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Swill

Food plots on public land?

20 posts in this topic

Anyone know if you can put a food plot on public land? I am not talking about getting out the atv or tilling up a 1 acre site. Rather, using BioLogics Hot spot, no till, seed bag, in a selected area. All you need is the seed bag (about 13 bucks) and a rack, and pray for some rain.

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Im not sure but I would think this would fall under the tampering with the natural terrian even tho you are adding food its not natural sorry I dont know more about it

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as good as it sounds i dont think it owuld be leagal but call the DNR worse they can say is no

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You will probably get a "no" answer. There is too much risk of damage for public land managers to say yes to food plots. Public land managers are seeing trees both big and small being cut down, land tilled by ATV's and tractors and even tree plantations damaged by folks clearing shooting lanes and food plots on public land. Some hunters are getting into hot water for this.

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If it's state land you will have a food plot. Pheasants forever here in Kandiyohi county in conjunction with the DNR have food plots on almost every state run land. Now if you're talking about a WMA "Federal" those guys are a few sandwiches short of a picnic and you will get no where with them. we are even planting rows of Evergreen trees on the state land with the DNR. I wish all of you had people working like we here have to work with in the DNR.

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Even if the DNR allowed food plots on public land, What would you do come opening day of hunting and you find someone else hunting over it? Tell him that you planted it and he doesn't belong there?

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I would say no, and be very confident that I am right.

Does this seem legal anyways? If you read the rules, what does it say about placing something to hunt over for the purpose of taking game......... How is this different from bringing a 100 lb. bag of corn out with you? It is essentially hunting over bait, right? Any good explanation of this?

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I haven't seen it stressed very much, but some of the food plot seed that you can buy is an invasive species here in MN. I'm willing to bet you will get a resounding "NO" from the DNR.

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I'd imagine it might fall under destroying vegetation since you would have to get rid of what is already there to grow the food plot.

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I am pretty sure it's not legal to plant anything on public land. And depending on what you plant and where you plant it the invasive species concern is legit, I happen to know that in some of the states out West they are really concerned about that (haven't heard anything about it in MN though).

Roofer - hunting over food plots is legal, it's not food that's placed to take game like a bait pile. If you read the regs a little further you'll see it in there.

Swill - your questions about it being legal are pretty much moot anyway, you will not get anything to grow at this time of year unless you till the soil or use a herbicide to take out existing vegetation, etc. The 'no till' seeds sound great but you won't get them to grow due to competing vegetation.

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As far as I'm concerned, these phrases all talk about food plots............

"This restriction

does not apply to foods resulting from normal

or

accepted farming, forest management,

wildlife food plantings, orchard

management,

or similar land management

activities."

Hunters are not allowed to use or hunt over bait or feed or hunt in

the vicinity of bait or feed if the hunter knows about or has reason

to know about the placement of the bait or feed.

“Bait or feed” is grain, fruit, vegetables, nuts, hay, or other food that

is capable of attracting or enticing deer and that has been placed by a

person.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong, but it leaves too much open for an officer's interpretation. If it was on public land especially. If the plot is there all year, it wouldn't seem like baiting IMO.

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Roofer, I'm not sure if we're on the same page or not .....

"This restriction does not apply to foods resulting from normal or accepted farming, forest management, wildlife food plantings, orchard management, or similar land management activities." What this means is that you CAN hunt over food plots, over farm fields, over harvested farm fields, over clear cuts in the woods, in or near orchards, over areas that were burned and are regrowing, in windbreaks, etc. All of those places are legal places to hunt as long as you do not specifically PLACE bait or feed there.

"Hunters are not allowed to use or hunt over bait or feed or hunt in the vicinity of bait or feed if the hunter knows about or has reason to know about the placement of the bait or feed. “Bait or feed” is grain, fruit, vegetables, nuts, hay, or other food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer and that has been placed by a person." What this means is you can't hunt over or close to bait piles, feed piles, bird feeders, etc. if the bait or food was put there by a person. Even if someone else puts it there, ie. your neighbor puts it on his property, you are not supposed to hunt in the vicinity of it if it can attract game. Notice that this section talks about things that are PLACED out there, it does not talk about things that are planted or are part of normal forestry or farming activities.

That is the distinction in the regs about what you can't hunt over (ie. bait). If you could get a food plot on public land you could hunt there, it might not be legal to plant it, but it wouldn't be illegal to hunt over it. As one of the earlier posters noted, many wildlife management areas and state game ares have food plots planted in them and you are allowed to hunt over those.

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I don't mean to argue, just making a point. I understand that it is legal, but the purpose of it is to entice or bring in game to a specific spot. With these rules stated you could go out and plant a field of corn and hunt over it, correct?

My question is, why is that different from hunting over bait? Both are placed or planted for one purpose and that is to attract the game so you can have an easier time taking it in sport.

I get your point that it is legal, but tell me the real world difference between a food plot and bait....

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I think there's a ton of difference between food plots and bait. I've hunted over bait where legal many times, and every year I hunt where it's legal to bait. I plant food plots and I hunt over them and have done it for years. So I've spent a lot of time seeing both sides. We almost never bait even though it's legal where we hunt in WI (and we don't have food plots on the places in WI either).

The differences or similarities between food plots and bait is an old argument, and a long argument, that's been gone over many times. And it probably hasn't changed anyone's mind. But here's what I think the differences are ......

Food plots are there 24 hours a day all season long and all year long. They benefit all kinds of wildlife all throughout the year, and when I say benefit them they provide improved nutrition to make the animals healthier and stronger. Food plots help prevent habitat degredation from over-browsing. The deer can come and go as they please (ie. at night) and not have to compete for a limited amount of bait that is placed for them. Even with small food plots deer can come and leave at any point and from any direction instead of being funneled right past your deer stand or into your shooting lane.

Baiting does little or no good for wildlife, in fact in can be harmful to wildlife if they depend on it and you cut it off when hunting season is over. Bait is placed in limited quantities and is usually cleaned out in a matter of hours or days unless you keep replenishing it. The wildlife have to compete with each other to get the bait before it's gone. A bait pile is a small area that is located there strictly for the purpose of shooting a deer in that spot.

Food plots can be planned and planted with hunting in mind. Bait is always placed with hunting in mind.

Bait is something the deer crave, like corn or apples. Food plots are food deer crave too, but they become part of a deer's habitat and there will be times they are not used as much as other food in the deer's habitat. One of the best ways to make sure you DON'T shoot a deer is to hunt over a food plot that the deer are not using.

As you said, you could plant a food plot of corn and hunt over it. Same thing with a farmers corn field, you can hunt over it. I don't know how you'd draw the line between what is a field and what is a food plot ---- I've seen some awfully small farm fields and some awfully big food plots. And I haven't heard anyone saying we should be able to hunt over farm fields or orchards, etc.

Anyway, since you asked, those are what I think the real world differences are between food plots and bait.

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Gotcha, and agree with you.

Although I still believe both bait and food plots are for one reason in mind and that is to entice game into an area for the purpose of taking them.

Food plot of feeder, if both are replenished when needed, are essentially the same thing.

A corn field or food plot cannot be a source of food all year though. A feeder could be replenished all year. If taken care of, which actually benefits the wildlife more? I would say the feeders.

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I'm sure there's guys planting food plots just because they think it will help them get a deer. Using corn as an example, it is a very attractive plant for deer for a short period of time, but isn't a very good year-round food plot.

I've got 7 food plots on my land or neighboring land, with a variety of things planted. Clover that is green as soon as the snow melts in the spring, weeks before any of the native browse begins to green up. And brassicas that the deer dig through the snow in early winter to get at. There's only a couple months of the year that the deer don't use my food plots so they are benefiting deer most of the year. In particular they benefit the deer in the late winter early spring, before the native habitat is greening up, and when deer are at their weakest. Just speaking for me, I don't know of any baiters that are putting out food in March and April .......

If you look at how many TONS of forage food plots put out, and the high nutrition the green food provides, I don't think you can really compare feeders or for sure baiting to them. I guess a lot of it has to do with the size of the food plot and what's planted in it, but speaking for me I try to plan and manage my food plots and the rest of my habitat to benefit the biggest variety of wildlife for the longest period of time.

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Food plots, depending on the type of crop planted, can provide a source of food throughout the year.

Often times people will plant oak trees as a food plot. Although it takes many years for it to mature, it is an attraction for turkeys and deer for food and shelter/cover.

Fields that are planted every season with row crops such as corn or beans will have a fair amount of spill over from the harvesting process. The proof is in the number of turkeys you'll see in the fields even after they've been tilled under. Some farmers will also leave a couple rows of corn in the corners of the fields for the wildlife.

I think Perchjerker explained it to a "T" as far as the difference between fields, food plots, and bait piles.

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I agree, great explanation. It is still hunting over an attractant (bait) IMO, but it is legal and beneficial. The reason for the rows left by farmers, I know people who do this and the main purpose is for hunting pheasants and the fact that their stand is 50-100 yards away in the trees.

We have a food plot and feeder at our cabin. It is about 100 yards from the cabin. The rule is you cannot shoot anywhere near the cabin, but it does move the deer around and the feed is gone before Nov. and not replenished until December just so we don't have legal problems if a CO decides to wander back to our place (they have before). I do like the clover the best. It keeps the other weeds and such down, keeps it dry around the cabin, and the wildlife benefit from it. Now, we do not hunt over this because I feel it is unethical and not real hunting, just my opinion. Although if we did, we could fill our tags every year. I haven't taken a deer in 4 seasons, but I also am pretty picky on what I want to take.

Sorry to stray from the original question and thanks for keeping a good conversation.

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I haven't shot anything in MN the last few years either, mostly because where we hunt in WI is in an Earn-A-Buck zone so you need to fill your anterless tag first to make your buck tag valid. So I always take the first doe I see in WI ..... and don't really want to take a doe in MN too in case I get a crack at a shooter buck in MN or WI. Haven't seen a shooter buck in MN for a whle now .........

I'd describe my hunting over food plots like this. During bow season I see a lot of does and fawns and some small bucks, but my food plots are big enough that I don't always have the opportunity to shoot them even if I want to. During the rifle season I can cover any food plot I hunt over except for some trees in the way here and there, but during gun season the deer sometimes disappear during daylight hours. But I look at it like this .... the food plots bring in the does, and I hunt where the does are and hope to find a shooter buck looking for the does.

I've seen lots of 1.5 and 2.5 year old bucks cruise through my food plots looking for does during prerut and rut. They're fun to watch, they make a very quick circuit through the plot, checking the wind, and never, never, never stop to eat. They are literally only there for 1-2 minutes before they've moved out of sight.

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I've seen lots of 1.5 and 2.5 year old bucks cruise through my food plots looking for does during prerut and rut. They're fun to watch, they make a very quick circuit through the plot, checking the wind, and never, never, never stop to eat. They are literally only there for 1-2 minutes before they've moved out of sight.

I find that interesting...But then a buck in rut isn't really interested in food, now is he?? blushblush

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