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Food Plot Success! Corn, Beans, Brassicas & Buck Forage Oats

by Todd Graf 10. September 2009 14:57
Todd Graf

I have to give my friend Jim Carlson a ton of credit for my food plot success this fall. He has coached me the entire way and I can't believe how great all of my plots are looking. I have already been dreaming of sitting over these plots when the time is right. I am totally convinced that it is going to attract more deer to my properties then ever. Here are some photos of how the plots look. Jim, thanks again for the help and letting me borrow your Great Plains no-till drill. What a great piece of equipment!

Key Points to remember for foodplot success!

1. You hear it time and time again - test the soil!  Having the proper pH level in your soil is critical for maximizing your plots.

2. Control the weeds to get the best tonage.  Round-Up ready corn and beans are great for this.

3. Timing , Timing, Timing - watch the weather and try to plant before it rains.

4. Plant different sources of food for different times of the year.  This provides you with different options to hunt over at different times of the season.

5. Buy good quality seed.  Don't spend all of your time working on food plots and put in low quality seed.  If you're going to do it, do it right!

6. Get yourself a copy of Farming for Wildlife, this magazine will get you pointed in the right direction as well.


Here I am preparing the no-till drill for planting my buck forage oats. I decided to do this last minute so the field that I am converting over to native grasses next spring would have some sort of food source for the deer this fall.


My corn is looking great as well. Thanks to Dave R. for the tips!

 


Here you can see my Brassicas are really starting to come in good.  I planted them the last week of August and with the recent rain and cool weather to retain soil moisture they shot up out of the ground in no time.

 


Back at home I've changed up a few things with my bow/arrow setup and I'm shooting dead on.  My new NAP BloodRunners are flying perfect.

Wisconsin opener is this weekend and you can bet I will be hanging from a tree somewhere with Justin! I have about 3 more loads of laundry to do so it's time to go.

Good Luck to all my Wisconsin friends!

Deer Hunting - End of the year rituals

by Troy Kailbourne 5. February 2009 16:16
Troy Kailbourne


At the end of each hunting season here in New York State I make it a ritual to get out in the timber and have a look around. I am a low impact hunter, who tries not to stink up my hunting area. I am a direct route in, direct route out, kind of guy. I don’t go trouncing around looking for rubs or scrapes during the middle of the season. Instead, I go right at the end of the season and scout for the following year. If I find an area where there is promising sign, then I devise a strategy to get a stand or blind in early for the following season.



I found this set of rubs about 60 yards away from one of my pinch point stands. Too far out of range for a bow shot with dense cover and leaves during the bow season. I will have to reposition a stand for next fall.

I also stop by all of my cameras and take out the old batteries and replace with new ones. I will pull my flash cards and insert new ones for the next couple of weeks. At this time of year, snow can really be a hunter’s friend. You can easily pick out travel corridors and funnels; and areas from bedding to feeding. I like to reposition any cameras that may not be in a promising area to see what has survived the season and has made my hunting grounds home. The snow easily allows me to see the travel routes to my late season food plots.



As you can see from the picture the deer are pounding my Brassica plot inside my corn field. By March all of the stems will also be gone with only a few roots leftover.
 
I also like to check the woods to see if anyone else has been someplace they are not supposed to be, and find it often times necessary to fix my posted signs or replace with new ones. I have made these rituals part of my end of the year routine because I am a “better do it now type of person.” I may not have time come late summer, early fall and I want to make sure I get a jump on the following year by having a clear picture of what type of movement was occurring, and where the deer sign was plentiful.

It is also the time of year I start looking forward to spring and start to devise some landscaping plans. I start looking at websites and catalogs for tree and shrub bushes I can plant to build that “paradise” I want in the fall. Every year I take on the task of planting all types of trees and shrubs for wildlife and try to thicken up corridors and bedding grounds and increase soft mast in the woods by planting apples, pears, oaks, and persimmons.



Trees are a long term investment, but worth the wait. This is a two year old English Oak tree I planted. I have seen considerable growth in one year. It is caged to prevent browsing that would stunt its growth and development.

 I also try to create “honeyhole” habitats that I can lure a mature buck to as a staging area. I am a student of “Drury Outdoors” and have adopted their philosophy of finding the tree and building the plot around the right tree. Not only do I spice up the area with trees and shrubs but also cut down branches and trees to allow sunlight in and put fresh buds at mouth level for the deer. Being a conservationist to me goes right along with being a hunter. I am not only here to harvest some animals, but I feel it is our duty to provide the rest of the heard with proper nutrition and environment to live in. With a little sweat equity and some well dedicated time, next fall is already looking promising!



As you can see, I have put considerable time into building a nice orchard of apples, pears and oaks for a lifetime of hunting enjoyment for me and my family. It takes quite a bit of time and effort, but I consider it quality time with my irfamily that leads to QDMA.

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