Sitka Mountain Gear
Fall plot for whitetail
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Bea 28-Jul-19
Bea 28-Jul-19
RIT 28-Jul-19
Schmitty78 28-Jul-19
JL 28-Jul-19
Shawn 28-Jul-19
RIT 29-Jul-19
Bea 29-Jul-19
RIT 29-Jul-19
Shawn 30-Jul-19
From: Bea
28-Jul-19

Bea's embedded Photo
Bea's embedded Photo
I always get some good advice here....so here goes. Right now I have a small hunting lot of about 80 acres. Bordered on two sides by farms/woodlots. Back borders a big river. Currently I have planted about 25 acres of soybean, 30 acres of wheat, and a nice acre of a clover mix. Once the farmer who farms my land cuts the wheat, mostly cuz I have a great box blind over looking a nice corner in that field. Assuming its cut in August...what would be a great crop to plant considering timing etc to use for a fall plot to hunt over. I'm looking at just a half acre or so....only to draw them into bow range of the blind, Thanks in advance...ps...this would be for whitetail hunting and ideally be attractive to them thru end of November.

28-Jul-19
Mix of rye grain, oats, winter peas, sugar beets and winter bulbs if enough growing time in your zone. GL!

From: Bea
28-Jul-19
thanks

From: RIT
28-Jul-19
You can’t plant sugar beets the ship has sailed on those. Very early June in your zone was the last day for them.

28-Jul-19
Mossy Oak sugar beets and winter bulbs are good to be planted now in my zone.

From: Schmitty78
28-Jul-19
I’m actually going to plant some sugar beets here in Missouri, not going with mossy oaks seed but I got some from the local feed store. Thanks for the recommendation Habitat for Wildlife! Excited to give them a try, definitely something different for the deer to eat around my place.

From: JL
28-Jul-19
FWIW....the turnips I got planted with clover in one of the bait plots seems to be doing pretty good keeping the deer around. This doe is working a turnip.

From: Shawn
28-Jul-19
Rye, plant it mid to late August!! Shawn

From: RIT
29-Jul-19
Never planted BOB mixes but normal sugar beets are 90-100 days to maturity and don’t do well well with competition. OP mentioned the last cut would be August. With first frost dates in October in his region per the web I would be looking for a bulb source with an earlier maturity.

29-Jul-19

Habitat for Wildlife's embedded Photo
Habitat for Wildlife's embedded Photo
Here is the package and what it says. I always plant my Fall plots the week before Labor Day. I am in NW MO. Yes, giving them longer gives you better bulbs as the package says, but a short time works, especially if your ground is fertile!

I mix these on my 4 acre destination plot most years with oats, rye grain, winter peas, medium red or crimson clover with ladino. I will frost seed more clover if I want to keep it next year as a clover plot.

I mow the rye when the seed heads are mature, and with decent moisture will have enough rye grain to keep it productive that second winter.

RIT, I experiment a lot! Have been since '95. My approaches are not always what you read. Please see my Micro Habitat Project thread. .75 acres and most people would not do soybeans as conventional wisdom says the deer will destroy them. We have good density, but going heavy on seed and fertilizer, and nature cooperating, along with some other tactics and one can achieve a nice stand on small plots at times. I try to document some projects as I go so guys know I am not making things up. I hope it encourages others to experiment and find out what their land is capable of.

29-Jul-19

Habitat for Wildlife's embedded Photo
Habitat for Wildlife's embedded Photo
Here are this past winter's results for the above recipe. This plot is over 300 yards long and I had several cameras covering the entire length. Each camera was nearly identical in the amount of deer captured. This was after all of the rye had been clipped to the ground. They were digging for the bulbs.

I am not a fan of the big name brand products. I have a Tri-Star seed company 5 miles away and purchase all of my seed there. These are actually the only brassica type plant I use. I quit doing turnips, kale etc. because even after giving the deer several years to get used to them, they were ignored.

I know results vary, but habitat managers ought to use conventional wisdom and publications as a good starting point and then experiment to find out what works best for them, IMHO.

EDIT: When I plant this 4 acre plot multiple years in a row with the same blend, I rotate which half each year will have the winter bulbs and beets. The reason I like to use clover even though little will be available for consumption that first Fall, it makes the plot a great turkey attractant for the Spring and the legumes help add nitrogen for the Fall Planting which helps the oats and rye grain.

From: Bea
29-Jul-19

Bea's embedded Photo
Bea's embedded Photo
thanks for all the replies....I bought winter rye and oat seed today. I will likely put in some clover. and maybe one more....I'm taking this all in. thanks again. I grew up hunting in the woods with the odd old abandoned farm sprinkled around.....food plots and agri areas are a whole new thing to me.....but I'm enjoying the learning curve....feel free to keep the suggestions and / or any other ideas coming.

I only own 80 acres, 50 of which are currently farmed...30 is river bottom bordering a river along the back. The surrounding properties include working farms and woodlots. Deer numbers are good....but could always be better !

29-Jul-19
Bea,

Sounds like a slice of heaven!

I try to have what surrounding properties don't. It might be winter food or cover, or both. Good luck!

From: RIT
29-Jul-19
I should ‘t have said you can’t plant them. I should have said they should have been planted earlier.

If my goal was for winter bulbs I’d want them to be big and mature or plant something else.

I’ve heard of some deer not touching large bulbs or vice versa. I plant radishes every year and they arent eaten but use them for value to the soil. If deer aren’t eating something they have something better to eat.

29-Jul-19
"If deer aren’t eating something they have something better to eat."

Agreed, that's why I don't plant them any longer. I want the something better to eat to be on my land! I should have said I will use radish to help the soil, but do not plant them as an attractant. Thanks.

29-Jul-19
Bea,

I plant them in the mix at that time because any earlier the clover and peas may not make it if there is insufficient moisture and the rye/oats seems to be more attractive and palatable when it is not too tall and fibrous.

From: Shawn
30-Jul-19
Bigger bulbs are bitter until they get a real hard Frost and than still deer may not eat them. Once they freeze and get softer the deer around here will hammer them! I am in mid NY! Shawn

30-Jul-19
Shawn,

That's my experience as well. Notice the date stamp on the picture above, two weeks after the season ended.

I try to keep food and cover available all year, not just the hunting season. By keeping deer on the property this way, I believe more deer will come and check it out, especially during the rut, being the social animals they are.

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