Newbie looking for plot advice on 80 acres

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Kurt, Nov 6, 2020.

  1. Kurt

    Kurt New Member

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    Location:
    Colorado with 80 acres in Kansas to hunt
    New guy on the forum. Just bought 80 acres of ground in Central Kansas. Has a river running through it with good cover along it. Soil report seems to indicate that I can grow some stuff on it, but will do a soil test soon as well. To the south of me is 160 acres of milo. To the north is 160 acres of wheat.

    I'd like 5-7 acres of alfalfa and maybe another 2-4 acres of typical food plot plants. I think I may also try to enhance bedding cover with plots of big bluestem and indian feather. After hunting eastern CO for many years it seems that having good bedding cover in these areas may be an important asset.

    Pic shows an overhead of the property. Open for any constructive criticism or suggestions for making it better. To the east of this plot is well grazed river bottom with little cover.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Kansas It's better to wear out than to rust out.
    Sounds like a great little spot and a great plan. Am I looking at it right, your section of river runs east and west? That makes for good use of our North AND South winds.

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  3. Kurt

    Kurt New Member

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    Yes, that is running east and west. The light tan field is the milo. The north side of the river is actually elevated 20-30 feet above the river.
     
  4. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, what river?

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  5. Kurt

    Kurt New Member

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    Location:
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    Smoky Hill. Hoping its a good area. Learning Kansas as I go. Did see a lot of deer while driving around there though.
     
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  6. BoneCrusher20

    BoneCrusher20 Active Member

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    Location:
    Central WI
    Hardiness Zone:
    4a
    What other ag is in the area? If lacks soybeans i'm going to try build that into my plot situation and on the contrary if you are surrounded by beans, i'm focusing on some big cool season plots (brassicas, turnips, rape, etc) that when the beans yellow come fall there is small period that deer come back to focus heavily on greens on before rutting starts and ignore the beans.

    Maybe you are better farmer then me, alfalfa deer love it, but i can never get good stand of it.

    Are their any natural low river crossing spots that deer use??? if you find some i'm putting effort into making a pinch point off of that crossing by really trying to make the cover along that crossing appear very safe and maybe lead that cover into a food plot.

    of course with everything need to consider access/exit
     
  7. Kurt

    Kurt New Member

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    Location:
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    Yes, saw some spots where they come down from the wheat field and cross into the river bottom. I'll explore those spots for either a feeder or maybe some better cover in there.

    Never planted either beans or alfalfa. I did plant cereal rye at my place in CO and then sowed native prairie grass into that the next spring. Worked really well. I could see going cereal rye in year 1 fall. Then deciding if going alfalfa, beans or whatever in year 2. The rye roots really helped with soil quality.

    It seems that the majority of crops around there are wheat and milo. I'll do a more thorough cataloging of what the neighbors have and then see if I can figure out the best crop to attract deer in will be. Along the southern border is a soil type that is supposed to work well for alfalfa.
     
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  8. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing you are west of what I call the rain line. West of there just doesn't get much rain. Milo and wheat handle dryland better than beans. I like the idea of something different than what the majority of the ag is. Might call the local COOP to ask their opinion on alfalfa. They might even plant it for a small fee.

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  9. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I can’t speak to what will do good in Kansas, but common sense tells me to give them something different than the predominant ag crops in the area. Providing good cover is always a win. Good luck on your plan !
     
  10. TheOldOak

    TheOldOak Active Member

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    Location:
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    Looks like a nice property. Deer need food, cover, and water. Sounds like you have 2 of 3 in abundance already, assuming that creek holds water year round. Plant crops that provide food source when the rest of the crops are harvested, ie. fall/winter. I have no idea if clover or brassica mix will grow out there, but could be a good choice. Hard to ever go wrong with clover around here. Cover seems to be the one thing lacking a bit, so I think you're correct to designate a good portion of acreage to tall grasses or something similar. Milo could be also be a decent choice as it obviously grows well there, deer are use to it, and depending on the variety, it could provide decent cover. Once the farmers harvest their fields, your property should be money.
     
  11. Kurt

    Kurt New Member

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    Location:
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    I may research doing a controlled burn in late April for the tall prairie grass sections. It hasn't been burned in a long time and if that would work to rejuvenate say a 5 acre test cover plot, I could do the balance the following year. Be a cheap way to accomplish better cover maybe.

    First plan is to kill all yuccas, can't stand those things, and then plow some ground after those die. Finding a few drought resistant alfalfas to try and after ground work is ready will plant that in 2022. 2021 I am going to plant some annual food plot stuff mainly to get the ground ph and texture ready for the alfalfa attempt.

    Thinking I may do a wind break of some sort in that northwest corner as I have killed several bedding bucks in those before. Just will take a little time to get one established.
     
  12. Kurt

    Kurt New Member

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    Location:
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    Researching throw and mow. Thinking I have pretty good grass clutter in most spots. Its attractive option as my current 21 hp Kubota with brush hog could be called into action without further expense. So may attempt a few food plots by spraying it down, throwing seed and mowing. Seems worthy of an effort regardless.

    Thinking I'll try to designate that northeast 5 acres to Black Hills Spruce, Red Cedar, plums and create a mini bedding area that will not be disturbed. Its not too large but hoping the deer would be comfortable bedding back there well away from any roads.

    Really enjoying reading this site and the constructive input everyone has. Once I get out there and get to work, look forward to posting a few pictures.
     

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