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What's attractive early?

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I've got a small foodplot at my mo-in-laws that I'm working on. I just planted 3/4 of it with a brassicus that'll become attractive to the deer primarily through the months of Nov and Dec. I'd like to seed the rest with something that'll be more attractive early in the year. Is this the case for clover?

Also, I'll be disking the whole thing up in the Spring to help with leveling and mulching up some of the debris that's there, so there's no need for a perennial. Suggestions please...

P.S. I need to pick up the seed by noon tomorrow, so the sooner I can get some suggestions, the better!!!

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Hey scoot I'm no expert as I've only been food plotting for about 5 years now, but I have had some success and have done quite a bit of research. A person who really helped with many of my questions and is quite knowledgeable is LABS4ME.

From what I've learned and experienced is that by fall there is better options than clover. Clover is nice in the spring for antler growth among other things. A nice green leaf brassica like you have planted (even the tops/leafs of the turnips may get hit early on before the bulbs really sweeten up) or something like Rye Grass or Oats I think would suite you better.

Last year I planted a mixture of oats and rye grass (I believe it was a bag of Bucks and Beards or something like that) as late as labor day (after all the rain we got in mid August tired ) and they still turned out great. I would highly recommend the same or straight up Oats/winteroats or Buck Oats and plant them in the next couple weeks. My plot really got hit September all the way through October and oats shoot up real fast. Another option would be Cowpeas or Snowpeas or something to that natur. Hopefully this helps, here is a cool little HSOforum I found for Forage/Crop Planting Chart.

Planting Chart



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Clover is a good option, but white clovers won't do much good this fall as they're slow growers and put most of the nutrients in the roots the first year. I'd recommend a red clover mixed with a cover crop to help it get established. This will also take off in the spring and you'll have lush greens to get the herd started in great shape. I'd go with a crimson red clover, winter rye, and an oats blend. Lots of great seed companies to order from. Beware what you're getting when you buy buck on bag blends.

Follow up with pics - you're hooked now Scoot!

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All good suggestions. In the end its just trial and error, it's fun and helpful regardless. I did a little more research and dug up some things from back when I was looking around. Here is some of the things I found, hope it helps.

Peas and annual rye.

Fast germination and easy. The peas will be like ice cream out there.

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Thanks much, fellas. I shopped around last night a bit and found a blend of practically all that's been recommended above. I'll get it seeded tonight and then we just need some rain. C'mon 2" of rain!!!

Thanks much for your thoughts and help!

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Good post BuckG.

I'd definitely have forage oats in the mix. They pound ours every year and stay green well into the rifle season. We are trying field peas this fall, we usually do them in the spring. I learned to stay away from cow peas in the fall as they really need warm soil and warm weather to succeed. Winter rye is another good choice... we do a couple patches a year and let them seed for the turkeys to eat the seed... then plow down the following spring....

All those are good quick green crops that DO attact deer.

Good Luck!


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oat/brassica mixes provide a best of both worlds the oats shoot up quick and provide a good early season attraction and brassicas are awesome after a good hard frost... I would stay away from peas unless you have at large plot cuz deer can DESTROY them overnight and once they are eaten they are gone for good... We planted ironclays on a friends food plot and there was NOTHING left when bow opened

My vote is oats/brassicas or maybe mix with winter rye... Whitetail Institute makes a good blend called pure attraction that we planted last year and had great results with its mostly oats and brassicas but does have a trace amount of peas too

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