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Buck_Story

Planting Pumpkins for food plots?

14 posts in this topic

We were thinking about planting a couple pumpkin patches on our land for whitetail next year...

Has anyone ever tried this or do you have any suggestions?

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We have tried it the last couple of years and got mixed results. The first year we tried the deer loved them and wiped them out. The last couple of years though we tried in a different spot and the deer dont touch them until around March when they start to unthaw. I dont know why but they dont touch them until they have everything else eaten up now.

The best way we found to plant them was to put them in rows that way before they start vining out good if the weeds start to get bad you can go in there on a calm day and spray between the rows to give them a chance to get ahead of the weeds.

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Thanks for the feedback, did you have to protect them until they were mature? Or did the deer leave them alone until they were bigger?

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i think planting pumpkins FOR deer is illegal, considered baiting. i would just call it a pumpkin patch. I may be wrong on this, but i think i read somewhere a while back in fine print that if there is no intention on using the pumpkins, its a no-no.

i was going to try it this spring as well, but no matter how much round up and tilling we did, the dang pigweed and french weed would not quit coming up. i guess i am curious to see as well if it has worked for some of you guys. maybe i'll try it next year.

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We have never had to protect them, I cant remember ever seeing any sign of browsing on them but we have always planted them in our bigger food plot which usually has 3 or 4 different things planted in it so that has maybe been the reason why they havent gotten any pressure. Might be a different story if planted in a remote area by themselves.

As far as weeds being a problem we usually have a ton of lambsquarter and some other type of weed that show up as soon as you scratch the dirt but we usually spray once and knock them down good and by the time they start coming back the pumpkins take off and shade them out. It really doesnt hurt at all to have weeds in with them it gives the vines something to hang on to just as long as the weeds dont smother them out when their young.

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I am going to have to call the WI DNR to see if I can plant some pumpkins on our land... It never even occurred to me that it might be illegal.

Any one else know if it is either legal or worth pursuing?

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i emailed the dnr last year about it and it is legal to plant them..but illegal to throw pumpkins out there..we had problems with the deel stepping on them or eating them before they were vining..thats in mn not sure about WI

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i think planting pumpkins FOR deer is illegal, considered baiting. i would just call it a pumpkin patch. I may be wrong on this, but i think i read somewhere a while back in fine print that if there is no intention on using the pumpkins, its a no-no.....

So by this logic....

Do I "intend" to use the clover/rape/chicory in my first FOOD plot? Or is it just for the deer?.?.?.?.

Do I "intend" to use the apple tree's I have planted out in the woods for pies? Or were they put there for the deer?.?.?.?.?.

NO!!! We do all this [PoorWordUsage] for the deer and the other wildlife to use. If you want to plant and tend a pumpkin patch for the deer as a food plot the DNR can not penalize you for it. It is a food plot and not illegal.

If you get a trailer load of pumkins and dump them on your land, then it is baiting. Just like if you did it with corn. = Illegal.

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When the CO came in to our bow hunter saftey class he talked a lot about baiting. He said that you can pretty much plant anything you want for wildlife, but when you do something that isnt natural, Like if you have a small corn field and instead of either leaving a few rows for the deer, or harvesting it just going and chopping it down to spread the corn, thats illegal. Or if you plant turnips and dig them up right before hunting thats illegal. My guess if you plant pumpkins for the wildlife and not just dump them there thats natural so its ok. This is what i got from the CO when he talked baiting.

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jeez, i hope your not blowing that steam up my rearend! i simply stated i "thought" i read somewhere it was illegal. you can plant anything you want to attract wildlife, you just can't uproot plants, or anything like that to make it easier for them to eat, like mentioned earlier.

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I would say there's a smell test involved. If you work your butt off to plant some sweet corn or pumpkins or even an apple orchard and the deer go to town on it, I think you're going to be a lot safer than dumping a 50 pound bag of corn on the ground. It's pretty hard to prove intent in the former versus the latter. I'm not arguing the former is right, I'm just saying its much more gray than the bag of corn. Bottom line, I'd fall over if a CO arrested you for hunting over a pumpkin patch.

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I wasn't trying to scorch ya. I wasn't trying to scorch anyone realy. I was just trying to point out that if you plant it you are golden. At that point it is just another "food" plot. The issues are with baiting "Bait" is not legal.

"Plant for food" = Good

"Truck loads or baggs of food" = Bad

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