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Hey all, I'm new here and have a lot of questions. A little background first. I got a nice chunk of land recently. 100 acres of CRP and 60 acres of woods. There is a lot of ag land (soybeans) near by. My land is between the bedding area and food. I only have shooting lanes now but I could put in about a 1 acre plot. I would like to have something there to hold the deer or at least slow them down to browse. No tractor access but I can get a atv in there. I was thinking of buying a atv pull behind mower and a plotmaster. I have a natural opening that I would like top break up and seed. What are your opinions on equipment, practices, and seed? Oh this is in northern Minnesota. Thanks in advance
Welcome Walleyeking 48. You might want to post on the Introduce thread forum if you haven't already.
For a one acre plot to be used as you describe, White clover, chicory, winter rye grain and oats would be a nice planting for your plan. A white clover/chicory planting fifty wide along the south tree line (fifty feet is based on a relatively square acre;basically I'm going for about 1/4 of the acre). The clover/chicory/rye section will get the deer in the habit of swinging by(90% clover/10% chicory to start with). Plant the clover and chicory mix in mid August and plant rye with it at a 75 lb per acre rate as a nurse crop. For the remainder of the acre mix 50 lbs of rye and 50 lbs of oats planted in late August/very early September. Fertilize at 200 lbs. 19-19-19 the first year or preferably have a soil test done and lime and fertilize as recommended on soil test(Moultrie is a well known brand for ATV spreaders and it can double as a fertilizer spreader and seed spreader).

For planting equipment once the field is cleared and with rocks removed, all that is needed is to loosen the soil surface, spread seeds with an ATV spreader or a hand spreader (Earthway is a well know brand) and drag a fence over or drag harrow(Tractor Supply sells drag harrows for around $200 ATV size). The drag harrow would help you to loosen the soil also.

I have no experience with the Plotmaster so can't help you there and this is what would work on my property here in New York; your location could be slightly different although we are in similar weather zones. And keep in mind that the deer are learning of the plot in the first year so they may not flood to it as you'd like at first.
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Chain gave you good advice. Read Lickcreek threads on here and on his website for a good understanding of plantings and mixtures. And reading up on Crimsons thread of throw and mow technique may save you some money on buying equipment especially when doing limited acreage. Good luck.
The plotmaster stuff works for us the few times we have used it. Only issue though is it normally only works really well for about a week, or a good rain. Multiple applications would be required I’m sure.
Do you think it would be beneficial to brush hog it, hit it with round up in June, then do the same thing in late July before planting? Obviously with this method it wouldn't be black, but I could drag the seed... Any imput?
Do you think it would be beneficial to brush hog it, hit it with round up in June, then do the same thing in late July before planting? Obviously with this method it wouldn't be black, but I could drag the seed... Any imput?
Get soil test, correct ph and amendments if necessary , and you can probably get decent results as long as you are not looking to get a magazine cover look of your plot. Sure nothing wrong with that. If I were to do this, I'd throw down RC and a grain like WR and if you want maybe some brassica in the mix. Deer love all of that and it works thru hunting season. If you don't get soil test, I'd do 400# 19-19-19 and same amount of lime for an acre. But let me tell you, if you have great browse, that is better than any food plot you can make on a small scale. Cover and food. Protection and nutrient. Natures been doing it for ages. Again, good luck.
I will re-enforce the fact that for just an acre I would look into other methods for planting and NOT spending the money on a least not at this time. Also consider what may be in the and tree roots can do some serious damage to tillage equipment and turning the soil in the woods tends to be a bad idea as the lower soil tends to lack any real nutrients and you can bury the good, but thin top soil very easily. I also agree with a perennial portion of clovers and chicory maybe and then another portion of fall annuals like brassica and cereal grains. These are all fairly easy to grow with just some soil disturbance and some timing to allow the rain to drive the seed into the ground.

A soil test is also a good idea to get you started in the right direction. As much as you may want to jump right in.....take the time and do it right. I made that mistake a long time ago. Also consider your plot location......just because you CAN put a plot in that spot doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Plot locations - especially if you plan on hunting over it - you will need to consider stand locations and access to those stands FIRST! Having a great plot that you can't hunt without educating deer becomes very frustrating pretty quickly. I have made that mistake as well.

Lots of good resources here......something that may interest you is the "throw and mow" method that some folks use.....
For one small plot that will be used to briefly stop or hold up moving deer in an area without good access here is what I would suggest. A pull behind mower has other uses for property management so it might be on the purchase list. I don’t like implements used for multitasking as they usually don’t perform like they should or they are way to heavy for effective use. Having said that mow the area beginning in spring and keep it under control. Take samples early and add any necessary lime. About early to mid August mow to about 6 inches. End of August broadcast your choice of white clover, such as ladino, and winter rye (cereal rye). Then immediately mow one more time down to 6 inches which will help any stuck seed fall to ground from canopy then spray with a dose of roundup right after mowing.

Should end up with a good looking clover patch the following year and you can either keep the rye mowed off or spray with a grass specific herbicide just as the rye begins putting on the elongated stem.

Clover can be maintained for several years just by mowing, spraying with a grass specific herbicide, or combination of each.

Just my 2 cents.

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You have a piece of property that is between bedding and ag fields? You seem to realize what a good situation that is, which is great. :)

Over the next few years you will work out a way to plant a food plot and probably get some mast-producing trees planted, like apples, crab-apples, pears and maybe some oaks. You'll gradually learn your property and how deer utilize it. At some point you'll hear about "hinge-cutting" and use that to create the single most beneficial habitat improvement Up North guys can make; high stem count browsing areas.

However, the most important thing you'll learn is how to get in AND out of hunting stand sites without alarming deer. That will be the key to your hunting success, above anything else you do. Why is that, you ask? Well, your property is already a very good one...your biggest challenge is to not screw it up with too many "improvements", while also learning to hunt it effectively. Since you care enough to ask questions, I suspect you will soon have a hunting property that allows you and your family to harvest at least a few deer each year.

Enjoy the process!