved for TSI and had some done right before they logged. Else right after. The area we are looking at for a plot is about in the bend of the L. Probably as middle as you can get. Just wondering what type of veg people recommend.

Thanks for all input. Will email dad with suggestions.
 
J

jdavis

Guest
If you are going to put in a food plot now is the time to start. If your budget is small then try frost casting clover for your plot. This is easy and does not need any farm equipment. After the clover comes up you will need to mow it. I have used a big weed eater to mow when I had to. Clover is very cheap (45.00 for 50lbs). It will come up for several years. I frost cast my clover field every year. The key is to mow it. As far as the size of your plot goes small is fine. The deer and turkey will use this alot. If you go to QDMA.com there is an artical about small food plots and how they work, I think you will find alot of info. I would not spend alot of money on your plots until you have gotten it down. Clover, winter wheat, and rye you can't go wrong. Remember some of these plots are for different times of the year. Hope this helps...
 

deadeye

Active Member
Dad called yesterday and said the dozer was in the timber. Tried to talk to him last night, but was unable to get ahold of him. Can't wait to hear how it went. Hopefully the planting will be happening very soon.
 
J

jdavis

Guest
You were woundering if a small food plot would help your farm. Yes, very much so. Here's a little info; A one acre food plot can provide 10,000 pounds of forage while providing 20% protein level. This is very good because deer need an average of 16% protein to reach maximum genetic size. If you add a cool season plot you can get another 5,000 pounds of brousse while maintaining that 20% protein level. A one or two acre food plot makes alot of difference.good luck!
 

deadeye

Active Member
Two plots have been cleared. One is pretty small near or permanent turkey blind. He planted a type of grass that will grow in shady areas pretty well. He got it in the other night before the rain. The larger plot I think he is going to plant clover as soon as he gets it disced up a bit. Think he also plans on planting clover on the logging road that leads to the plots. I can't wait for turkey and deer season. Sunday I will get down to the timber to check it out. Thanks for the info.
 

m_kat

Member
Limb Chicken,
This may or may not work, but anyway it has a large succulent leaf and looks like raddishes when it first starts to grow. Its stays green under the snow and the deer just love it.

 

deadeye

Active Member
Well on Sunday Muddy, my father, and I went to work. Dad got some oats, jumbo ladinoe clover, and some grass that grows well in the shadows. He borrowed my uncle's tractor and disced up the logging road and two food plots. Then we planted the seed and drug it in with a drag. I think a four wheeler would have been better as the tractor was a little big to manouver around, but we got the job done. Now I just hope we get a good rain soon.
 
G

grassybuck

Guest
Deadeye, in the two years I have planted 4 imperial whitetail clover patches at three different locations. I have done everything imagineable to produce the best clover plot possible, fertilizing, liming, mowing, and herbicides. It looks like the stuff you see in the magazine and on TV. The deer hammered it in summer and turkeys were in it to. The problem it seems is that the deer tend not to use it in the time of year in which you wish to hunt. The plots were vacant during the hunting season. Clover is great for summer attractant and very nutriential, however deer are looking for different things to eat to get them through the winter. If i had to do it over again i would plant some sort of fall attractant, i think corn is the best. I would consider doing half of a perenial and half an annual. That seems to keep the deer around the most. Also, a friend of mine purchased some different clover blends at the local feed mill and planted them a year before my plots and they pale in comparison. I realize the imperial clover is expensive, but they have deals in the spring and the fall, and you can get it for about $30 an acre. I think it is really a great procduct. Hope this helped and if you have any questions about planting i have read an awful lot of stuff in the last two years and might be able to help.
 
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