Why Register?Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.
Welcome to Field & Stream!
Question by stephenah85. Uploaded on May 13, 2010
Where is your acreage? Is there abundant water, stream or creek? What is the annual rain fall in inches? Flat land with run off to and from habitat? What's the soil PH and how much does it vary? OK then, let's say your plan is to harvest whitetail or you are a wildlife enthusiast. Being that your land is in a perfect world for this endeavour, as outlined above, here we go with what I know.
May is a good time to get your food plot started, April is better. You want bucks with bigger racks and 20% more body mass, then turn the earth, use a seed mix that will attract whites in all seasons and hold your wildlife over for years to come. Plant next to established trails or till small pasture plots with:
*Alfalfa and timothy
*Clovers such as yellow blossom, sweet, ladino, alsike and medium red, all of which are five year perennials
*Brassicas, such as turnips, canola and chicory
Seed at 15 lbs per acre, May through August. Don't forget to seed your mix in October for frost. The bonus with the right seed mix will establish and hold healthy whites but game birds (turkeys) as well with the addition of grasses and legumes to your clovers at a ratio of 30-40-30. Germination rate, 2 to 3 weeks with regular maintenance and patience.
Save some acreage for a fall plot. Best to have a fall and spring food plot. I'll plant my fall plots mid to late august any sooner and the seeds would cook.
Winter wheat seems to grow in rocky dry soil, but if you have better soil and plenty of fertilizer you can grow something more nutritional like powerplant beans, or turnip greens.
Keeping it simple---iron and clay peas are great hot weather forage and easy to grow, and a mix of oats, wheat and clover is great for fall. Where you are makes a big difference in what you plant. Get a soil test.
Country road you beat me to the punch, get a soil test first, by a county agent, or a do it your salf test.
Clover and oats generally generally atract deer.
Since deer are a generalist, they'll eat all of the stuff mentioned above. Everyone has their favorites, and there's no right or wrong answer. I dabble a little bit in wildlife management consulting, and based on the stuff I read and the advice I get from folks in the business, this would be my advice to you:
First, get a soil test. They're worth the $15 or whatever it costs. Whitetail Institute has them available for $12.45 (http://www.whitetailinstitute.com/info/soil/).
A clover mix with chicory makes a good first food plot. Since it's a perennial mix, it should last 3-4 years. Several of the suggestions above are annual crops, meaning they would need to be planted again next year. Perennial crops give you time to assess their success, think about what you want to do for your next plot, and save money for seed and equipment for your next plot. Also, the clover mix with chicory will attract deer throughout the year, right up until it's covered with snow. Good luck!
Do not over look planting trees that will also attract the deer. Persimmon and blueberry come to mind as being good.
I have always had great luck with iron clay peas in the spring/summer planting and for the fall/winter planting I go with peanuts and clover mix. I also have wild persimmons planted. So the combination of them all has been pretty successful. good luck and good hunting.
Fieldandstream.com is part of the Field & Stream Network, a division of Bonnier Corporation.
Copyright © 2012 Bonnier Corp. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.