DeerBuilder.com
Property Line/Food Plot Screen
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Rugerno1 03-Dec-20
bigdog21 03-Dec-20
APauls 03-Dec-20
Rugerno1 03-Dec-20
AccMan 03-Dec-20
Rugerno1 03-Dec-20
BigOzzie 03-Dec-20
montnatom 03-Dec-20
4nolz@work 03-Dec-20
JL 03-Dec-20
drycreek 03-Dec-20
JL 03-Dec-20
Milhouse 03-Dec-20
LINK 03-Dec-20
Shiloh 03-Dec-20
bigdog21 03-Dec-20
t-roy 03-Dec-20
RIT 03-Dec-20
Rugerno1 12-Dec-20
Sand man 12-Dec-20
Rob in VT 13-Dec-20
BullBuster 13-Dec-20
nchunter 13-Dec-20
Sand man 13-Dec-20
nchunter 13-Dec-20
nchunter 13-Dec-20
Bowhunter374 02-Jan-21
wytex 02-Jan-21
t-roy 02-Jan-21
t-roy 02-Jan-21
BullBuster 02-Jan-21
GF 02-Jan-21
RIT 02-Jan-21
Rupe 02-Jan-21
Catscratch 02-Jan-21
MQQSE 02-Jan-21
Dutch oven 02-Jan-21
Kydeer1 02-Jan-21
MQQSE 03-Jan-21
Catscratch 03-Jan-21
WtFPSeeds 12-Jan-21
darralld 12-Jan-21
Rugerno1 14-Jan-21
From: Rugerno1
03-Dec-20
Hello! I've been reading on here for about 2 years, which is about when I started food plotting. I'm currently managing my families 80 acre farm, which has been idle for 20+ years. The property that borders the back is actively farmed, and I'm considering doing a planting on that border as a screen. There is an old fence line that I've been repairing to keep the neighbors out (trespassing: quads & hunting), but would also like a visual screen to hinder them from shooting deer on my property. I've just started the research and found milo and sorghum as potential plantings, but I would like to plant something that will be 8'+ tall, stand thru December, but not necessarily be a food source or draw for the deer. My plan would be to plant it about 5-10' off the fence line for access/maintenance and it can be any width as currently I don't actively cut, plant, or hunt that area. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

The property line is just under 1500 feet

From: bigdog21
03-Dec-20
trial cameras, and law inforcment should stop the problem.. the screen would just give them better places to hide.. can not stop the problem with a band aid.

From: APauls
03-Dec-20
Willows. I’m going to be doing something similar along the road for road hunters. I agree with you in that most crimes are crimes of opportunity and if you take away the opportunity you remove most crime.

From: Rugerno1
03-Dec-20
Although I understand your point, they all seem to be bandaids. screen = better places to hide; game cameras (which I am currently running) = more game cameras potentially stolen; law enforcement = not a priority, and I don't blame them. I guess I'm looking for the lesser of all evils, and the option that may keep them from shooting/seeing what's happening on my property without planting something that will draw the deer to that area. Thanks!

From: AccMan
03-Dec-20
Egyptian wheat temporarily while planted pines are growing.

From: Rugerno1
03-Dec-20
The link below looks interesting, but no info on what exactly you're planting. Anyone have any experience with it?

https://www.northwoodswhitetails.com/product/food-plot-screen/

I'm located in Western PA

From: BigOzzie
03-Dec-20
Working on a similar plan of some sort, more to make deer in the meadow less visible to the road and give them security. Currently when I drive into the place the meadow clears out of deer, they run every direction to get out of the meadow, I would like to have a screen that allows them to remain calm in the meadow.

oz

From: montnatom
03-Dec-20
I've seen a variety of junipers used as privacy screens and windbreaks here in Eastern MT

From: 4nolz@work
03-Dec-20
maybe talk to the neighbor and agree not to shoot or go onto his without a courtesy call and vice versa,if you make a plot across his fence hes going to assume you are trying to draw deer across the fence

From: JL
03-Dec-20

JL's Link
I seen a couple of products for this. Here's one in the link.

Some others.....

https://arrowseed.com/product/green-screen-food-plot-screen-seed/ https://killerfoodplots.com/products/border-patrol

From: drycreek
03-Dec-20
Gigantis miscanthius (sp) is a reed type plant that grows thick and tall. It’s not planted from seed but from roots. That’s about all I know about it except I know what it looks like and it would work. Junipers (cedar) might be good also, but Egyptian wheat won’t stand wind or snow, plus frost kills it and it starts falling over. Been there. Pine trees, at least the variety I’m familiar with, will grow up in just a few years and won’t screen anymore, you can see under them. Corn, milo, and other grains will be a food source, plus they aren’t tall enough. Good luck in your search !

From: JL
03-Dec-20
Isn't there a real tall corn plant variety??

From: Milhouse
03-Dec-20
Dogwoods/lilacs/terregana make really good screening cover. They're also cheap to plant, and tough as hell. I'd also consider some cedars as well..... maybe a combination of the above. They also make good browse.

From: LINK
03-Dec-20
Sudan grass (feed). I have no idea what will grow in Pennsylvania but it grows all across the Midwest. With good moisture can get 12-14 feet tall in 90-100 days. Deer might browse on it but they certainly don’t eat it like they do milo. Winter snows will bend and break stalks leaving it 5-6 feet tall. It’s good bird feed though.

From: Shiloh
03-Dec-20
From what I’ve heard and seen I’d look into the miscanthis as well.

From: bigdog21
03-Dec-20
juniper are cedar trees

From: t-roy
03-Dec-20
There’s another thread on this subject on here, that someone else posted, as well. “Screening plantings”. I also brought ttt my Miscanthus planting project from a couple years back, if you’re thinking of going that route. “Miscanthus screen planting”

From: RIT
03-Dec-20
If the neighbors cause you to lose sleep at night I’d sell it. I have been battling a sorry neighbor going on 8 years. I lose sleep over it.... realtor is coming out Wednesday.

Nothing beats a fence for keeping neighbors out. I tried Miscanthus in heavy clay and it didn’t do jack. Too much effort for such little return. It didn’t do well in my poorly drained soil and it didn’t like wet feet. But like any screen competition is key. You only need 6’ to hide a deer. Do yourself a favor and use switchgrass if your area allows it. You can have a 6’ tall stand in a few years at a fraction of the cost. Make it even better by adding rows of spruce, cedar, and willows. I have planted all 3 and they are fantastic. If you plant a screen do it right the first time and don’t waste your time, money, and effort.

I used Northwoods whitetails heavy duty screen this year. With fertilizer and very little rain it grew amazing. It held up well into November but after wet snow and 50+ mph winds it bit the dust. I would use it again though.

You are part of the issue if you are planting a food plot near the property line. I would hunt as near as I could to there given the chance also if I was your neighbor. The food plot is attracting deer and dictating movement looks like your neighbor has figured that out. You are really doing them a favor. I would move the plots away from the line. Make the fencing into a little bedding area by adding the switch and trees. Then when your neighbors approach it they will push deer deeper into your property instead of busting out the food.

From: Rugerno1
12-Dec-20
RIT - 2 separate issues - 1) Property line screen. There’s no food plot near the property line for obvious reasons. 2). Screen for my food plots that are at the interior of the property.

Also, haven’t lost a wink of sleep over this, quit ever the contrary. It’s been very enjoyable.

Thanks for all the input everyone. Not sure how I’m going to proceed, but I have some ideas now.

From: Sand man
12-Dec-20
Switchgrass/longer term Egyptian wheat until it gets established.

From: Rob in VT
13-Dec-20
I used white pines as a screen. They grow fast and get tall and bushy.

From: BullBuster
13-Dec-20
I’m planting Australian pines along a road for both visual and sound suppression. Bushy and fast growing too. The fastest of the pines I’m told.

From: nchunter
13-Dec-20
Plant a row of leyland cypress and you will have the best evergreen wall you have ever seen in 2 years.

From: Sand man
13-Dec-20
Nchunter, I had never heard of these. Looking into it, looks like an excellent option! Appears they are very hardy and can be sustained in a wide variety of soil conditions.

From: nchunter
13-Dec-20
In NC every lowes or Home depot sells them in the spring. They grow fast and form one heck of a wall of super dense Christmas tree-like trees. And when they get 25 feet high you put a stand in them and never been seen. I have never seen them get much taller then this.

From: nchunter
13-Dec-20
In NC every lowes or Home depot sells them in the spring. They grow fast and form one heck of a wall of super dense Christmas tree-like trees. And when they get 25 feet high you put a stand in them and never been seen. I have never seen them get much taller then this.

From: Bowhunter374
02-Jan-21
I know a guy that has a large pieces of tillable along the edge of a wildlife refuge. Fortunately for him, there is no food on the refuge so the deer come to his fields. He has used Egyptian wheat to create barriers and "section off" different food plots. He then uses ground and box blinds to hunt from. The Egyptian wheat also created a nice barrier to allow him to access his blinds. Seems to work, as he consistently kills big deer.

From: wytex
02-Jan-21
Plant some fast growing evergreen bushes and some fast growing trees. Lots of choices when you goggle them for your area. A brushy thicket along the fence would deter deer from crossing there also. How about some wild plums, something with thorns maybe.

From: t-roy
02-Jan-21
Bowhunter374......That concept works pretty well, especially on bigger fields. They really seem to like to travel along edges. I like using EW, other than the fact that it doesn’t hold up to snow loads very well.

I just frost seeded Switchgrass around the perimeter of a 3.5 acre food plot, a few weeks back. It’s surrounded on 3 sides by timber, but it opens up to a big ag field on the east end of the plot. The perimeter was all brome grass. I did a burn down with glyphosate in August, then burned the dead grass off a few weeks later. I then waited until the end of September, and hit it again with glyphosate to kill the remaining regrowth. I didn’t do any tillage on those areas at all, hoping to keep the new flush of weeds/grass next spring, to a minimum. I’ll spray it next spring in April, after green up, with atrazine/glyphosate, and possibly again in early May, to hopefully give the switch a head start, when it starts to sprout in mid/late May. It’s not going to be a bedding area, as it is only going to be 15’-30’ wide. The main purpose I planted it was as a screen, to try to prevent the deer from being able to come up to the edge of the plot to survey things, without having to actually step out into the field. I seeded a little wider strip along the east end of the plot to help close that end of it in, and create an edge along that border. This is my first experience planting switch, so I’m pretty excited to see how it goes.

From: t-roy
02-Jan-21

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
I seeded the switch around the perimeter of the plot shaded in red.

From: BullBuster
02-Jan-21
Planting fast growing trees and shrubs is not as easy as it may seem. I planted a 200 yd row of them with growth tubes and weed mats. Fenced the whole thing in with fence posts and chicken wire. Then in December the deer broke in all over the place and nipped everything down. So now I have to put up an even stouter fence. Pain!!

From: GF
02-Jan-21
Just WHATEVER you do… Figure out what will do what you want/need and which is NATIVE to the area. Ideally, it would be a mix of things all working together to provide habitat for songbirds, game birds, wabbits, etc.

It would be a good idea to try the Ag/Forestry Extension office at a nearby University. It would be GENIUS if you could coordinate with a nearby school/college/U to let them use that area to run some experiments which would be compatible with what you are trying to accomplish.... Might even help on the cost as well.

From: RIT
02-Jan-21

RIT's embedded Photo
RIT's embedded Photo
Not much better than T-post and 5’ remesh to keep critters out. I also use a weed mat covered with pea gravel to keep voles away. Window screen around the trunk also deters rabbits and other bark biters. It’s cost more upfront but I’d rather plant 10 trees correctly than 500 left to chance.

From: Rupe
02-Jan-21
Frigid Forge makes a plot screen blend that has, as many have advised to use, Egyptian Wheat. It’s an annual and will grow from 8 to 12 foot.

From: Catscratch
02-Jan-21
My take.... Switch will take several yrs to establish and reach mature height and thickness. Chemicals and spraying regimen required and it won't reach your 8' goal. It is a good low level screen that won't be a food source for deer though.

Annuals like EW and tall sorghums require yearly planting and nitrogen. They also do attract deer at certain times. Likely to break at some point in the winter.

Sawtooth oak are fast growers, easy to buy, and hold leafs all winter. They can be pruned into a hedge, but will eventually drop acorns and attract deer. They are also a preferred rub tree and REQUIRE protection. Protection for every tree in a screen is expensive!

Evergreens can be fast growing, only planted once, and many are not browsed by deer so cages aren't required.

If it were me I would plant a row of eastern red cedars this spring and start spraying a 10" strip (next to the cedars) for switch this summer. Switch would be planted the following spring in clean ground with no weed competition.

Have fun with it. Not much better than habitat work!

From: MQQSE
02-Jan-21
For one of my more delicate areas I had a dozer come in and create an 8 foot high berm. Instant road screen.

From: Dutch oven
02-Jan-21
Matt Bailey beat me to the suggestion that whatever you plant, please, please make it a native species. We have way too many exotic plants (and animals) that do no good for our ecosystems in North America.

From: Kydeer1
02-Jan-21
In the same dilemma as you trying to figure out a good option. Honestly I think, like mentioned, the best combo is a mix of Evergreens, switchgrass and an annual plot screen. The annual screen till the other is established and functional. The switchgrass as a potential long term solution and available if you lose a tree early or along the way. The trees for hopefully long term and being adequate. My issue is really deciding on which evergreen to go with mostly from an availability and cost perspective in my area. Obviously consideration to other negative factors as well. I'm leaning toward that leyland cypress though unless someone has a good reason to not.

From: MQQSE
03-Jan-21

MQQSE's embedded Photo
MQQSE's embedded Photo
Here is a screenshot of my dozed screen. These work great for areas that aren’t super long and they are permanent and immediate.

From: Catscratch
03-Jan-21
Leyland cypress shallow roots and proness to disease during drought keep it from being much of a consideration in my climate. Cedar is a safer choice here but I'm sure it's a better choice in other zones. Don't know other tree cost but cedar can be bought in 25 tree bundles (bareroot) for $30.

The dirt burm would be awesome... if I could afford it and actually had dirt under the surface instead of rock. I really like a burm!

From: WtFPSeeds
12-Jan-21
Ruger -

I had a similar situation that I had to deal with on my farm and like others have said cave-in-rock switchgrass was a great solution. The screens that work for me are 12'-15' thick and they end up being about 6-7 feet tall. I know you're looking for a screen that is 8' tall, but remember that deer are a lot shorter than we are and a 6' tall screen does a good job of hiding them. Usually year 2 after planting the switch will grow to full height, but that first year I wouldn't expect much of it and would consider planting a secondary screen inside of the switch in the egyptian wheat or other annual crop that grows tall. I'd be happy to give you some more input and the steps I've followed if you're interested, just let me know. Good luck with whatever approach you take, being frustrated with your neighbors is not fun so hopefully you get it addressed to your satisfaction.

From: darralld
12-Jan-21
Egyptian Wheat or Conceal will work during the hunting season. Mine gets 10 - 12' high. Plant the widest row you can.

From: Rugerno1
14-Jan-21
Everyone, thank you for all the input! I've been spending a lot of time walking the property getting a better understanding of how to approach this. There is actually a substantial tree line separating my property from the trouble neighbors with the exception of one area which is somewhere between 30 & 60 yards. This is the area where the problems occur, so I'm going to 'plug that hole' with some Norway spruce trees. They were recommended by an arborist friend of mine, grow fast and will be enough of a screen to cut down on available shots from their property to mine. As part of my bigger land management plan, I also plan to start planting switchgrass along that property line with a 4-5' perimeter trail between the switch and fenceline/trees for access. Hopefully this will limit visibility, create some good bedding and I can do some additional plantings to help keep the deer on my property during the day and they can go eat the trouble neighbors corn and beans at night. :)

WtFPSeeds - Thanks for the input and the offer. I will likely take you up on that soon. j

25-Jan-21
I am in New York and design hunting properties throughout the state. Hence my thoughts might be moreso related to the failures than successes.

Norway Spruce (although not native), are one of the best source of long term screen due to lack of transparency benefits (better than whites or blues, but its tree specific, genetic variation is certainly a factor)..the ability to survive in various soil types to include clay and sand and develop at a medium growth rate - Norway is a good choice. There are other options, and I would say White Spruce (soil and aspect dependent) tend to do better in dry and open terrain (mulch trees to help)... be sure to care for them (water during summer). Integration of other mid height plantings like willows, rangeland grasses or otherwise might be a consideration to create some depth to your screen. In field settings I normally use willows with a grass, that combination works well, but is seasonal. Sounds like you made a good decision. Long term you need to also think about disease as there is a canker that is present that impacts spruces, Ive seen it moreso on norways and blue, but it will attack whites and kill the tree, so its not just a plant and walk away situation. Sometimes think about planting a staggered row with norways and offset with thuja green giants (which generally speaking are way better for smaller mammals) (wait I suggested a hybrid non-native again- sorry).

Best of luck Jon

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