No-Till Clover Plot


Active Member
I had started this plot August first and decided I would document it on my cell phone. Haven't had time to post the project until now. This is my friends property and this spot is in the middle of a 60 acre clear cut that is about 6-7 years old. We rented a large bulldozer (surprisingly affordable) after the clearcut was done and carved this little 1/2 acre plot out of the clear cut. It is relatively steep and has a wet spot or two and is a pain to deal with on the tractor, so I decided to do a no-till, throw and mow style clover plot. This had grass and winter rye in it left over from the previous year. Only thing I didn't photograph was what it looked like before I sprayed. I sprayed August 1 with my 4 wheeler sprayer. First photos are August 14th after burndown from the roundup. The grass and rye were tall and just lay flat after spraying so I didn't bother trying to mow it. It looked like it was open enough to get the seed down to the soil.

I seeded 5 pounds Whitetail Institute clover, 5 pounds medium red clover and 25 pounds each of winter rye and oats. I like to seed a little heavy when doing no-till plots like these. I am not a big fan of commercial seeds but have had very good luck with the Whitetail Institute as far as very good germination and the berseem clover in it getting a jump start on any weeds. I decided to use it for this plot. This is the blue seed in the picture with whatever coating they use. Also spread 150 pounds of triple 15 fertilizer (spread after photos).


I use a moultrie 4 wheeler seed spreader and really like it for small seed. I use it to seed all my small seeds, even when using the tractor. Clover, brassicas or if I am doing a small plot for all sizes of seed. I am able to adjust it to accurately do small seed and it handles the bigger stuff fine also. I did oats and rye and then went over it again with the clover seed. Shooting house is 75 yards above the logging road above the plot.

Plot came up great, we had a good day of rain after getting the seed down. Next photos are Sept. 14 and show clover coming on strong and you can see oats and rye. Deer kept it clipped pretty close to the ground.


My son and I hunted it during NY's 3 day youth season on Columbus Day weekend (Oct 8,9,10). Deer were almost constantly in it. We are able to get in and out of this house without the deer knowing we are there. One of the evenings I think we had 18 deer in the plot at one point. Deer stop here on their way to larger destination plots farther down the property. Finally during the last half hour on the last evening, one of the bucks we were looking for came out. Beautiful 8 point. It was a super fun three days and shows you don't need a tractor to do a food plot.


I will try to update this in the spring to show how the clover is doing. Looking as good as it did this fall it should be a carpet of clover in the spring. Plan is to spray it the first week of May with Raptor to kill everything but the clover. We can get a small tractor on it with a brush hog during dry periods, anything more than that is sketchy. I am thinking we can probably mow 2-3 times a summer. Due to the problems getting on this plot with a tractor I think we will be doing mostly no-till plots here in the future. The location and deer usage make the extra work worth it.[/URL][/URL][/URL][/URL]
Great to see hard work pay off. Congratulations to your son. That had to be a thrill with all the thought you put into it.
Another testament to the throw and grow method. Is the deer in field pic from the shooting house? If so, you have got a slam dunk and beautiful view.
Great job and awesome buck for you guys. You are right, don't need expensive equipment to be productive. Congrats.
good looking plot and an even greater looking spot!

great job and congrats on the buck
Great to see hard work pay off. Congratulations to your son. That had to be a thrill with all the thought you put into it.
Another testament to the throw and grow method. Is the deer in field pic from the shooting house? If so, you have got a slam dunk and beautiful view.

Yes that picture was from the house on the second evening we hunted I believe. It is a fun sit and has quite a view. It has been a pretty productive spot also. Every deer moving up or down the creek has to cross here, similar to a power line. There is a 20 yard strip of woods on the bottom you can see from the house and then it drops straight off about 20 feet to the creek. Houses and roads are on the other side so they have to cross here. We created the spot for an older friend who always allowed us to hunt his farm in PA. We put a lot of thought into creating the spot. He couldn't get around and we wanted to give him a great place to sit as he would sit all day. He had always been great to us. He has since passed and my daunter has claimed the spot. She was to old for the youth season so we occupied it. :D
It has turned out to be hard to work with a tractor as I stated so this worked out well. Thanks for the comments, I just wanted to add some stuff I have done to this site. I probably did more research on the old QDMA forum when I started with food plots and habitat work than a person working on their Phd. I learned a ton by seeing what others had done and what was possible. Hoping this place continues to grow.
Sounds like you were a great friend to that gentleman. Kudos to you.
Sharing success and failure and everything in between is what the forum is rooted in. And really there are no failures. Thats just learnin...:D