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Old 03-31-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
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Food Plots

So I've got a spot around my house that isn't very big, and doesn't get a whole lot of sun, but I was wantin to put a food plot on it. Saw some good deer in there last year and was wantin to keep em around. It's illegal to hunt over bait here in GA, but if you plant a food plot you can hunt over it as much as you want. The rule is that if it grows there, you can hunt over it. If you plant corn, you can spread it and hunt over it, but can't take corn in a bucket and throw it out and hunt over it. Stupid, I know, but whatever. So basically my question is, what kind of food plots do you guys (Especially down here in the south) plant? Anything that grows decently well with maybe 3 hours of sunlight/day?
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
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Check out http://www.foodplots.com/ and scroll down to the "choosing the best Planting" section. I remember we had major deer in our milo in louisiana. I think corn would be good because corn is deer crack. Only thing is corn is an ex-wife to your soil so you will have to rotate it to keep the expense low. By exwife i mean it sucks the life out of it.
Granted my fam just owns the land, i havent planted a damn thing in my life. I will help hunt it though. I roll up from jax to atl once a month!
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
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you want annaul or perrenial? the brassicas seem to grow good almost anywhere. clovers & chicory need a little more sunshine to reach potential. brassicas are annuals...clovers/alfalpha/chicory will come back for 3-5 years when properly maintained.

best resource i've seen for food plots located here:

http://forums.qdma.com/forumdisplay.php?f=10

one thing i've learned over the years...lime & feritlizer make or break the plot.

are you allowed to use deer "attractants"? if so, look into a Trophy Rock. naturally mined mineral rock that the deer in my woods love. they literally dig holes where the rock was once it's gone.

http://www.trophyrock.com/

can you thin out some of the trees to get more sun?
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys.

No, can't use "attractants." Somethin like that is considered bait. Literally if you have to carry it there and sit it down, it's considered bait. If it's something growing from the ground, even if you plant it, you can hunt it. I'm hopin they'll change the laws within the next few years...there are a lot of people complainin about it. I just basically want anything that'll grow with little light and keep the deer around. I could trim a few trees, but I want to keep as much as possible because I'll be buildin a house around there and want to keep a lot of the trees. I'll check out the sites you guys posted. Thanks guys.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:28 AM   #5
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I am not from your neck of the woods, but here in upstate New York, I have a 2 acre food plot. Before you do anything, check the PH levels of your soil. I had to adjust mine with several applications of lime to get the soil within range before my crops would come in. It took me 3 seasons and some help from my brother in law who is a farmer to get it right. You must remember that this is not a plant it and forget it system, I probably spend about 16 hours a year working to maintain the plot, but I have already seen an increase in antler growth and the deer that feed off of it look healthier. I got alot of information from searching the web for QDMA and related websites. Good luck.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:19 PM   #6
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Have you thought about what you are going to plant on your plot yet? I failed to mention in my last post that I am using both a grass/clover mix and a brasscia as I have 2 seperate sections to my plot. The grass/clover brings the deer and turkey in and after a good killing frost, the brasscia turns sweet and palatable so the deer turn to that later in the season and that is what keeps them there. I am planning to clear out another 4 acres next month to triple the size of my plot to 6 acres. I have found that I am starting to get "over browsed" by the amount of deer that are coming in to feed. To keep my costs down, I hire a local guy with a tractor who has access to all the mowing, tilling and planting implements needed. It really is a timesaver and reduces the amount of time I have to spend working on the plot as you will want to stay away from it as much as possible, to get the deer to come in and not spook them. Since my plot is in a wooded section of my property, I use trail cameras to monitor the growing progress and to see what deer are coming in and at what times. If I had the extra money to do so, I would like to subscribe to an internet based/cell service to log on and get updated photos online to monitor what is going on, instead of going out there to review what is on my trail cameras. I also have about 20 apple trees scattered around the property right now and I spray and trim them each year so they keep bearing fruit. We use the apples for eating and for pies and the deer take care of the droppings. I also planted over 100 white pine trees so they have more areas of refuge and shelter during the winter months and installed a pond on a constantly running feeder creek for a fresh water supply. But all this work it is worth the time as I like having the deer and turkey around all year long.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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6 acres?! i sir, am jealous i can barely afford to keep up my two small 3/4-1ac. plots.

it sounds like you are doing it right...fresh water, food and cover...paradise for a deer!

do you suppliment in the winter months with corn/deer feed? using any mineral licks? i'd put the plot on rotation after a couple years. the clovers will actually affix nitrogen into the soil and you can swap them out with brassicas and not need too add much fertilizer.

a few years ago when i had money, i had the two small plots going. one of alphalfa and one with clover/chicory, two electric feeders and one trough feeder as well as 4 mineral licks around the property. i didn't feed during summer as there are always plenty of farmer's crops around here for them to munch on. i usually started the feeding regimine just after the first rut when the bucks haven't been eating much and can use a little help, and continued straight through winter into spring around mid march. traffic through my woods probably tripled after the first year. used to have a game camera on one of the feeders but some bastard stole it i also "developed" a spring near each food plot by simply digging out a 15' round hole with a backhoe just below the springs, which never run completely dry, even during summer. i would use about 2000lbs of corn, 400lbs of black oil sunflower seeds and another 1000lbs of ADM deer feed during the winter feeding regimine. winter is the crucial time to keep them Does fat...they will have more twins and the birth wieghts and overall health of the fawns will be greatly improved. i even had a doe give birth to triplets once!

now, i'm a bit depressed. i don't have the $ to do much of anything with the plots this year, and may not be able to feed at all this winter. i may give Sunflowers/Turnips a try this year as the seed is fairly cheap and neither require as much soil maintenance as the comercial deer blends. i hear that the deer and turkey really like this combination.

i enjoy managing my forest and the fruits are highly rewarding...i just don't know if i can afford it much longer.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:48 AM   #8
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I'm pretty jealous of 6 acres too. Lol. If I do it right, I should be able to get about 1/2-3/4 acre planted. I have 4 acres of land, but I'm gonna be building a house on part of it within the next few months, so I gotta put everything in the right spot to keep it far enough away from the house-place and other people's property. I'm still not 100% sure what to put in. I should really get on that. I'm goin to Dick's Sporting Goods this coming week and I'm gonna see what they have there and then probably make my decision. Thanks for all the input and info so far guys!
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:04 PM   #9
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Alright, so I grabbed this stuff today. It was the cheapest and smallest they had. I didn't wanna go too expensive until I see if it's actually gonna grow. It's hard to get ANYTHING to grow around my house. If I can't get it to grow here I'll take it up on the lake where I usually hunt at anyway. It's got Ryegrass, clover, and Brassica all mixed in. Anyone ever used this?

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Old 04-15-2010, 11:08 AM   #10
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a friend of mine used something similar (same brand) a few years back with ok results. would've been much better if it had gotten more sunlight. it was prettymuch in the shade 'cept for about an hour at mid-day. it germinated and just exploded for about a week...then was downhill from there. don't forget the fertilizer! i use regular-buy-at Lowes/TSC/Kmart 12-12-12 at a rate of about 500lb/acre. lime too (get the pelletized stuff). it'll neutralize your soil and make the plants more palatable to the deer.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #11
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i think you should send a soil sample to test it. then go from there.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aficianado View Post
i think you should send a soil sample to test it. then go from there.
this is sound advice. i had mine done a few years back. both plots were just a bit on the acid side. here you go to the Farm Bureau to get them done...i think it was $8 per sample or so and took around a week to get results back. call your local Soil & Water conservation office (if ya got one) and ask them where to get them done locally.
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