I just went down to the farm this morning after not being there since mid May and I am completely disappointed. The farmer that plows and plants did not get anything planted this year. It was too wet. He plowed but didn't plant. There was not much sign on the property I have permission to hunt at all.
The property all around this farm has corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
I put up two trail cams back in the oaks but I'm not very optimistic. The white oaks do not look promising. I found tiny acorns starting using binoculars but they look pretty sparce.
Is there any no till seed that I might use that will start and grow to attract the deer?
Oats will germinate in days and by Oct they will be mature and the deer will be pouring in there.
You can plant brassicas like Rape and Turnips and that will provide great action for mid-November through end of the season.
If you want to plant a perennial, then add a 50-50 mix of ladino clover and Red clover in with your oats. They won't do much this year, but come next spring, the oats will be gone and the clover will take off. Clover is PH sensitive so if the soil is below 6.5 add lime.
The land was plowed and the seed will have to be broadcast by hand. Can it be done? Even just about 5 acres?
I gotta say based on the area you described there should be no shortage of deer regardless of if you have food in your hunting spots! I hunt mostly caledonia area but also down south of Avon..You must be in that general area? The crop farm i hunt on is in the same boat as well... some fields never got planted.
This season will be interesting. There are a couple scenarios that could play out this fall. You may be able to get an idea for what will happen in your area by talking to the farmers.
Scenario 1) fields in general out here are saturated, especially corn since we have had very few hot sunny days and the corn has continued to grow. With the shade from the corn, the ground hasn't dried out, and at this rate may not by harvest time. As a result corn may not be harvested until the ground freezes up...or it may be harvested on time if it miraculously starts raining in normal intervals for the rest of summer into fall, instead of every other day. The corn harvest timing will likely be against your favor staying up into the season if not ALL deer season providing ample food and cover on your neighbors.
Scenario 2) Corn that was planted late may not yield for crap, and the farms may decide chop it to sell off what was intended to be combine ready corn. If they can't get the grain yield they can at least get some tonnage out of it. If the corn is chopped it will be done so in september most likely. I'd take a look at the neighboring fields - if they look spotty and short then they may chop it. This would play in your favor.
Scenario 3) As far as beans are concerned they will likely be harvested later this year, I'm predicting 2-3 week of october for many fields. Beans seem to be all over the board... some are 12" tall and some are normal height for this time of year. The fields allowing harvest is another story in itself, again. The obviously can't shelter deer but again will be a staple food source once they dry down in the end of september into october. Depending on the planting time and growing cycle the beans may be off by the first week of october. This would be in your favor.
All of the crop fields that got planted are on higher ground...... corn, beans and alfalfa.
This farm I hunt is small but has ALWAYS provided corn, water, cover and acorns. But nothing was planted and the acorn crop doesn't look good at all. During my walk around last week there was a noticeable lack of deer sign.
I'm waiting for the land owner to return from a trip to get his permission to plant as Pat has suggested. It will be by hand broadcasting and using a rake.
I wouldn't doubt you'll have the deer come fall even with the lack of sign now. Crops will be harvested and deer will disperse. I think your plan is solid, and hopefully it allows you to position/ plant the food source to your advantage.
Speaking of alfalfa where I'm at they are cutting/ chopping as we speak.... so if the weather cooperates in another 28 days give or take another cut will come off. Again in another 28 which puts us to the week before october. Provided they get that last cut and depending on how it coincides with frosts could dictate whether or not the alfalfa fields provide much food for the deer going into season (over on your neighbors too). ...there may not be any regrowth to speak of.
For example I remember being in my stand last year in november and listening to the chopper all morning. They mowed the field in november and mowed it short since they were short on feed leaving about 4" of stubble.... there was next to nothing for the deer to eat. In a field where I would normally have deer flocking to all season and wintering over - it was empty. Even shed hunting this spring we'd normally find a bunch if sheds but found none.
Point is... a lot can happen with the crops that can shift the tables in your favor. I wouldn't lose hope just yet! After all Mendon is not a bad place to be come october :)
With that in mind I've purchased a small bag of Evolved Harvest Shot Plot and will put it in this week. There is one corner of the corn field that our deer have always favored where I put a ladder stand two years ago. It is the perfect spot for our typical southeast, southwest wind we see during bow season.
I'll keep you posted.
I do have a couple of decent bucks wandering around the oaks. One is a pretty decent buck and the other two need another year or two.
What do you think?
Patti Lefemine...... thanks for answering twice! ??
Thanks Wilbur. Nice to know you enjoy my little words. I wasn't sure I was going to record this year's hunt on here.