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 02-03-2004, 13:49 Post: 75856
shortmagnum

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 Food plot secrets

In spite of the negative temps and frozen ground out there we should all be groundbreaking in a couple of months. Many CUT owners use their tractors for animal plots and I was thinking we could have some fun sharing planting experiences.

I have planted deer plots now for three years. We have very sandy soil so Iím limited in what will grow. I have had the best luck with turnips and rutabagas. The deer eat the tops all summer and dig the bulbs out late in the fall. I think the turnip seed was only 99 cents a pound last year. Rape seed also did well and the deer seemed to like it. Every trace was gone by late October but there were more deer around in late November than ever. I think the plots help them establish a region and they stay longer. In past years they would tend toward areas with heavier soil growing hardwoods and oaks once the growing season was over.

Until now Iíve been using a two-bottom plow to turn the soil in and old hayfield. Iíve been planting 1-2 acres each year and moving locations. Having the plot out in the open is nice because you can watch the deer all summer/fall. This year I think Iíll also try smaller plots in openings in the woods as well. Last year my neighbor tilled up some small plots with a 5 horse tiller right in the woods. These did well with almost any old seed he found, lettuce, corn, beans, turnips etc.






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 02-03-2004, 14:05 Post: 75858
wbowhunt



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As Much as I would love to plant some feed plots for Deer it is just not worth it for me. There is just to much around my area. Most ot the crop grown around me is Apple Orchards, Soybean Fields and Alfalfa/ Timothy Hay. The deer spend spring and summer in the Hay and fall into winter in the soybean/ apple orchards. I did try to plant a few smaller ones a couple years ago. Limed fertilized and seeded. Even tried some of that fancy stuff just for deer. The deer hardly touched it. Something about the alfalfa just drew them in.






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 02-03-2004, 14:27 Post: 75861
loghouse95



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I must have accidently started a deer food plot in my yard!!! There were 7 deer grazing last night... Feed more hay and grain to the deer than I do cattle but my wife thinks they are "CUTE"






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 02-03-2004, 15:26 Post: 75863
yooperpete



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In areas that have allot of existing food sources like farmland, you need to put out a different type of food as a treat to first attract deer. Once your property is on their route of travel they will then frequently dine at your place. Deer have a sweet tooth for many different varieties of food. Finding the correct ones that attract them is sometimes difficult. A salt or calcium block is a good starter. Hay and shelled corn in winter months are good items that are also good for them. Carrots, pears, sugar beets or mangels may help to attract. These items don't help for antler production but are good for drawing them in for viewing purposes.

My hunting property is swampland and very little will grow. I've planted different grasses and variations of rape (prairie blend-grasses, alfalfa and clovers). Deer like the new grass which is softer and sweeter than the natural stuff found in the woods.

We are no longer allowed to bring in supplemental foods for the deer in most of northern Michigan (TB problem). Years ago when we fed through the winter, a herd of about a hundred deer would be off in the distance as we drove in the several miles of easements to the property. They would follow the truck and trailer in. Lots of times we would start a fire in the cabin and see that a deer had jumped into the back of the pickup box and was having a snack before we had a chance to unload it. In winter months, when a shortage of natural food exists is prime to get deer in the routine of visiting your property. You should start in the fall before heavy snows, since they usually will find natural habitat with a food source and heavy trees for protection from wind and the elements.






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 02-03-2004, 18:10 Post: 75875
gauthier



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I wish to hell w.va. would be like mich. in not allowing people to feed corn and such. Both my neighbors started doing it,so come bowseason,I had to do it too,except mine was right below my tree stand,poor tame fed all year long deer didn't have a chance. If your going to feed deer it ought to be away from homes and gardens,if you don't have enough land to do that then you oughten to be feeding them. Deer are suposed to be wild,if they are not,then you get stuff like lime and t.b.,deer shit in your yard,dead fruit trees,and ate up gardens. Food plots out away from homes,is a good thing,but only for hunting,they come,you shoot them,otherwise you are just helping to support a larger deer herd then your area can natually support. Richard






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 02-03-2004, 20:23 Post: 75896
loghouse95



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pete the last thing I want to do is attract deer, we have way too many in my neck of the woods, like Richard said, they destroy fruit trees and your garden, and they help themselves to cattle feed, what will eventually happen is people will get tired of the damage they do and think if they quit feeding them they will go away, then they will not be able to get enough feed and disease will set in and then you do have a mess..So I would think twice before I start feeding deer






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 02-04-2004, 00:31 Post: 75913
plots1

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Laughing out loud.... It takes far more deer than MO has to start worrying about deaseied deer. feed them well and happy hunting!






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 02-04-2004, 07:55 Post: 75927
shortmagnum

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Isn't it obvious that if you already have too many deer you wouldn't want to attract more? There is a theory that corn piles could contribute to disease by spreading animal saliva but that is unproven. I'm not promoting corn piles. A food plot is NOT a corn pile.

I like deer. I like to watch them. I like to shoot them. I like to eat them.






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 02-04-2004, 08:29 Post: 75928
plots1

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I use corn to attract the deer to a new plot and to get them to an area for a pic or two on the trail cam. It's asome to see whats lurking around the area on the cams.I don't hunt over corn piles as that is against the law. And if you think you already have to many a plot or two will surely help keep them off your fruit trees and personal gerdens,As well as keep them with something to eat so the heard doesn't start stressin looking for food, that will only make them weak and then sickness could set in.






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 02-04-2004, 08:39 Post: 75930
yooperpete



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I agree, it depends if you want deer or not. In my case on the 40 acres of farmland, I don't since they are destroying crops. I don't feed there either and can view them as often as desired with the natural habitat. Deer are finding natural sources of food and have drifted to central and southern Michigan around more populated areas causing allot of crop, yard and automobile damage. Up North, where the traditional hunting was 20 or more years ago is now not as good.

At the hunting property, there are limitations on feeding due to the TB problems in northeastern Michigan. If you had 100 acres of hunting land that is only good for hunting deer and turkey and it is costing you $1,300.00 per year in taxes and another $400.00 per year in property insurance wouldn't you like to get as many deer as possible? Taxes are higher and the land is almost as valuable as my farmland. The hunting land can't grow squat not even decent trees. If you dig with a shovel about a foot down, you'll get swamp water seeping in, in a few minutes.

All of the property owners around me bait there deer blinds, so we need to bait as well to fight for our share of the herd. Without feeding and more licenses issued in our area, the herd is down about 75%. Several of my adjacent neighbors overhunt their property and I catch them on ours with suprise visits at times.

We have a few plots out in the hunted area and don't go there much during the off season since we don't want to disturb them. We hunt on diked trails with bait (2 gallons per day is the allotment allowed by the DNR). The terrain is very remote and rugged while being very wet. You need hip boots due to the beaver population if you try to walk it. The deer aren't tame at all. I usually go for a head or neck shot, so they drop on the spot to stay out of the water. We're usually shooting between 150 and 200 yards so that's not hard.

As in most cases when you fool with mothernature the unexpected can happen and you bring unnatural mixes. I enjoy viewing my deer, turkey, rabbits, eagles, ducks, geese, swans, herons, cranes, porcupines, beaver, coyotes, fox and an occasional bear. I maybe playing with mothernature but enjoy the wetlands when I have a bad day at work. Sometimes they're really bad and often, it seems to go in cycles. There is nothing like listening to the frogs and crickets in early spring after dark and looking at the stars. The frogs are soo loud you can't sleep without earplugs. Mosquitoes are the only thing that grows well, wish there was a way to market them. I'd be rich!






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