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Food Plots


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#1 Spirithawk

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 08:02 PM

Jason and I have permission to hunt on some land accross the road from my house and on one of the places the owner just gave us permission to put in some food plots. It's roughly 20 acres mostly wooded. He has however cleared two sections about an acre in size and there's also a hillside cleared with a pond at it's base. It's typical Ozark ground and quite rocky. I'm wondering what would be best to plant for both deer and turkeys? We'd like to plant clover on the hillside but something easy to grow, hearty and low maintenance, due to the poor soil, would be best. Any advice guys?

#2 Chrud

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:58 PM

Planting clover on the hillside isn't a bad idea. The deer definitely will go after the clover pretty much all year. The biggest downside we've had with clover is that it usually takes two or three years before it gets fairly thick.

I've had outstanding success with a Buck Forage Oats and r a p e seed mix. The past couple years I've only used BFO, but mixed in some r a p e seed this year. My plot is in the woods, not very big in size and only gets direct sunlight in the middle. We usually plant the first or second week in August and by the middle of September it is usually anywhere from 12" to 18" tall in the middle (direct sunlight), even with little to no rain. However, this year we got lucky and planted two days before a pretty good rain. The results were amazing. The BFO was 6" tall in a matter of days.

The only drawback to BFO is that the deer around here don't really hammer it until it freezes a few times. They'll munch at it early in the season, but it is mowed down as soon as it freezes a couple times. The is the reason we added some r a p e seed this year. The r a p e seed grows the best in direct sunlight, and the deer really hit it as soon as it sprouts. The r a p e seed really helped attract deer earlier in the archery season than what the BFO did.

We didn't really do much. Just broke ground and planted and fertilized the first year. We did do a soil sample the second year and added some lime. We added a little more lime this year too. However, according to the soil sample, my plot still has less than ideal soil, but the results year after year are still amazing. If you've checked out a few of my Cuddeback pictures I've posted and have in my gallery, you already know that. :)

#3 Spirithawk

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 02:22 PM

Thanks bunches bud. I really apreciate the advice. Posted Image

#4 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 07:49 PM

We have two food plots at camp. We planted both this past spring. both plots are on top of the mountain and one contained biologic and fertilizer but did not seem to do real good. The other plot contained something else but I was not there when it was planted. I would suggest that you build a small exclosure fence maybe about 4 foot square so you can see what grows where the deer can't get to it. Clover will attract both deer and turkeys so planting at least some would be beneficial. If you can mow the plot at least once or twice a year it really helps what you planted to compete with the weeds.
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#5 Spirithawk

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:28 PM

We have two food plots at camp. We planted both this past spring. both plots are on top of the mountain and one contained biologic and fertilizer but did not seem to do real good. The other plot contained something else but I was not there when it was planted. I would suggest that you build a small exclosure fence maybe about 4 foot square so you can see what grows where the deer can't get to it. Clover will attract both deer and turkeys so planting at least some would be beneficial. If you can mow the plot at least once or twice a year it really helps what you planted to compete with the weeds.



Thanks Paul. Posted Image

#6 diehlrod

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 01:29 PM

I'm sure you already have put in your plots by now, however if they don't do so well, take a soil sample and get what you need ready for the next season. Soil in the mountains of PA is rocky and sandy, but parts are clay. The local university sure helped out with what to do to get everything where it needed to be with what I was planting. I just finished up planting the last round of plots at camp. Planted about 6 acres total this year. Soil sample came back for all but 1 acre needing about 3 tons of lime to bring the soil up to specs and 5-20-20 fertilizer. I cleared the ground, and then sprayed roundup and 2-4D mix to kill the weeds. Planted a mix of clover, alfalfa, brassica, and a few annuals. They came up beautifully. It took me about 8 years to convice everyone that their investment will pay off, and I had to do all the work, but the trail cams show that it is paying off. Just finished planting a late season winter plot last week and it's already sprouting up as of this morning. Now all we need is some rain.




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