preparing for next summer.....

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by David, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. David

    David Active Member

    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Abbeville County, SC
    What should i do?

    History: Last years plot was soybeans, cowpeas, buck wheat and a little sunflower with the following proportions---40/40/10/10.

    Watch what happens

    May 7th i planted
    20170507_174031.jpg


    May 12th we have lift off!
    20170512_070036.jpg 20170512_085031.jpg


    May 17th
    20170517_133849.jpg

    May 20th
    20170519_190323.jpg 20170520_103204.jpg

    June 7th: They are lightly....and i mean very lightly beginning to browse
    20170607_152028.jpg 20170617_140907.jpg

    June 17th: After a couple of inches of rain the week before the buck wheat is quickly going to seed as planned and they are now beginning to eat. The exclusion cages are 2-6 inches higher than the unprotected plants. Deer are eating in the field as i took the picture.
    20170622_201657.jpg

    june 22: More rain and more browsing...significant difference between the protected and unprotected plants is visible. however the beans are still going strong and trying very hard to keep up....the deer are not over grazing....yet.
    20170714_154421.jpg

    July 14th: This corner has the poorest soil...browse is very evident, but the field in its entirety is doing great. I was so happy at this point.
    20170714_173937.jpg

    July 26th: Uh Oh....look at the differance between inside and outside the cage! they are definitly over grazing now!
    20170726_104314.jpg 20170726_104355.jpg

    August 20th: Nothing left! This has not been sprayed with anything...this was all from whitetail!
    20170820_113114.jpg 20170820_113107.jpg 20170820_113115.jpg

    This was my first summer plot, i was very proud of it. I soil tested, Fertilized as recommended, practiced decent weed control etc. I did broadcast the seed, i dont have a drill or planter, however i was still very happy with all of the things that were under my control.

    Now it seems to me there are 2 types of damage that deer can cause to beans/peas.

    1) they can eat them when very young and kill the plant before it has a chance to survive. (this didn't happen to me but it probably will next year with out a fence)
    2) they can over graze them once they are mature, and quickly eat an entire plot. For this to occur, there are 2 issues. a) the plot was too small (mine was 3 acres). b) they acquired a desire for the beans/peas during the year because they had never tasted them before. thus they ignored them when they were young.

    This plot was intended to do two things.
    1) provide nutrition to developing bucks and nursing does through the early and mid summer.
    2) stay green until the first frost, providing nutrition during the late summer and early fall and go to seed to provide nutrition past the frost into the winter in the form of actual beans.

    I accomplished the first goal, but not the second goal.


    So my struggle now is "why would i try the same thing again?" an exclusion fence wont help now...sure it will allow the beans to establish, but the evidence shows i dont have enough acreage to stand up the the grazing once i let them in.

    So i guess this is the question: What other options do i have? more acreage? or different summer blend?

    My new plan as of now is a blend of American Jointvetch/alyceclover/sorghum. sure it wont provide beans through the winter, but hopefully it will stay alive till the first frost.

    my second thought is to expand the plot, but the time money and effort required to add 3 extra acres might not be there.

    edit: we harvested 6 does from the 80 acres that this plot sits on.

    thanks
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  2. Smallplot

    Smallplot Active Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    97
    Location:
    Pike County IL
    There is no magic bullet when planting food plots. You are asking for several things over an extended period of time from your food plot and you found the reason why this just does not work.

    We had a past member on another nameless forum who shared so much info before he passed away but it was geared specifically at people in your situation. He was know as LC or Lick Creek. Now for his suggestion:

    10% planted in perennial clover.

    45% planted in a fall cereal grain mix of winter rye, oats, winter pea, med red clover and turnip.

    45% planted in a fall brassica mix of turnip, dwarf Essex rape, and radish.

    Rotate the areas planted to cereal and brassica each year.

    You will not only have year round food but the deer will get used to eating in this area over generations. Clover will give good spring and summer forage and between the brassica and winter rye you will have food into the winter as well.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Kabic

    Kabic Active Member

    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    Western Wisconsin
    Some people have had luck spreading milorganite to deter deer. It has some fertilizer value (5-4-0), but the smell keeps the deer away. How long it may do that is variable. I have heard rain may reduce the effectiveness. Deer may just get use to it as well.

    It may help to establish but probably wont help with them wiping out the plot later.

    The Lickcreek mix\rotation above is effective and probably less expense than other options, but frankly I get bored with it. I do plant it, but I also like to try other things some years. My plots are not big enough to really make a difference in the long run. (3 acres isn't really either). If I were to be plotting 20 acres like some here do then I would probably would be concerned with cost and taking a conservative approach with my plots.
     
  4. Baker

    Baker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    460
    If you go with joint vetch/alyce clover I would leave the sorghum out. The vetch / alyce combo is great and can handle fairly heavy pressure. Sorghum will add unnecessary competition. Also could be available to hunt over come fall. In the long run unless you reduce deer numbers , on 3 acres my suspicion is you will need to convert the plot to a clover field.
     
  5. JFK52

    JFK52 Member

    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    South Central WI
    Consider putting in some RR Eagle forage soy beans. They will last until the first frost. I put them in on my land to take the pressure off my ag beans. The deer love them. After the frost, I have the bean pods on the ag beans as an over winter food source. This was my first year with Eagles and I am already planning on putting in an extra bag of them distributed over my smaller food plots.
    I also harvested 10 does to keep the population numbers in balance for the carrying capacity of my land.
     
  6. David

    David Active Member

    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Abbeville County, SC
    Will a forage soy bean produce a pod?
     
  7. Tap

    Tap Active Member

    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    S.W. Pa zone 6b
    My summer plots sort of compare to yours in that they get hammered to almost nothing by late summer. One difference is that I do use an E fence until the sunflowers have matured, but it doesn't take very many weeks after the fence is removed for the deer to eliminate most of the forage and leave little going into fall. So I've started to broadcast various brassicas into the plot as deer thin it out. The deer-hoof activity helps the brassica seed-to-soil contact and soil moisture is usually decent because of all the OM that the summer crops held. As the sunflower canopy is removed by deer the brassica germinates and develops into a fair plot.
    It works okay here up north but it would work better if the growing season was a little longer. Just a few more weeks would allow the brassica to make some more tonnage.
    I think that for you in S.C. this rotation may work well.
     
  8. David

    David Active Member

    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Abbeville County, SC
    Tap,

    Very interesting idea. Thanks!

    I have nearly 20 acres I could put into beans to take the pressure off, but I really don't think I could do it myself without a drill. Even then I don't think I could justify the costs right now.

    Go big or go home....well I'm not going big, and I don't want to go home!
     
  9. weekender21

    weekender21 Active Member

    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Hawaii/North Carolina
    Hardiness Zone:
    6b
    I think you’re off to a great start shooting that many does on your place this year. It’s pretty impressive how much they can eat in a short amount of time.

    What’s the deer density in your part of SC? I know numbers are down from what they were 15 years ago but they’re obviously still pretty high.

    Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  10. David

    David Active Member

    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Abbeville County, SC
    Deer numbers are still strong at my place.

    I am new to deer managment, so I can't give you a scientific number. I killed one doe last year, but had so many twins survive this summer I felt it my duty to pull a few does out. 4 mature and 2 yearlings.



    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  11. weekender21

    weekender21 Active Member

    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Hawaii/North Carolina
    Hardiness Zone:
    6b
    I've heard stories of easily visible browse lines in the woods of upstate SC in the early 2000's. Maybe the good numbers now are better than the zombie deer apocalypse number from a few years ago. I certainly wasn't paying attention to wildlife habitat in the upstate at that time either.
     
  12. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes Received:
    1,048
    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    What I would have done was throw and mow of cereal grains (oats and or wheat) and brassica in that plot once the deer hammered it. You can still provide food into fall and winter....even if the summer crop is hammered or even dies.

    As for your summer planting.....consider a forage type soybean they will handle the browsing pressure better. They may not provide pods but they may do better than ag beans. You can consider adding acreage or a fence or shooting even more deer. Don't look at your plot to determine if you need to shoot more deer....look at your overall habitat condition for that. Also consider that by taking deer your results may or may not be the same come next year. It will take time for a damaged habitat to recover.....
     
  13. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Georgia
    Whew, I want to get through winter planting season first.
     
  14. David

    David Active Member

    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Abbeville County, SC
    Winter planting season? Please elaborate. I understand frost seeding and most trees should go into the ground in the winter.

    What are you planting and did you intend to plant it in winter, or are you playing catch up?
     
  15. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Georgia
    Tree planting. Recovering from a heart attack don’t make it easy either.
     
  16. David

    David Active Member

    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Abbeville County, SC
    Good luck and God bless
     
  17. Baker

    Baker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    460
    Yikes, Prayers for your health! Hopefully recovery will be full and complete and you are more physically capable than before.
     
  18. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    Georgia
    Can't be any worse that's for sure.
     
  19. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    708
    Location:
    Northeast GA Zone 8a
    David...I'm with Baker. I don't do summer plots at all any more since I discovered white clover a few years back. When I did summer plot, I got wiped out on the beans and fought grasses/weds. Within the past 2 years, I've expanded my largest plot to 6 acres. In total, planting approximately 15 acres now. After 7 seasons, I've come to realize how expensive food plotting can be if doing summer and fall plots. Tractors, implements, lime, fert, herbicide, fuel and so on. Plus, I have no ag competition anywhere near my place. What I've discovered with perennial clover is that it is a year round food source and this far south, will have deer in it every day and lasts for several years.

    One of my favorite clovers has been Regalgraze ladino. It's drought resistant and deer love it. I planted a mix of ladino and durana this past fall. On 3 acres, consider planting it in perennial clover with winter wheat or oats as a nurse crop next fall. Clover needs a relatively clean, firm seed bed to get a really good stand. At least that's been my experience. The wheat and oats will provide immediate attraction for the deer and by late November, your clover will be established and ready to take off come next spring. Here's a 1/3 acre plot I sprayed, mowed and disced before planting in early October. I planted ladino and durana with wheat as a nurse crop.

    Looks like a wheat plot in first pic but at ground level in 2nd pic, you can see the clover already well established. I took this pic maybe a month ago. Clover is even more prominent now.
    IMG_4764 (1).jpg

    IMG_4765.jpg

    I've got a 3 acre field in front of our cabin that I expanded while logging. Also daylighted the interior road by removing 2 rows of pines from each side. I planted the interior road leading up toward the cabin plot in clover and wheat, and the south portion of the cabin plot in clover and wheat. The balance of the plot was planted in wheat. Here's a pic looking back up from the interior road toward the cabin. The green strips on either side are full of clover with wheat as a nurse crop.
    IMG_4756 (1).jpg

    Here's a pic from the cabin field looking back toward the interior road. Again, this clover was planted early October and is already well established.
    IMG_4456.jpg

    This pic was taken back in November from our Redneck blind on our 6 acre plot. The blind is halfway down the plot and this pic is looking at the southern end. The entire perimeter is planted in white clover and the interior in brassicas and grains. Next summer, I'll have deer feeding every day on these clover plots. Clover is your friend!
    Bean field.jpg

    With all of this said, if you have the acreage to plant, check out Whiskeybent's corn bean thread. Ain't nothing competing with that. He's got the planting acreage to accomplish this and still fenced his beans during the 1st couple months of growing. I don't have the plantable acreage he does so clover is my go to food source for year round use.
     
    Baker likes this.
  20. David

    David Active Member

    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Abbeville County, SC
    Triple C

    Thanks!

    Saving this to read again.

    I have been meaning to ask you a few questions that you just answered!

    Could you elaborate a little more on your plot %'s in relation to the LC mix. Have you tweaked the mixes or %'s of acerage dedicated to crops from his original numbers to fit southern climate and growing seasons?

    Wondering about what you and other southern plotters have done.





    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     

Share This Page

(moderators are listed in blue)