Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    •   Stayed home for the 4th this year, was amazed how quiet the cities seemed to be. "Is everybody up north?"
    •   I sure like the sites your old campground kept open for weekenders. Best spots in the campground if you ask me.    
    • so leech, does your campground have festivities functions for there permy site people? ours had a big fish fry on the fourth with a little parade. they do a golfing event to. i heard they finally got some decent playground equipment for kids. there theory was theres fishing. they used to do a pot luck with a theme german, mexican..bleah blah.....but that required work and planning from the owners. took away from the beer drinking! 
    •   I have noticed that trend at seasonal campgrounds too. 20 some years ago when we started camping seasonal sites used to be full of folks 60+ but now it seems that there are a lot of young families in these sites.    The other trend I noticed is that lot rental prices have gone through the roof since then. 
    •   Well in the 12 years we have been at this campground it went from mostly old folks where if your Walker wheel was squeaking someone would run out with a can of WD-40 to stop the noise! Now a lot of young families with kids. Most of the year it's not to bad, but the Holidays can get a little crazy with the golf carts and beer flowing!   I don't let folks bother me much, I have two young grandsons so their in the mix!
    • I have definitely come to the conclusion that on those big 3 day holiday weekends its way more quiet and peaceful if i stay put at home.................even up north. hey i can have a fire and have cocktails at home too!!!!!!! the weekends to go are weekends prior to and after them big weekends!!!!!!!!!!
    •   Pretty much the same on enforcing some of the rules. The 4th was a Zoo and I'm sure the managers head was spinning trying to keep track of who all the kids running belonged too!
    • well it didnt help our family has a cabin up in itasca county and have had it since 1965. the camper took time away from there. granted the camper was 30 minutes from home the cabin 3 1/2 hours but there is agood city block of woods between us and the neighbor.............and we have noone on the other side. i dont mind a little socoilizing but that peace and quiet is right up my ally.   so leech does your park charge extra for additional company not your immediate family? the campground we were at did, but they didnt enforce it fairly. some were forced some got to slide. oh and there were alot of other issues i got fed up with!!!!!!!
    • No ones making fun leech. Just made a statement. I've never seen one like that before. I've seen the hand ones curved, but not the powered one. Guess it could be like the hand one. I could be wrong. Be interested to see if they sold one like that, or someone put a power head on it. I'll let you take over now.
    • Before you make fun of guys Stuff being bent. Check out the picture on this link if it works. It sounds like they are a bit of a rare hand auger.   Jiffy® Hand Drill 6" Replacement Blades - 59219, Ice Augers at ... https://www.sportsmansguide.com › Fishing › Ice Fishing › Ice Augers Drill more holes with less effort! Jiffy® JetTM Hand Ice Drill... VALUE PRICE ! The easiest, most effective hand ice drill on the market! The flanged handgrips ..   https://www.sportsmansguide.com › Fishing › Ice Fishing › Ice Augers
  • Our Sponsors