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Growing Deer Dr. Grant Woods
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Shiloh 18-Aug-23
dmandoes 18-Aug-23
Catscratch 18-Aug-23
Groundhunter 18-Aug-23
scentman 18-Aug-23
pav 18-Aug-23
Shiloh 18-Aug-23
drycreek 18-Aug-23
DanaC 18-Aug-23
Shiloh 18-Aug-23
Nyati 18-Aug-23
DanaC 18-Aug-23
Nyati 18-Aug-23
Catscratch 18-Aug-23
fuzzy 18-Aug-23
DanaC 18-Aug-23
Shiloh 18-Aug-23
Catscratch 18-Aug-23
drycreek 18-Aug-23
DanaC 19-Aug-23
Groundhunter 19-Aug-23
BullBuster 19-Aug-23
drycreek 19-Aug-23
Shiloh 19-Aug-23
Franzen 20-Aug-23
Nyati 20-Aug-23
Shiloh 20-Aug-23
From: Shiloh
18-Aug-23
Do any of you guys follow him? I have really enjoyed learning about the native species and how much tonnage and protein that they can provide for the deer. Things like common ragweed can have up to 30% protein!! Some of this has blown my mind a little bit and is really making me question the money and time that I spend to build plots and keep them up.

From: dmandoes
18-Aug-23
I can't see where deer eat ragweed on my place.

From: Catscratch
18-Aug-23
Give this a read. Gives you crude protein levels, palatability, seasons they are preferred, etc. If you get into this stuff some you can start to plant plots to fill nutritional gaps in the native stuff. Lots of great info out there and Woods is just giving you the tip of the iceberg.

https://www.noble.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/nf-wf-04-02.pdf

From: Groundhunter
18-Aug-23
I follow him and others. You can always learn something.

From: scentman
18-Aug-23
Just as before the scent industry hunters killed many a deer without commercialized deer products to help them... same as before the food plot industry deer were eating native plants and grasses and doing just fine. Food plots are ice cream stands to game... I have a wild apple orchard on my property, no need for plots anymore. Dr. Woods knows his field and yes I enjoy his contribution on this subject.

From: pav
18-Aug-23
"I can't see where deer eat ragweed on my place."

We see evidence of deer browsing ragweed alot on our Indiana farm. Still, I don't want ragweed invading my clover and alfalfa plots...so I pull as much as I can out by the root and mow the rest. Leaves plenty of ragweed for the deer to browse on the plot and farm field perimeters. Personally, I hate the invasive stuff!

From: Shiloh
18-Aug-23
I agree with most of this. I guess more specifically I have enjoyed learning more about WHEN to use certain manipulation strategies to grow some of the natural forbs that they talk about. I always have known that deer were browsers, but I did not know how much good stuff some of the browse holds. We have always burned a lot in the late winter, which is considered a dormant season burn, but some of the recent information goes into detail about what you can get out of a growing season burn. The Turkey Science Podcast that is on most podcast platforms as well as youtube has some interesting information on all of this as well regarding native habitat management and field management.

From: drycreek
18-Aug-23

drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
I follow Dr. Woods on YouTube. Although some of what he does I can’t afford, like a $15,000 drill, I can still learn things. I’m in the process of trying the regenerative technique on my food plots. I started this spring with a blend of seeds from Green Cover and I just had a drag type roller that I hardly ever used converted into a three point roller crimper. My intention is to broadcast this fall into the standing spring crop and roller crimp it. The only fly in that ointment that I can see is the hogs. Right now, I don’t see many on cameras, but when it starts raining again they will be here. If I get goid timing on the rain I can possibly get the seed down and the plot crimped before the hoards arrive. It’s so dry right now that most of them are in the creek bottom, but that ain’t very far from me.

From: DanaC
18-Aug-23
'Crude protein' doesn't equate to 'palatability'. Deer want tender, tasty stuff. (Just like people. I don't give a rat's patoot how much protein is in your effing soy burger...)

From: Shiloh
18-Aug-23
I like that crimper Drycreek!!!

DanaC……I think tasty might be different between deer and humans. I’ve tried white oak acorns several times and they just ain’t good!!

From: Nyati
18-Aug-23
It’s a wonder deer survived before food plot seed started selling:^)

From: DanaC
18-Aug-23
Shiloh, I've had 'ok' acorns a few times. Not saying deer are as fussy as us, but they will have preferences that change as things ripen.

From: Nyati
18-Aug-23
Dr. Grant Woods and Dr. Craig Harper are walking encyclopedias for native deer browse and early successional habitat as well as food plots.

From: Catscratch
18-Aug-23
Dana, was your crude protein and palatability post referencing my first post?

From: fuzzy
18-Aug-23
Dmandoes around here they nip new growth on ragweed before the seeds ripen, pretty much ignore mature plants.

From: DanaC
18-Aug-23
No, I missed that, good stuff.

It all points out that different crops etc. are 'best' at different times. Counting on just a few food items assumes that you can/will hunt those exactly when they are *the* preferred thing.

From: Shiloh
18-Aug-23
Seems the thought process is that in the natural seed bank there are many many seeds that will provide browse over a period of time. The popular conversation now is forbs in general are what deer prefer. Just seems like a great way to use our endless clearcut and pine plantations.

From: Catscratch
18-Aug-23
Thanks for clarifying Dana!

From: drycreek
18-Aug-23
Deer definitely survived before food plots, but I grow them because I enjoy it, because the deer obviously enjoy it, and I get a chance to stock my freezer. There are definitely periods when deer don’t use my plots much, but certain times of the year, they are hustling for something palatable. Like right now in my area we have been over 100 degrees for three weeks at least with the forecast to be that way until at least September. There is very little green except my plot and it’s slowly burning up. Our last rain was the first week of July, so I’m also feeding protein pellets. If it helps a few deer then I’ve done something for them. My place is mostly woods, lots of acorns some years, some years not so many, but they aren’t viable for another couple months. “My deer” need a little help in summer and winter so I try to grow something to help them out. If my only object were to kill deer, I could do that without the expense and labor of a food plot.

From: DanaC
19-Aug-23
"My place is mostly woods, lots of acorns some years..."

Try 'thinning' a patch of your woods to encourage undergrowth as well as giving the remaining trees 'crown' room.

From: Groundhunter
19-Aug-23
My land in the UP, has no food plots, just good forest mgt, and select cutting. This is big woods area. In SW Wis, in hill country, again we went with good forestry practices. We put in alot of trees, fruit and oak. Erosion control, native grasses, and Prarie restoration. Deer like it. Natural food everywhere in our valley, plus we have good water.

From: BullBuster
19-Aug-23
wish they ate thistle and Russian knapweed

From: drycreek
19-Aug-23
Dana, I had quite a bit of pine and junk timber cut a few years ago and it really thinned up my trees. It gave lots of browse for a few years, but lots of it has grown up and deer are no longer interested in it. The good news is, deer now bed on my place, where as they didn’t before. I really wish my food plot was twice as big as it is. I guess I could clear some more, but at my age I just don’t have the energy to do it myself or the desire to pay someone else.

From: Shiloh
19-Aug-23
No chance for fire in those trees Drycreek??

From: Franzen
20-Aug-23
Probably not any time soon in Texas...

From: Nyati
20-Aug-23

Nyati 's embedded Photo
Nyati 's embedded Photo
Cut some trees. It will provide quality browse for next 10-15 years

From: Shiloh
20-Aug-23
Yeah…..wasn’t talking about now in that fire although it would be a good one with the triple digit temps!!

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