Starting from Scratch.

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Deadeye, Sep 14, 2018 at 12:45 PM.

  1. Deadeye

    Deadeye New Member

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    Location:
    Central Florida with Hunting Lease in NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
    8-10
    Long Post, so bear with me.

    Raised in NW Pa and now living in Central Fl for 18 years, things hunting-wise have sure been a big change for me.

    For starters I was raised on a small farm that was part of a larger farm that was split amongst the kids when my Grandparents passed. So I had about 500-600 acres to roam and hunt. Add to that the neighbors that we had shared agreements with add another 400 or so. So about 1000 Acres.

    Here I have nothing but Public Land to hunt, which is great to have but can be a real nightmare to hunt.
    About 4 years ago my SIL asked me to take him Deer Hunting (he had never hunted before) back in Pa, where my Brother now owns the Farm. I did and he was hooked. Bought some land without consulting me and it ended up being more of an ATV and Off-Road Truck Playground. We tried to make it work but after doing everything right only to have someone decide to ride their machine through the woods at 1/2 hour after daylight just wasn't cutting it.

    I had enough. Add the fact that I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer I decided that I was not waiting another year like I had been for the last 5 to lease some land. Looked for and found 80 acres in the Florida Panhandle that was in the range I wanted to pay and my SIL went in with me and we leased it.

    This was to me the Beginning of Passing Down my Hunting Heritage. So we called the place New Heritage Hunt Club and took over ownership July 1st of this year. The land has a lot of potential and tons of deer sign that we seen while looking it over prior to signing. Cypress Swamp Bottom and another Mid Parcel cut. Planted Pines in young growth mixed in with older pines and a scattering of Oaks and Persimmons.

    Our first weekend I went to work cleaning out some old shooting lines that were growing over and looking for places to set up new ones. We ended up with 7-8 really good potential sites for Food Plots & Stands. Set Up where our Camp will be and put up the required Posted Signs.

    I Then contacted the two neighbors (One has land on 3 sides and one across the dirt road) via mail and introduced myself and asked if they hunted and if so what Management Plan did they have in place. The One Owner that is one the 3 sides called me and we spoke for about an hour or more. Great Guy. He owns 300 acres and his brother another 80 acres from what is left from their Grandfather's place. He informed me that neither of them hunt, or have for the last 10 years, and we discussed some ideas that may just end up with me having access to his 300 acres as well. The other owner never contacted me.

    Last trip up I started on the Food Plots by using a Ground Hog Max on my Polaris Sportsman 700 to disc in Lime Pellets. Inter Pine Runs is the only way I can put in Plots, no Fields. A major storm moved through the day I got there and made some areas to wet to disc correctly, but others worked up well. In any case the Lime got put down. Next trip I will be putting down the seed and fertilizer.

    I plan to use a mix of 2-products per site (one on each lane) to hopefully have both early and late season attraction.
    Sites will have either Whitetail Institute Clover and No Plow or Clover and Winter Greens, or Clover and Beets & Greens. The wetter sites will get the Clover and some light overseeding of whichever product the other lane is not getting (ie: clover overseeding with Winter Greens and the other lane be No-Plow) may be done as well.

    Some Pics of the Sportsman Loaded Up and ready to go to work. Some before & after pics. Some finished plots pics.
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    Before
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    After(this was to wet)
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    Before
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    After
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    Another site after
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    Another site after. This has a great Oak Tree as its hub.
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    Another site. Just light discing here due to being wet.
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    3-Days after our first weekend where I trimmed back the lanes, deer were showing up. I had sprinkled some corn.

    [​IMG]
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    And a few of these.
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    Our first Campsite. Probably will keep this one.
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    These guys already want to go.
    [​IMG]



    I will Update as work gets done and Cameras are checked. My Family's New Hunting Heritage begins now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 1:08 PM
    X-farmerdan likes this.
  2. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
    South Carolina USDA Zone 8/9
    Awesome post and pics. Just to be clear...do you lease it or own it?
     
  3. MK111

    MK111 Member

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    Looks like you have a great start. I wish you well with your health problem.
    Did you get soil test before starting? All those pine droppings maybe a problem.
     
  4. Deadeye

    Deadeye New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Central Florida with Hunting Lease in NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
    8-10
    I wish I owned it.

    I lease it. Have a written contract for 3 years. I am planning to get back there next weekend to get the seeding started, check the cams (been a month), and set up two ladder stands. 1 Blind is already set and I have 1 other to set as well. I will probably not get it all done this first year, but at least we have a plan in place. We will have at least 6 sites set to choose from and so that we do not over hunt any.
     
    X-farmerdan likes this.
  5. Deadeye

    Deadeye New Member

    Messages:
    29
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    7
    Location:
    Central Florida with Hunting Lease in NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
    8-10
    I did not. know that I should, but went with the recommended amount on bags. I have a very limited time to work on it due to the time travel and the fact that I'm taking treatments M-F until mid October. BUT get done with those just in time for that Zone's Archery to start. (Florida is a very diverse eco system. There are Zones A,B,C,D all with different season dates due to that.
     
  6. X-farmerdan

    X-farmerdan Active Member

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    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia, USDA Zone 7b
    Good luck down there! It's a whole new experience for me. I have a ton of questions, but will let it go.

    I am a prostate cancer survivor. It sounds like you are doing radiation? With a few exceptions prostate cancer is fairly east to control or cure. I'm rooting for you!
     
  7. Deadeye

    Deadeye New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Central Florida with Hunting Lease in NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
    8-10
    Thanks.
    Yes Hormone Shots/Chemo and Radiation M-F for 9 Weeks. Hormone Shots are the worst, the Sweats- especially at night- are terrible to deal with. Then once they are over comes the Freezing Chills as your body reacts.

    18 more Zaps to go.
     
    X-farmerdan likes this.
  8. lakngulf

    lakngulf Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Lake Martin, Al, (8a)
    Great start Deadeye. You do some work with that ATV.!
    Good luck
     
  9. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
    9
    I don't know exactly where you are at in NW Florida, but all your pictures look very familiar to the thick stuff in planted pines that we deal with. It's a different world than most deer hunters know....very challenging when you can't see more than 100yds.

    I'm in Gulf County (Wewahitchka) with a 1200 acre lease and Washington County (Bonifay) with 20 acres we bought. The properties are 1 hour apart but a world of difference in soil quality and "wetness".

    My experience with planted pines and sandy soil is that the pH comes in around 4. I hope yours is much better, but nothing will really grown in 4 or 5 pH soil...you literally need tons of lime.

    Your does look healthy given what looks like a very poor nutritive environment. Not sure if you have bears in your area, but if you do, keeping feeders up is a challenge....I won't hunt a ground blind in bear country.
     
  10. Deadeye

    Deadeye New Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Central Florida with Hunting Lease in NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
    8-10
    We are in Washington County, a little NW of Veron.

    So far haven't seen Bears or Bear sign. Kind of funny that in some areas the native grasses grow like crazy, then in others not much. I tried to pick areas that look "healthy" with a decent grass base to start with.

    This is kind of thick, but so much better than the areas around me in Central Florida. There it is truly a Jungle for the most part.
     
  11. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    Location:
    NW Florida
    Hardiness Zone:
    9
    You are a little SW of me. We got one bear on camera in April at the feeder and that surprised the locals when I told them. Haven't seen one since.

    I've got 3' tall Iron Clays I planted in July on land that was just cleared....no fertilizer. Amazed me.

    2018 Sep 15 (2) reduced.jpg
     
  12. Gator

    Gator Active Member

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    Location:
    Virginia
    Having hunted deer in Florida , North Carolina, Virginia, and Illinois, FL was by far the toughest (at least while I was there). Love the Gator plate!! Keep up the good work...
     

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