Keystone Krops

Discussion in 'Property Tours' started by Mennoniteman, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Rye and clover is our mainstay to feed deer during the winter season here in PA. Clover usually fades out around Christmas, but this year it appears like it's lasting a little bit longer.
    In one plot I disked down ladino Clover and notilled corn into an acre, the corn grew well but ultimately failed due to the deer eating all the silk, but in the mean time the clover recovered, and since the field has a heavy coverage of standing corn stalks, the corn fodder has protected the clover from frost, and the clover looks much better than the other plots, and is seeing heavy deer browsing pressure here in the winter. And I had planted the corn intending to provide winter deer food. Hmm, go figure this one out. Sometimes I think nature laughs at me behind my back. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
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  2. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Getting lick tubs out early after the hunting season is over is key, not much use at first, but when snow covers the ground the deer really start hitting the tubs.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. jlane35

    jlane35 Well-Known Member

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    Do you think lick tubs are superior to mineral blocks? Or are lick tubs just cheaper because they are for cattle and not marketed for deer?
     
  4. T-Max

    T-Max Well-Known Member

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    The lick tubs we use for cattle have a 24% protein content.
     
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  5. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Lick tubs are the opposite of a mineral block, high in molasses content and protein, and low in salt.
    A mineral block is a few licks every once in a while for a deer, while a lick tub is a destination every day on the way to the food plot, but both have a trace mineral component.
    So I'm thinking a lick tub is just another way to get deer to take in more mineral, and perhaps, different deer at a different time of year. To some extent, deer antler size reflects the local soil quality and mineral intake, so having adequate minerals available beyond soil improvements (which should be the first step) always seems like a good thing.
    In deer management I like to try to plug the biggest hole first, and in the one county that we grow plots the soil is very poor, so mineral supplements are a higher priority than they would be if we were in Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, or Saskatchewan.

    Deer need to be trained to like lick tubs just like any other new food source, throwing a handful of feed into the tub periodically is a big help in getting them started. Some lick tubs also have a medication component against parasites, which can be a concern with mineral licks.
     
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  6. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    We had an outfit come in and pay us for the privilege of making an oak savanna. Now the next question is, whether to burn or not to burn? This is a very large area, and was formerly mostly smaller to medium sized pines and oaks, with almost no understory, and very few invasives, grasses, or forbs growing here before the operation.
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2022
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  7. howboutthemdawgs

    howboutthemdawgs Member

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    Man that is gorgeous…what would be your downside to burning?
     
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  8. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    It's a frowned upon practice in Pennsylvania. I've already paid one $400 fine for a fire that seemed to go out without the burn being completed, then relit several days later in a high wind when I wasn't around. The fire was in the middle of 300 acres and not going anywhere, but someone saw smoke and reported it, and since I wasn't around, the fire company hiked in and put it out. People in PA are scared of fire, you can be making hotdogs in your backyard and someone might call the fire co.
     
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  9. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    The good news is that PA is a very wet area, and, with all of the sunlight that area will turn into a jungle of oak seedlings, briars, pines, and other forbs. An oak savanna is one of my dreams, but may be unrealistic, oak savanna's are mostly located in semi-arid areas, and id be committing the first sin of habitat management: trying to create non-native habitat that usually isn't found in this area and may not be well suited for the climate. However, I have seen oak savanna's in PA, including in this county, usually on a ridge at a certain elevation in very poor soil, and that's somewhat of what I have. Maybe I should consider mowing instead of burning to get the grass started?
     
  10. howboutthemdawgs

    howboutthemdawgs Member

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    I think timing of the fire would be more conducive and frankly practical to getting a savanna started if that is your goal. Dormant season fires typically result in grass regrowth and growing season forbs. If it is one of your dreams, you are very close to realizing it so I wouldn’t give up this close. If you can get a healthy break around that area, light that bad boy up when you get some fuel on the ground. Worse that happens is it doesn’t carry or you don’t get the response you hoped for and then you go to plan b.
     
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  11. jlane35

    jlane35 Well-Known Member

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    What are the benefits of an Oak Savana?
     
  12. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    The benefits of having an oak savanna are many, mostly for wildlife, an oak savanna is not necessarily great for getting top dollar out of your timber.
    The number one rule of thumb for habitat management is to let your deer tell you what type of habitat they like. Whenever I take a walk through this type of habitat in an area with a good deer population, guaranteed some deer will jump up and run off.
    Deer love and thrive in this type of habitat, because in tall native grasses they can bed down and still see around them, yet not be seen. As far as food, besides the acorns there's enough forbs present in an oak savanna to provide deer plenty to eat.
    But the place where an oak savanna really shines is for turkeys, this may just be the number one turkey habitat nationwide, because it provides ample roosting trees, plenty of food, and most of all, security for turkeys to thrive in. I did a hundred acre TSI logging project, with the end result being very similar to an oak savanna. The next year all of our turkeys left our normal turkey hunting grounds and hung out in that oak savanna. After we discovered that, we also quickly discovered that gobblers were much harder to call in there, because of their sight advantage.
     
  13. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    1-800-get-out-of-pain-now;
    The relief factor to quickly "get out of pain" and "get your life back" for over 70% of hunters is to get outdoors and do some work on your food plots.
    Note: you might need to watch this to understand :)
     
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  14. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I finished up my tree clearing project on Saturday

    Now today I just sold this almost new Extreme Duty 84" hydraulic grapple for $1950. I'm going to be doing my future cleanup work with a track skidloader.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
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  15. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    This is our newest addition to the family, a 9000 lb machine with 78hp, it replaces the grapple for my FIL that I just sold, which was handy for cleaning up trees and brush, but I can do that and so much more with a CTL, and we have some habitat projects that I want to get done.
    One of the biggest uses for this machine is logging road repair and food plot cleanup. I have some newer models of skidloaders that we use at our construction company, but it's cost prohibitive to use a newer loader for general habitat work where the machine is parked most of the year, a new machine drops so drastically in value every year, that even if it's not being used it expensive, whereas something like this 2006 model holds most its value year after year, even if it's parked.
    It's in good condition with 2000 hrs, about half wore out, and we paid about 1/4 of new price. My goal is to get a lot of my earmarked projects completed in the next several years, and then I should be able to sell it for close to what I paid for it.[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
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  16. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    That is a slam dunk upgrade in capability there fella! I've got my eyes on a grapple bucket this year for dirt week at my place. I've got some trail fixing to do, and i'd like to make a mountain of brush and logs up towards my camp. I've got some big garden projects coming up that are going to need some carbon.
     
  17. howboutthemdawgs

    howboutthemdawgs Member

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    Beautiful. I’ve got a 110hp cat sitting in the barn myself. I bought this grapple the other day. So impressed with it. You can really get some big projects done with that implement.
    https://www.constructionattachments...t-grapple?return=/catalog/grapple-attachments
     
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  18. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    That's a heck of a machine MM. I encourage you to become my neighbor so you can do work for me too....:D
     
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  19. George

    George Well-Known Member

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    I like your oak savanna and your new ride.

    G
     
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  20. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Congratulations on the CTL! You are correct on older machines holding their value and actually appreciating...my dozer is a 1998 pre tier IV and has the Cummins engine that I can find no faults with. I gave $25,000 for it and was offered $40,000 for it a few days ago. It appears our area has a shortage of this particular model that is very desirable locally. I did not sell...I have my toter 2.5 ton truck and now I have a single wheel dump truck as well...
     
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