onX Maps
Alfalfa, chicory clover mix plots
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Stressless 28-Mar-17
Stressless 28-Mar-17
Stressless 28-Mar-17
Stressless 28-Mar-17
Stressless 28-Mar-17
Michael Schwister 29-Mar-17
Schmitty78 29-Mar-17
Stressless 29-Mar-17
Bowman 30-Mar-17
Twanger 30-Mar-17
sureshot 30-Mar-17
Mad Trapper 31-Mar-17
Stressless 10-Apr-17
Dennis Razza 10-Apr-17
Twanger 10-Apr-17
Stressless 18-May-17
drycreek 18-May-17
lewis 18-May-17
Stressless 18-May-17
Stressless 05-Jul-17
nutritionist 06-Jul-17
Bowman 06-Jul-17
Stressless 24-Jul-17
Stressless 24-Jul-17
bfisherman11 25-Jul-17
Stressless 25-Jul-17
lewis 26-Jul-17
Stressless 27-Jul-17
lewis 29-Jul-17
drycreek 30-Jul-17
Rob in VT 30-Jul-17
Stressless 01-Aug-17
MK111 01-Aug-17
Stressless 03-Aug-17
Stressless 26-Aug-17
Stressless 11-Sep-17
drycreek 11-Sep-17
Stressless 12-Jan-18
Stressless 12-Jan-18
Stressless 12-Jan-18
stick n string 12-Jan-18
MK111 23-Jan-18
t-roy 23-Jan-18
Michael Schwister 24-Jan-18
Stressless 20-May-18
Stressless 20-May-18
Stressless 20-May-18
Stressless 04-Jun-18
Stressless 04-Jun-18
Stressless 04-Jun-18
stick n string 04-Jun-18
Stressless 04-Jun-18
lewis 07-Jun-18
Stressless 08-Jun-18
t-roy 08-Jun-18
Stressless 01-Aug-18
APauls 15-Oct-18
Stressless 15-Oct-18
Stressless 03-Jan-19
BullBuster 03-Jan-19
Stressless 29-Jan-19
Stressless 29-Jan-19
Stressless 29-Jan-19
Stressless 29-Jan-19
Stressless 25-Apr-19
Stressless 25-Apr-19
Stressless 25-Apr-19
Stressless 25-Apr-19
t-roy 25-Apr-19
APauls 26-Apr-19
Stressless 26-Apr-19
Stressless 08-Aug-19
Stressless 28-Mar-22
Mark Watkins 03-Apr-22
t-roy 03-Apr-22
Stressless 18-Apr-22
Stressless 22-Sep-22
APauls 22-Sep-22
Stressless 22-Sep-22
Stressless 26-Sep-22
Old Reb 27-Sep-22
Bow Crazy 27-Sep-22
Stressless 29-Sep-22
Mike Ukrainetz 29-Sep-22
Stressless 07-Oct-22
Scrappy 07-Oct-22
krieger 11-Oct-22
Stressless 11-Oct-22
Termin8r 23-Oct-22
goyt 24-Oct-22
Termin8r 24-Oct-22
goyt 24-Oct-22
Termin8r 25-Oct-22
Stressless 17-Nov-22
Termin8r 17-Nov-22
Stressless 17-Nov-22
From: Stressless
28-Mar-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Established September 2016 with annual cereal grains and clover Alfalfa mix. Put in Frost seed Alfalfa Clover chicory mix late February looking at what type of maintenance recommended. 100 acres Woods ponds 4 Acres in six plots. Thanks for any advice haven't seen any Alfalfa clover chicory food plots in the Forum so think I might have screwed up LOL.

From: Stressless
28-Mar-17
I did soil tests, I highly recommend only getting them done at your local AG feed store and discuss results with the local agronomist for what you want to grow and why. I applied the max AGlime and fertilizers based on the tests then planted Chicory, Red and White Clover and Alfalfa.... This was before I knew how fickle and fragile Alfalfa is. It doesn't matter what you 'Want" to grow, you need to grow the best species based on what the soil tests and environment will support that meets your Management goals. If I had done that I would have planted Birdsfoot Trefoil in the plots instead of Alfalfa and saved some decent $$ - Birdsfoot Trefoil it is a much more forgiving legume. I planted a nursery crop of oats and cereal rye over the Chicory, Clover and Alfalfa. We're all in Ohio so planting was mid Sep, the pic below is late Oct.

From: Stressless
28-Mar-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

All the plots look like this, ph and fertilizer is right on.

From: Stressless
28-Mar-17

From: Stressless
28-Mar-17

29-Mar-17
Shoot a bunch of those turkeys

Keep it mowed (Before weeds head out, or at full bloom if clean). I mow half when required, then come back a week later to do the other half

Mow now lower than 6". Do not mow when dormant

Ensure base saturation K stays above 4% , best at 6% for clover forage

Spray any grass weeds with Cleth (Arrow) when very small

This mix has been the best /most consistant draw of any during SEP - DEC hunting season

From: Schmitty78
29-Mar-17
I planted an alfalfa/clover/chickory mix last year. Mowing kept the weeds out but the chicory didn't like the mowing either. Also sprayed the plot with a generic for slay called "thunder" and sprayed clethodim. Although I do think spraying helped during the dry summer months when I didn't want to mow I think the mowing helped the most. The alfalfa and clover are both coming back strong! Good luck with your plot!

From: Stressless
29-Mar-17
Thanks guys, Pat how is that plot in your picture?

From: Bowman
30-Mar-17
Not trying to step on your thread Stressless. I think that Pat's plot is Plot 9 in the 2017 seed review.

I will be planting an alfalfa chicory + mix, High and Dry from Grandpa Ray's this spring.

I have planted chicory with Durana clover in a couple plots. The chicory had come up and was hit pretty hard last year.

Nice observation on alfalfa, clover and chicory. Maybe we can get some opinions.

From: Twanger
30-Mar-17
Hi Bob, I saw the plots and they looked familiar so I check who it was. This is your neighbor. There sure are a lot of turkeys in the area. I am going walleye fishing tomorrow and hope to have fresh fish for turkey season. I am planning on hunting the first week of season. I can bring some fish and single malt. Your plots look good. Cliff

From: sureshot
30-Mar-17
Pat, a couple of thoughts for you to ponder. For a full season blend with alfalfa, ladino clover might perform much better than red clover in the summer months, especially if the weather is hot. Ladino clover does not lignify like red clover and alfalfa, this makes it much more palatable in the summer heat. Secondly, I would not underestimate the benefits of chicory in a food plot blend. One of the biggest benefits of chicory is its ability to bring minerals to the deer. I run a small grassfed beef farm and my pastures have chicory blended into them, it has reduced the mineral supplements I feed by a tremendous amount. I don't think we always recognize the total benefits of individual plants in a mix, nor do I believe that we reap the full benefits of most plants when they are planted in a single species plot.

From: Mad Trapper
31-Mar-17
Purchased alfalfa this year and plan on putting in a couple of acre plots based on Pat's success. Now if I could just get Pat to plant it for me....

From: Stressless
10-Apr-17
So fellas what I was wondering 1) is there is a herbicide that will work on a Red/White clover, Alfalfa, and Chicory mix plot? 2) If not then a mowing schedule to keep the weeds at bay?

Twanger - Howdy partner! I plan to bring some of the wild boar I got this winter and it definitely goes well with single malt. If you get lucky fishing I'll wip up that Walleye Marsala again. I will be there the first week as well.

From: Dennis Razza
10-Apr-17

Dennis Razza's embedded Photo
Dennis Razza's embedded Photo
Here is early stages of plot I planted 3 yrs ago. Like Pat, the clover took over. One mistake I made... I waited to long to mow and lost all my chicory. It seemed like it was to mature and never grew after I mowed it. Hoping the the roots will produce new chicory this year. Good luck!

From: Twanger
10-Apr-17
Stressless, I have a lot of grass in my clover plots and need to spray them. Looking to do that in May. If your plots need to be sprayed let me know.

From: Stressless
18-May-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

OK, looks like a spot spray of Clethodim 26.4% Herbicide for the plots with Clover (red/white mix), chicory, and alfalfa to knock back grasses, as well as regular mowing. This is what it looks like late Apr. Will spray in mid-June after mowing. Thanks for the input and advice, new to the plot kabuki dance - just learning the steps.

From: drycreek
18-May-17
My experience with cleth is the sooner, the better. It takes a while to work and mature grasses don't die easily. Yours looks like it needs to be sprayed pronto.

From: lewis
18-May-17
Is it better to plant the alfalfa in the spring or fall Lewis

From: Stressless
18-May-17
Drycreek - the stems you see are the nursery crop of cereal rye and oats from last fall. I jsut established the plots in Sep '16 those oats and rye they will die off in the next few weeks and make some mulch for the somewhat poor soil in the plots.

From: Stressless
05-Jul-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Didn't use any spray just cut it twice and it still has chicory Alfalfa and Hearty clover.

06-Jul-17
Looks great!

From: nutritionist
06-Jul-17
So many people don't realize that many of the broadleaves in your new food plots are annuals. If you clip them, they might regrow but the 2nd time you clip them they pretty much are gone. How do you think organic farmers make a living without the use of chemicals?

A firm seed bed that allows your perennials to germinate fast, getting ahead of weed canopy is essential.

From: Bowman
06-Jul-17
Has to be vastly superior for promoting good soil health.

From: Stressless
24-Jul-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

This is the field Sep 10, 2016 at in initial planting, the neighbor organic farmer that disc'd it did it three times over the summer to kill all native grasses / veg - not a drop of herbicide on it to date.

From: Stressless
24-Jul-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Same field in June with the cover crop of cereal rye and oats up, we cut the grains after seeding (as you can see) to provide a straw mulch and to put the grains where the poults and other critters could get at them.

From: bfisherman11
25-Jul-17
How short do you all cut the clover chicory plots? I cut mine about 3 weeks ago with my brush hog up about 8-10" but afterwards thought I should have cut shorter. I think I could mow again this weekend with all the rain we have gotten.

Thanks, Bill

From: Stressless
25-Jul-17
Cut it 7 inches high roughly but it was the first cutting actor the cover crop went down so we felt it could take it and it's responded very favorably. Note that there is chicory and Alfalfa in it as well.

From: lewis
26-Jul-17
Best time to plant alfalfa spring or fall Lewis

From: Stressless
27-Jul-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Lewis based on my limited experience Plant in early fall with a nursery crop of annual rye and oats, frost seed it in Feb - if you have woods near - blow the leaves before frost seeding for best seed/soil contact...

From: lewis
29-Jul-17
Thanks yes leaves can be a problem Lewis

From: drycreek
30-Jul-17
Stressless, I can see that grain now that I look at it again. I'm gonna try that myself in about a month. I'm planting Granpa Ray's Mass Builder on a 3/4 acre plot and using wheat as a nurse crop. Hoping to get something in there that the deer can't outrun.

From: Rob in VT
30-Jul-17

Rob in VT's embedded Photo
Rob in VT's embedded Photo
New clover/chicory plot planted mid June.

From: Stressless
01-Aug-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Good stuff, Rob-VT - glad it came in thru summer. The clover here in Ohio is fading some in the heat but the alfalfa and chicory is doing well. All are producing good root systems helping push N back into some poorish soils. Here the utilization, chicory is getting beat!

From: MK111
01-Aug-17
Stressless where about in Ohio are you? I'm SW Ohio. Your plot looks great.

Will mowing thistles before seeding get rid of them. I got thistles with some seed I planted. Never had them before.

From: Stressless
03-Aug-17
I'm South of Millersberg, Coshocton county. Def mow before they go to seed, also make sure your soil samples are up to date and follow the agronomists advice for your plots. Also Ohio DNR has a Private Lands Biologist program where they will come out to your farm and review your management plans for the entire farm, ponds, woodlands, food plots... for free.

From: Stressless
26-Aug-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Things that go bump on your cell phone..... on the back plot, sweet dreams

27-Aug-17
Nice!

From: Stressless
11-Sep-17

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Very happy with 6-7 of the 8 plots I put in last fall, got this pic almost to the day a year since I plowed the ground to establish the plots. The tire marks are the winter wheat overseed, 11-52-0 and 0-0-60 fertilizer I put on three hours earlier then this pic.

From: drycreek
11-Sep-17
Looking good !

From: Stressless
12-Jan-18
Epilogue: All 8 plots, 6 disk and plowed, 2 natural worked REALLY well. We took all 4 deer off the plots and saw/had GREAT hunts on them almost every sit. Making access trails this year to get-in /get-out better. My second P&Y - I'm hooked on the plots and the sound management. Thanks for the help/tips I'll be back over 2018 for maintenance questions on the plots.

From: Stressless
12-Jan-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

From: Stressless
12-Jan-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

My #3 Hitlist buck, rough Gross ~ 148

12-Jan-18
Nice buck and great shot! Congrats on your plots!

From: MK111
23-Jan-18
Congrats on the bucks and food plot plantings.

From: t-roy
23-Jan-18
Very nice! Congrats on the success from all of your efforts!

24-Jan-18
AWESOME. Soil test now and keep PH above 6.3 and get your base saturation K above 4% (6 or 8% is even better) Alfalfa really pulls out the K, and evnthough you are not taking hay, heavy grazing removes most of the forage (and the deer droppings mostly elsewhere) Keep building the soil and the deer hunting and deer quality will improve in kind.

From: Stressless
20-May-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

OK, figured I'ld update this thread as I'm still learning and can get some pro-tips as well as maybe help some new guys.

To start I'll hit the wavetops.

- Sep '17 Fertilized as in the previous post Plus added a awnless winter wheat and cereal rye I mixed.

- Mar '18 Leaf Blew the main plots and DIDN'T blow one half of one to see if really makes any difference. Frost seeded some sketchy/thin areas.

So I'm a FIRM believer in blowing leaves off if frost seeding and actually for the health/growth of the plots. Here are a couple examples - my plots are all thin and get heavy leaf cover.

From: Stressless
20-May-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Pipeline plot after blowing...

From: Stressless
20-May-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

All my plots growth -> winter wheat and rye was grazed chin high - and remained grazed that way until early May '18 when the growth overtook the pressure. This is from Mid Apr '18 just prior to OH turkey season.

From: Stressless
04-Jun-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

So the plots turned green early and the turkey loved it...

From: Stressless
04-Jun-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

.. and loved it some more...

From: Stressless
04-Jun-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

..but love was their weakness and downfall...

04-Jun-18
Lol, THAT IS AWESOME!!! Story???

From: Stressless
04-Jun-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Harvested 2 mature toms off those plots, opening day and the 2nd day of the season. P&Y last fall 2 mature toms this spring. Thanks Bowsite and Youtube, and Twanger and all the rest. A small town county bumkin can read and listen and learn. Stay tuned for the 2018 season.

Best Rergards, Stressless

04-Jun-18
Congrats! What a feeling when you succeed with hard work.

From: lewis
07-Jun-18
Love the turkey pic with the flowers I always have flowers in my turkey pics you can't have a funeral without flowers.So are you frostseeding wheat and rye over your clover and alfalfa.That I have never done but I commend you on your plots been doing it a lot of years probably 45-50 and yours look great congrats.Lewis

From: Stressless
08-Jun-18
Lewis, thank you. I do the winter wheat and cereal rye in mid Sep hopefully with a bit of rain. I frost seed clover, chicory and some alfalfa.

From: t-roy
08-Jun-18
You’re sure cashing in on all of your hard work, Robert! Congrats!

From: Stressless
01-Aug-18

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Update, I went in with "what I wanted" not fully appricating how much effort and delicate Alfalfa is, so a bit more then a year into it I've already headed to integrated Birdfoot Trefoil into the plots to replace diminishing alfalfa. https://extension.psu.edu/birdsfoot-trefoil -> Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) is a forage legume that is more tolerant of these adverse production conditions. and when you're not there to love and protect alfalfa that can happen fast.

So, without starting a new thread (I'll see if I can change the title) I've moving the summer and later fall legume in the plots to Birdsfoot Trefoil (BFT) - my plots aren't pH perfect and don't have loamy soil, most are 60 y/o old weathered spoil banks from strip-mining. I need something that will take those conditions and produce.

Here's the plot mid summer, doing well and a decent mix although the BFT is still young and not robust, but it's there.

2 1/2 months.... smile...

From: APauls
15-Oct-18
Robert this thread was a pleasure to read and follow your success. Congrats!

From: Stressless
15-Oct-18
APAULS, thx buddy, I found this site and get a bunch of good info. I hope to post some good reports starting this coming weekend.

From: Stressless
03-Jan-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Had a great season and let some nice ones walk, all the stands are now in relation to the plots, once again the only thing green in whole lot of brown woods. I overseeded winter wheat and oats in Sept and the light freezes haven't killed the clover.

SMILES! here's of the plots (in the background) update once I frost seed the Birdsfoot Trifoil.

From: BullBuster
03-Jan-19
Wait....Whaaaat? What is the BFT doing this time of year? Growing? Attracting deer?

From: Stressless
29-Jan-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Guys - I've gotten some PM's on this tactic, leaf blowing your plots, I gotta believe it helps. A pic is worth a 1,000 words so here's 4K from mid-Jan in Ohio. Green is Good.

From: Stressless
29-Jan-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

.on-going.

From: Stressless
29-Jan-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

.done

From: Stressless
29-Jan-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

For plots that aren't in a "woods" it's obviously not necessary but all of mine are circled by mature woods and the leaf matter chokes out a large % each year. For spring green up (see the turkeys in '18 above) I think it is deal maker.

Best, Stressless

From: Stressless
25-Apr-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Once again I've had a spectacular season, I owe much of it to stuff I've learned here and with folks associated with bow ju ting ling beards and plot mtx.

So as in 2018 the mature Toms loved the food leaf free plots!

From: Stressless
25-Apr-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Even after the carnage in 2018 here they come back...

From: Stressless
25-Apr-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

6yrd shot on opening day at 0700... bullhead, bullpen blind.

From: Stressless
25-Apr-19

Stressless's embedded Photo
Second gobbler second day, tagged out in Ohio.
Stressless's embedded Photo
Second gobbler second day, tagged out in Ohio.
8yrd shot on this old gobbler, got video of the first miss at a brace of longboards molesting my decoys and then, they come back and one dallied too long and got a bullhead to the neck.

The video is here: https://youtu.be/ZHU7OApGEVM

From: t-roy
25-Apr-19
Good job, Stressless! Congrats on both birds!

Any tips or tricks on blowing the leaf litter off of your plots? I’m assuming it works much better if the leaves are completely dry, but maybe not?

From: APauls
26-Apr-19
Nie work Robert, I'd kill for being able to work in a sweater on a snowfree field in mid January lol. That's got to be better for the deer than anything!

From: Stressless
26-Apr-19
T-Roy -- I count on a windy day and "blow with the wind" and usually in Feb they aren't dry - I hope to do it in early Dec next year following a 3-4 dry spell wet and wetter well, it's a PITA but seems to be worth it - I have 4.5 acres in food plots and takes most of one day. I'll tell you that it working them a foot or two at time, you'll know exactly where you need to frost seed the bare spots.

26-Apr-19
Congrats! Really great to see your efforts paying off.

From: Stressless
08-Aug-19

Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Stressless's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

Year three on the plots - sprayed one last year - def saves $ just cutting the weeds - but I have two plots that are getting taken over so in '20 I'll prolly burn them down. Just did the last AgLime for prolly 6-8 years. all should be right about 6.7 ph...let it all winter and check again spring '20/ anything growing will be much more palatable then what was pushing up prior.

From: Stressless
28-Mar-22
Hadn't updated this one for awhile. With turkey season just around the corner I thought I'd just drop these here...

Some of the turkey bowhunting highlights over the years on this plot and some others on the property.

Update on the plots next.

From: Mark Watkins
03-Apr-22
Congrats on some great plots you’ve created....and the memories of all the fun you and your family have had around them!!

Mark

From: t-roy
03-Apr-22
Some cool videos, Stressless! Love the camera name in the Turkey #1–2020, especially! Definitely better quality footage than the Zapruder film ;-)

From: Stressless
18-Apr-22
Pipeline and Backpad coming in nice. Frost seeded my legume mix in March.

20220418-221028

From: Stressless
22-Sep-22
After some experimenting in the last two-three years I've found a crop combo that is as low maintenance as possible to produce the highest yield, stands up to the high browsing pressure in our local area, has multiple crops, has the same blend of legumes and cereal grains across all plots to spread the pressure and lasts thru the hunting season.

To kickoff the bare dirt/poor soil I split apply 2T of Lime and I use the pulverized AgLime that will flow thru a ATV multre spreader. Having a good friend/neighbor (Goyt) to loan a 2nd spreader makes quick work of it between two bikes helps!

This is applying 1500#/acre of gypsum to loosen the clay and leach some Magnesium I got too high by spreading pellitized dolomite lime for the first couple years. IMG-0071

All the plots are in perennial legumes: 15# total live seed/acre

40% Birdsfoot Trefoil

20% White Clover

20% Red Clover

20% Chicory

One application of IMOX in mid Apr

One Application of Clethodim mid summer (edited)

Overseed tillage radish 6#/acre ~1 Aug

One spot spray of broadleaves ~ 1 Aug or as needed

Overseed 150#/acre cereal rye ~ Labor Day weekend

They love it and it keeps growing unlike brassicas and buckwheat that I've tried. This is a summers growing season inside and out of the UT cage. All plots experienced about the same browsing pressure. 20220828-Spoil-UT

That's the growth tuff over on the left in the UT cage 2022-0828-Spoil

Greenbrier that half was sterile clay/shale after work last year. The light stuff is 2T/acre Aglime from the Moultre spreader. Screenshot-20210430-204948-Gallery

2022-0904-Green-Brier

Dam Plot (this doesn't get any herbicide only overseeding and mowed) 20220601-205723

Edge Plot IMG-0121

Bottom Plot 20220915-Bottom

FrontPad Plot 20220903-Fron-Pad

Pine Plot (this doesn't get any herbicide only overseeding and mowed) 20220831-Pine

BackPad Plot 20220828-Back-Pad

From: APauls
22-Sep-22
That's pretty awesome! How does it do after the freeze and when snow starts?

From: Stressless
22-Sep-22
APauls, They seem to love it and dig it out from under the snow. Only time they don't get after it is when it ice crusts over and they can't actually get to it.

This is Bottom Plot from this winter, '22, same legume mix overseeded with 150#/acre of cereal rye. Didn't put tillage radish in last fall so they're after just what's still green under the snow.

IMG-0143

Which brings me to good story from last year on the plots and that fits at this point of the thread on plots - and who doesn't like a good story!

So, on Bottom Plot I snuck in on 27 Oct and picked up a card.

IMG-0130

That was my #1 hitlister Dutton and so with the right wind forecast I got into the stand on Bottom mid afternoon the next day.

20211028-170901

He came out and He hit the licking branch at 30 yds - but looked like he was just gonna keep heading up the plot - and it was a quartering to shot - which is a no-go for me. Bow in hand and hooked up, he continued up Bottom Plot, stopped and looked back at the licking branch= I drew back, he started back up the plot and passed the 20 yd mark I had ranged.

20211028-175415-rightsideup

To "Baaaa" or not to "Baaaa" that is the question - kinda screaming in my mind as he got parallel with me. good form, good sight picture, 20 yrd pin right where it needed to be, watching him walk and he took that front foreleg out for another step - release. Saw the arrow hit true and thru and thru.

My first thought was That's a dead deer running. Second was that's the first deer I shot walking - arrow was buried in the ground on the far side of him at 18 yards.

I heard him run in the dry leaves for about 2 seconds - he ran outa sight and stopped, 5-6 seconds later - seemed like a week passed - I hear a step - then crash. Rain was about 30-45 mins out so I made the call to trail after only about 5-10 mins just in case -

20211028-181218

I dint think there was any doubt... and there wasn't// ran about 40 yrds and stopped in a thicket... died right there.

From: Stressless
26-Sep-22
Plots are bringing them in now that beans are dry in OH. hope to get a mature buck or two staking claim to the area with deep woods bedding away from the fuss.

IMAG0790-100-790

IMAG0786-100-786

PICT0422-H-202209242225-TEJTN

PICT0551-H-202209261029ce-Q2m

PICT0980-H-202209252204-U2-FHa

From: Old Reb
27-Sep-22
Nice to see that your planning and hard work is paying off for you. Good luck this season.

From: Bow Crazy
27-Sep-22
Glad you brought this to the top. I am looking for simple/less expensive ways of food plotting. You have given me some great ideas. I do have some questions. If you answered above, I missed it. I am not questioning what you are doing, or why, just want to learn more about your system.

Doesn't the rye come back in the spring? Does your mowing take care of it, or how are you controlling it? Imox?

Rye, 150lbs/acre why this amount?

Doesn't Butyrac kill the chichory? Must not ( I answered myself :) ).

Birdsfoot Trefoil, why the highest percentage of the mix?

How tall do the radishes get?

Thanks! BC

From: Stressless
29-Sep-22
B/C

Overview:

Almost all my plots are on ~70 y/o spoil banks from strip mines and hot (pH) as hell. There's a 1/2" or so of organic material on them then rock, shale, clay and other sterile compositions.

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Bare dirt recipe, first year only.

- Anytime prior to planting apply 2T/acre Aglime

- If dirt opened up more than 3 weeks before planting your fall crop rye and legumes

-- Spray 2 quarts/acre Gly with 1 pint 24d ester + AMS

-- If less than 3 weeks just spray Gly and AMS

- 150#/acre Rye o/a Labor day

- 15#/acre Legume mix Live Seed o/a Labor Day

- Do Not terminate the rye the first Spring let bolt and cut when dead in June.

- Soil Sample and apply the correct TNV (Total Neutralizing Value) of lime to get your plot to 6.8pH

- Add fertilizer, P and K as needed

- Spray IMOX 6.5oz/acre with crop oil directly after cutting rye

- Spot Spray boradleaves Jun and Aug

- Spray clethodim in July or Aug after a good moisture event so grasses are growing

New area I opened up 27 Aug, Lime, rye and legumes went in 3 Sep. Pic is 6 Sep.

20220906-115119

^Treat as an established plot thereafter

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Established Legume Plot recipe.

- 6-8#/acre LiveSeed Legume mix in Feb-Mar (Frost Seed)

- Spray IMOX 6.5oz/acre with crop oil once mid-April when weeds are 4-6" and growing aggressively.

- Spot Spray boradleaves Jun and Aug

- Spray clethodim in June + or - 3 or 4 days from mowing

- Cut plots to 6-7" as needed over summer

- 6#/acre tillage radish o/a 1 Aug

- 150#/acre rye on o/a labor day

- Mow plots directly after seeding rye

- Soil Sample every other year amend as suggested

20220828-191426

^ Repeat annually

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The yearly mix is what I've found to offer a blend of crops they desire and that withstands the browse pressure in my small plots while also improving the soil to make the crops work in a bit of harmony. The legumes are all inoculated so they make N, the rye and tillage radish consume N in a big way. Since I don't till, I use the tillage radish to open up/break up the surface soil and offer organic materials below the 1-2" zone. Note that my lands are NOT fertile black loamy soil.

Perennial Live Seed Mix:

15#/ acre bare dirt 6#/acre frost seed into existing plots.

Note that it's 40% Birdsfoor Trefoil and 40% clovers, 20% chicory. Each will have it's own % coating so you or your seed folks will have to do some math.

20200211-195216

Your questions are good, my co-op neighbor sprays Butyrac but I don't as, yes sir, it will kill chicory. The Single application of IMOX in the spring stalls broad leaves and like Pat mentioned in one of his posts, I make a mix of Gly and 24D, and spot spray the broad leaves. Did that in Sep after I planted rye this year.

- Doesn't the rye come back in the spring? Does your mowing take care of it, or how are you controlling it? Imox?

Yes and Yes and yes -LoL Cereal Rye is an annual. On a new plot I let it bolt and die, then cut (brushhog) and spray Imox mid Juneish after the fawns can get up and away. The IMOX spray after cutting terminates any viable rye seed from the seed heads - as well as everything else IMOX kills.

Established plots I terminate the rye when I spray the plots with IMOX in mid-April - what I miss or doesn't get fully dead I mow in Mid-June

-Rye, 150lbs/acre why this amount?

I know I'm not getting good seed to soil contact when overseeding into a established legume plot so there will be a decent percentage that doesn't germinate and or is not viable for all sorts of reasons.

Conversely I need the rye to come in thick enough when the legumes start to falter and die off in late Oct - Early Nov to continue to draw deer to the plots - and to green up first thing throughout the winter when the temps are > 37F.

150# is an easy # to work with and I guesstamate when doing rye by the 56# bushel. I made a spreadsheet to help me figure the totals and by the plot.

2022-Fall-seeding

-How big do the tillage radish get.

Adding the tillage radish helps add food to the late plot as well. This is from -inside- the utilization cage last years failed brassica planting - it just couldn't keep up with the browse pressure. So outside the UT cage it got smashed and didn't produce. The tillage radish are the long white ones. 20211104-131801

On a side note all this is done with an ATV - Pepe - Spreader/Sprayer/Pull behind brushhog. IMG-0005

29-Sep-22
Wow! Amazing attention to detail in all of this. Very interesting

From: Stressless
07-Oct-22
These frisky boys started at 2027 up the hill and pushed and shoved their way down. Scuffled for 10m on camera.

Cliff and Chris are sitting cold front today, one across the gravel and one in Glenmont at his family farm. Having "those" conversations with the Mrs. on When and How long I'll be at the farm for this hunting season...

THIS ? is not helping my objective outlook ??

10m-buck-scuffle

From: Scrappy
07-Oct-22
You mentioned that the deer don't use your plots when it is iced over. If you want some fantastic hunting during that time drive your atv or tractor around your plots to bust the crust up. Deer will thank you by piling into those spots eating right along where you drove.

From: krieger
11-Oct-22
Great thread! Thanks for taking the time to post all those pics and info. I have some acreage I've taken out of CRP, I may try this blend. May go back into some flowering forbs for the bees also...not sure yet.

From: Stressless
11-Oct-22
Krieger - If your areas are big enough, make strips around the plots 10-20' of the your "Pollinator Blend" with the legumes and then overseeded rye in the middle. I don't have that opportunity but it's def a bonus.

Drought, it's one thing we don't any control over. In our county, since Jun, we're over 40% less than average rainfall. By keeping growing things in the dirt and not exposing the soil my plots are all diminished by the drought but not barren. Even with the high browsing pressure.

From: Termin8r
23-Oct-22
Stressless,

How wide are your plots (the ones in the woods, not the pad)?

What would you think is the minimum width for such a plot as yours in the woods?

Are you plots oriented in a certain compass direction to maximize sunlight?

Given that the GFR didn't produce outside the utilization cage, do you still recommend planting it at 6# per acre? If it is not able to grow, what benefits is it providing?

I have a heavily wooded area that has some logging roads on it, but not sure if I need to widen them or just plant them as is with a clover mixture and then add the GFR and rye. I have several larger plots on the property, but wanted to use the logging roads in order to direct/funnel the deer toward the larger plots.

From: goyt
24-Oct-22
Termin8r, I would be very reluctant to plant logging roads unless you are not using them to access stands and have a good way to hunt them. There are probably a few places on them you can have a small kill plot but I like to have access where hopefully there is no reason for a deer to be there that time of day. I have a number of plots a few hundred yards from crop fields with access on logging roads . The idea is that the deer will use the plots in the evening before going to the crop field and in the morning coming from the crop field. The plots are just wide spots on the roads and I do use the roads to get to the plots but my access areas are free of food if I can help it.

From: Termin8r
24-Oct-22
Goyt

I wouldn't access the stand sites by way of the logging roads. Access would be from the property borders, then perpendicular to the logging roads.

I was more interested in planting them in order to direct the deer toward the larger (1 acre) plantings which are 20 yards by 250 yards rectangular.

This was just a thought in order to provide some more food in an area that is heavily wooded, versus taking in equipment or manpower to clear a 0.25 to 0.4 acre plot along the border.

From: goyt
24-Oct-22
Termin8r

Thanks for the clarification. I think that anytime you can add food without hurting access it is a good thing. If you have an ATV mounted sprayer it is a simple thing to use roundup on the roads and then seed them with a clover blend, Some of the clovers are very shade tolerant. If it holds deer and causes movement you will gain from it. Very low cost.

From: Termin8r
25-Oct-22
Stressless,

Can you provide some details on your equipment (ATV, spreader, mower/brushhog, sprayer)? I'm looking to upgrade some of my equipment.

From: Stressless
17-Nov-22
TM8r -

The farm equipment I have is all based on no-till. The results are above. Get the right configuration for all your tow implements - I had a Pin and Ball connection on different implements and then bought the Ball+Pin Hitch for both the ATV and UTV to mount on both tow vehicles so you don't have to switch things to use any of the items below.

Environmental - most of my plots I can reach with 10' wide clearance - i.e., tractor, but some are only 6' wide paths to get tothe plots. So I use ATV/UTV to keep 1.5 miles of trails open and get up a couple 40° slopes

*ATV - (Pepe) Yamaha Grizzly 450 2005

I bought it used in 2010 for my brother who had developed a heart condition. Used it for general farm chores and game retrieval until I stated doing food plots in 2016.

After a couple years of plotting and using the machines I decided to add a UTV as the ATV was getting long in the tooth, and dragging the "implements" seemed to be just over the edge of the limit I felt was reasonable for the littler ATV. So instead of a newer bit bigger ATV which could do it without issue, I went with a new UTV.

*UTV - (Red) Kawasaki mule pro mx LE

This is a smaller UTV and packs more than needed for just "plotting". I could do the entire farm with either Pepe or Red but Red pulls the harrow and brushhog with more power margin / not work as hard. I could do the entire farm and 8 plots with either.

*Sprayer/Boom - FIMCO 25 Gallon ATV Sprayer 4.5 GPM 7 Nozzle

You want as much water volume as possible so the 4.5GPM is the way to go IMHO. [email protected] happens so get your expendable spares when you buy the sprayer/boom

20200427-172625

*Harrow - 6 ft. x 8 ft. Loyal Drag Harrow

I really like this tool, you can configure it in separate 6'x 4' sections, rough and smooth, light and smooth, rough and rough etc or just use a single 6'x4' section. Very easy to configure.

20210501-085734

* Brushhog - Swisher 11.5 HP Rough Cut Tow Behind 44"

Get the 2"ball hitch for it, spare belt (haven't changed my belt in 4 years) grind/sharpen the blades

IMG-0558

* Spreader(s) - Moultrie ATV Spreader – Manual Feed Gate - and earthway hand spreader

This is the product I've used and used and abused - still keeps ticking. I use the Moultrie from Rye to fertilizer to pulverized AgLime.

il-1588x-N-2360716267-r26h

38489

* Culitapacker - Packer MAXX 4'

My soils are so poor that the rock and shale really don't allow this implement to really shine but it does help. I'm currently eyeballing the Packer Maxx Crimper attachment - but for hte $ I have to KNOW I'll use it in the plotting line-up.

That's it. No disc, no plow, no tractor - Not that there's anything wrong with that, just I'll spend my $ on other things I actually need.

From: Termin8r
17-Nov-22
Stressless,

Wow! What a great response! Very thorough.

What would you suggest would be the minimum width I should plan for when planting woods plots? I will be planting current logging roads, but will not be walking on them to hunt them. These logging roads parallel my borders, so I will be accessing them perpendicular to the logging road.

I've heard pulverized lime wouldn't work through spreaders and was told to use pelletized lime. Does that Moultrie spreader have an agitator?

From: Stressless
17-Nov-22
Plot Width - It depends mostly on orientation. I saw you had a 60'(20yrds) x 250 ydrs. If the 60' is E<->W Then you're screwed. If N<->S then your golden. Regardless, if you have trees they will try and close the canopy across the 60' as they grow. I've lost a .4 plot called Pipline that is N<->S but the branchs closing in 30'-70' above the plot are shading it out.

AgLime - Look closely at the bag - this is a specific composite grind that will flow thru a drop or gravity spreader.

20210430-164059

AgLime -So I thought, wrongly, after reading a bunch of posts that I'ld have to do Pellitized Lime (Powered lime that's glued together) which isn't really bad but generally you have to reapply every year or two which equals- expensive, labor intensive, time consuming - everything wrapped up neatly in what I don't want on my farm.

So I found this little GEM at the local Ag co-op which is truly AG Lime, but will flow via a simple spreader - it doesn't cake and pack like traditional hard to spread Aglime.

il-1588x-N-2360715995-hday

With a counterweight on the front of Pepe I load 3 AgLime bags or 150# in the spreader at a time.

Harrowing in the 2 ton / acre lime. 20210501-093327

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