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Thread: thoughts for 2017

  1. #1
    Four Pointer
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    Default thoughts for 2017

    Next year if I do any deer management, it will be from a bag marked "corn." Planted 3 smallish crops, adding up to an acre, this year including all the usual suggestions, and drew very few deer, and the ones that did come showed up only at night. From October to today, only 2 deer showed up in the daylight. I spent probably $100 on seed, and countless hours on the tractor turning and preparing and planting, and developed a nice crop that grew to 12-18" tall. For nothing! I hate baiting, but $100 will buy me enough corn for the season on my limited space, and will be a lot less time and energy. I am getting too old to put forth a lot of effort for no return. At least I can say I tried. Oh well, let's see if the turkeys like it!

  2. #2
    Six Pointer tra_cline's Avatar
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    Your response of For no return, I assume you referring to no killing a deer off the plot? If you only had a 1ac food plot and it grew to 18" I am assuming you are in a lower deer density area? Do you think the deer found a better/more desirable food source? Or are they bedding off your property and not getting there till after dark? What did you plant, I have found that most food plots are most desirable when they are short and growing versus mature plants? Our place seen very little food plot activity since the acorns were so heavy this year but now they look like tracked up mud pits. It does sound like you put in a lot of sweat and hard work into it, hope whichever way you go on your set up in "17" sends you a goodun!

  3. #3
    Old Mossy Horns jug's Avatar
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    I can tell you from about 20 years experience of planting foodplots. You almost always still need to use corn with your fall green foodplot. Unless you have standing soybeans the deer will need some food that provides adequate nourishment when the temps drop to 30. Acorns and a green salad plot or corn brings them everytime. A green plot alone will not do you much good.
    I can tell you that foodplots work though. Just ask the guys down at our dog club. My brother and I put in a small foodplot strip down at the dog club and the first year we didn't see a lot of deer but this year we killed our biggest buck and jumped the most deer off that plot. We got more pics off that plot this year than last. Foodplots take time. They are not a one hit wonder.
    Hunting in the Sandhills and Foothills of NC

  4. #4
    Old Mossy Horns jug's Avatar
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    I would try planting rye , wheat and crimson clover next year and put your corn out. You will see deer I guarantee. Deer like a variety. Be sure to lime.
    Hunting in the Sandhills and Foothills of NC

  5. #5
    Four Pointer
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    Not sure of any details about your property, but is food the limiting factor? Do you have good cover? I look forward to improving some areas on my tracts by cutting maples, sweetgums and elms to promote some thickets over the next few months.

  6. #6
    Four Pointer
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    Yes, I meant no killing of deer in the plot, or near the plot, and very few camera sightings. My property is covered with acorns, but once they are gone, which appears to be about the time I start hunting, the deer leave too. I have a couple nice bedding areas, but don't see much around them, seems access is in the other direction. I killed a young buck and a doe this year, quarter mile or so from the plots, but they did not seem to care about the plots themselves.

    My desire to have the plots was that I really don't think much of piling up corn. I know it is legal, but just doesn't feel right to me, and no disrespect to those that do it. We had plots when I was younger, and they drew deer, in Va, where you could not bait, although those around us did. The plan was to have plots instead of corn. If I still need to do corn, I will not take the time and money to do the plots.

    My plots this year were (1) Pennington Rackmaster Carolina Complete (small grains, legumes and brassicas), (1) Biologic Green Patch Plus (transitional grains, brassicas and clovers) and (1) winter wheat. I wanted to try the variety and see what they liked most. Sign says they liked the Pennington most.

    Perhaps they need to see the plots year after year to get used to them, but they see corn for the first time and hit it within days. I love to hunt and stock the freezer, but the effort and money just did not pay off. If I can kill 2 each year by spending time in the woods without the plots, it just seems to make sense. I don't mind the effort and money if it pays off, but for me, it just did not.

  7. #7
    Ten Pointer Weekender's Avatar
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    When does your season start?

    Plant some cowpeas two weeks before your season if on the eastern zone with a September opener. Deer cannot resist them when they're small and tender. You won't need corn. If the chutes arent ripped out during browsing, the leaves will grow back on young pea plants.

    Do your other two plots in clover. Even if you simply use an annual and broadcast them. Crimson clover will grow about anywhere with very little costly prep. Throw the seed, mow the plot, and the thatch will protect the seed and hold in moisture, and do so as close as possible to rain.
    Last edited by Weekender; 01-06-2017 at 06:58 AM. Reason: had the throw and mow method backwards

  8. #8
    Four Pointer
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    "My season" started November 5, 2016, black powder in Stokes County. Too late for many crops. By then I have generally had a frost or two.

  9. #9
    Old Mossy Horns jug's Avatar
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    You going to need corn if your neighbors are putting out corn. Green plots alone wont be enough unless you have 3 to 4 acre field that you can plant in wheat rye and crimson clover. A big green field will draw the deer in without the need of corn. A small 1 to 2acre plot could but not consistently like the larger field. Anything smaller than a acre might be futile without corn.
    Hunting in the Sandhills and Foothills of NC

  10. #10
    Four Pointer
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    I understand. The two I killed this year had been eating corn, either at my neighbor's pile, or across the road where the farmer grows 10 acres and cuts right before season. Either way, and as I said, if I plant crops, and still have to put out corn, I will not plant crops.

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