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fishnutbob

Food Plot Questions

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I plant a six acre food plot and put it in corn, the Minn DNR, cost shares it, and Payes me 125.00 per acre of corn I leave three acres up all winter, for wildlife contact the local DNR office to find out the programs they have in your area. Bob

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I want to get a food plot started on my property next spring and have a few questons? I only have 20 acres, but it is surrounded by 400 acres of public land that was logged 7 years ago. It is coming back nicely, but still too thick with young growth that the public doesn't hunt it. The deer obviously like that and I'd like to draw more on to my land. The soil is sandy.

Questions: What do you have planted and how is it working.

Do smaller food plots work. What size are your plots.

What is the best way to prepare the ground with an ATV.

Thanks for the help and happy hunting.

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I would work the ground this Fall after the deer season if it is not frozen. that will give you a jump start for next year and right now is the easiest time to work it because everything is dead. Next year I would work the land several times to supress weed growth and to have a nice worked planting bed. The first year, I would just plant an attractant plot such as rye grass or Winter wheat. Deer love that stuff. Plant it Early next Fall. Don't forget to use lots of fertilizer, that makes a huge difference. In the following years, you can plant whatever you would like because your planting bed will be much easier to work up. The size depends on the number of deer in your area. Most people plant plots that are way too small and the get over-grazed. Plant as big as possible. You also might want to fence it off until it get established or until about two weeks before deer season. Good luck!

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What part of the state are you in? Are you looking to attract deer all year long or during a certain time of year?

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We have 165 acres in baudette and all we use is clover and the deer love it. We rough the soil up and put the clover down in the spring and it will usually last for about 3 to 5 yrs. The key to attracting the deer is to mow the fields in July and then at the end of August. It then becomes a deer magnet
Good luck

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The area of the state you are in is very important. If you in the south and have to compete with all the corn fields, you have your work cut out for you. If you are up North it gets a little easier. However, you have to decide if you want to attract deer all year long.

A very easy thing to do is plant Winter Wheat or Rye in Mid August. This will give you a very attractive field until the snow gets to deep. The deer will hit it hard again in spring.

If you are looking for something to hold them over the summer, I would suggest a mixture of Clovers, but these need to be cut atleast twice a year, but should last several years. There are a lot of clovers on the market and some can get very expensive (Ladino). I would look at some of he pasture mixes (red, white, ladino & some timothy is one of my favorites)available if you choose to make clover part of your plot.

I like to plant areas of Dwarf Essex Rape, it has a very high protein levels and will get hit hard all year. However, this is an annual and will have to be planted each year.

There are so many options. I also plant some Alsike Clover but the main thing is to think about what you are competing against out there. As I said, when you get farther south it gets tougher.

Small protected plots will get hit the hardest and hold the bigger bucks.

------------------
Mille Lacs Guide Service
www.millelacsguideservice.com

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I like to plant canola(rape seed) around the mid-July time frame since this will bring in the deer around mid-August and beyond. In the spring time I will plant sweetclover and grain sorghum, and wild mustard in concentric rings outside of where I will be planting the Canola in July. If you can get your hands on some sugar beets you will definately up your attractivenss on your food plot(these like loamy soil above sandy soil). I am competing heavily with corn, sweetclover, alfalfa, and soybeans in our area and the deer will come in for the canola and wild mustard. Canola is very difficult to obtain in the southern half of Minnesota and the dealer will have to ship it in for you. My family still farms in North Dakota and I will get my mustard and canola from there since we raise it. Canola is also called rape seed and can be found in those food plot bags that cost $100 for a 25lbs bag of it. That's way too much for me to spend. Out of everything that I have seen before canola will come in at number one, followed by sugar beets, and then mustard.

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Scott has a lot of good ideas and we have talked about them some at the VF last deer season (remember that Scott??). I would discourage you in planting Sweet Clover, mustard or anything that has the possibility of being spread outside your area. Sweet Clover (even though a biennial) and mustard are some plants that are being seen in remnant natural area and are taking them over. They are a management nightmare. Some of your clovers aren't as ecologically disruptive to the ecosystem. This is especially true when a good time to clip them off is when they are in the flower stage. This promotes new tender growth.

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WW which types of mustard are you seeing in natural areas? There are different types and many of them can not compete with other vegetation and would be unable to spread outside of natural boundaries due to this competition. I can see the sweetclover since it can take over anything and anywhere, but depending on the type of mustard it will not spread without sowing and spraying to kill off other vegetation. This also holds true with canola.

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Give Andy a call at whitcombs nursey, I spent about an hour with him on Thursday just talking about deer and scents. He builds food plots for land owners and could supply you with the seed or take care of the whole show if you like. He also has deer that he collects urine from for his own line of scents. I have seen pictures of some of the deer taken from his management area and he knows how to feed them! He also has a web site but since I can not post a direct link to it, try doing a search on "whitcombswhitetails" you will love his site. I just met Andy on Thursday and he is a heck of a good guy who is very smart when it comes to whitetails. I just happened to stop in to see his shop, I have passed this place a hundred times and always wondered what his operation was about. I was very impressed with Andy and his genuine concern about giving fellow bow hunters great advice. I will be going back! Hope this helps steer you in the right direction.

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Hey WaveWacker, see ya this year again? Same time and place? I finally got a bag of that Milo I was talking about last year.

I would discourage the use of Sweet Clover also, but for other reasons. It can easily get out of control and maintaining it is not easy. It does grow easy though.

Again, beware of those premixed "Deer Plot" bags. You are paying A LOT for some research that is readily available on the internet. Look at some of the pasture mixes that are available and add in a little Rape and you have what you need.

------------------
Mille Lacs Guide Service
www.millelacsguideservice.com

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Boosy, you can't go wrong with any of the red clovers, the deer will love them. Corn is good, if you're not too far north. Even if you're in farm country, once the crops are out and tilled under, the deer will flock to your standing corn. But its more of a late season attractant. I also planted a mix this year of clover, rape, and turnips, right now after a frost the deer are flocking in.

Has anyone tried any of the expensive clover mixes like Imperial Whitetail clover or the New Zealand clovers? Are they worth the hype? I know one guy that swears by the Imperial clover. Was thinking about trying an experiment for next year, I dug up a 2 acre spot this summer, was thinking about splitting it into three parts and trying two commercial mixes in 2/3's and 1/3 in red clover...

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I would not purchase any of the pre-mixed food plot bags unless you prefer to spend excessive money and you can afford to throw it away. On many of the food plot mixes you can find the list of "ingredients" on it and you can see what they have in their(otherwise you have to be good at naming your weed/crop seeds). One can purchase your seeds from a seed dealer for a fraction of the cost and you will have a larger bag also.

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Scott,

I'll be there. Would be interested in possibly getting a little baggy of the stuff to run a test area to to see what it does along with where one could get it from in case I like it. Hopefully see you there.

WW

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Hey WW & SS, I was up to Menahga last weekend doin some preseason chores and the deer were thicker than Japanese lady beetles. I saw a few small bucks and dozens of tha anterless variety, but no bruisers. There were quite a few rubs around, but only a couple of small scrapes. Things are looking good for timing the rut I think. Good luck guys, and maybe we'll join you one eve at the local establishment. VFW right??

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SATCHMO, We drove up Wednesday night to bow hunt before the snow came in that night. My dad got a nice 8 pointer and a doe. It was his first buck with a bow. That buck was in the rut and chasing does.

Last weekend I had 11 deer on my food plot and a 6 pointer came in and chased them off and was on hot pursuit of them. The timing is perfect and we have been seeing quite a few small bucks. The big ones should be on the move next week.

VFW,Friday, you bet! I will have the camo Mathews hat on.

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Hey Scott, What is this camo Mathews hat Is this a hat you could wear up in Orr at the muni? Is it warm blaze orange or combo. Bob Maybe you could post a picture of it. Can always use a good hat.

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Thank you all for the great information. I just got back from a week bow hunting in Southern Illinois and was pleasantly surprised by all the good info. 4 in my party. We got two 2.5 year old nine pointers and two doe. My cabin is in Grantsburg Wisconsin about mid state, west border.

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