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Thread: Thinking about food plots

  1. #1
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    Default Thinking about food plots

    I am thinking about some small food plots this year because of the terrible deer population last year on the property we hunt in Hume, Va. We are adjacent to the Marriott Ranch which has a great deal of open fields with plenty of food for the deer.......thus....I'll be competing with them. While I am experienced in all things DIRT, I know very little about prepping the ground, fertilizing, liming, seeding and maintaining. I would say that 90% of the area we hunt is medium to heavily wooded...IE: shade. I assume I would need to find or make some cleared area's to place these plots. Once done.....I am guessing a good spraying of Roundup to kill everything is called for. Question is when to start this process. March? Wait til summer? What to grow? A little advice would be appreciated.
    2013 Frog Only Tournament Winner
    2010 Tie for VA-Outdoors Angler of the Year
    2009 Caroline County Rotary Club Tournament Winner
    2007 Tuesday Night Classic Champions
    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."

  2. #2
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    massaponax
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    Sun always help. Buy the main factor is what do you want to plant? Not all plants need full sun. Some require alot more prep work to sow. Others not so much. Once you figure out your selection I can come up with a plan for you

    "They call Mike the tin man, not because he has an aluminum boat but because he has no heart..." ~ Squire

  3. #3
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    Do lots of research online. We plant some plots for spring/summer and others for fall/winter. The spring/summer plots we plant in March/April, after the last frost. The fall/winter plots we plant in late August/September. We cleared out 3 spots about a quarter to a half acre each with a dozer. You arle right about the roundup. After everything is dead we till it up and sow the seeds. Then we use a cultipacker.
    Kirk

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by g3mike View Post
    Sun always help. Buy the main factor is what do you want to plant? Not all plants need full sun. Some require alot more prep work to sow. Others not so much. Once you figure out your selection I can come up with a plan for you
    Thanks Mike. Looking for something that will maintain itself (so to speak) as I can only can get up there maybe once a month during the off season. I am thinking some sort of clover for this spring after the ground thaws good. Then maybe in early fall...turnips or a fall crop.
    2013 Frog Only Tournament Winner
    2010 Tie for VA-Outdoors Angler of the Year
    2009 Caroline County Rotary Club Tournament Winner
    2007 Tuesday Night Classic Champions
    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."

  5. #5
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    OK.....Obviously...spring has come and gone. Just started to prep a few areas this week and will do a couple more next week. Trying to get them in areas that have at least 4-5 hours of sun during the day. Going to try the "No-till" type of seeds. Turnips, radishes, clover, winter peas, etc. However, I need to try to get something that the friggin bears will leave alone. Think that rules out the turnips and radishes...Yes?
    2013 Frog Only Tournament Winner
    2010 Tie for VA-Outdoors Angler of the Year
    2009 Caroline County Rotary Club Tournament Winner
    2007 Tuesday Night Classic Champions
    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."

  6. #6
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    I'm putting in a plot at my place as we speak. Not a big one, just over 1/4 acre on a powerline that runs thru my property. I'm going to do half in clover and half in winter wheat and see how it does. From my online research, the clover should go in approx. 6 weeks before the first frost. I also sent in a soil sample thru Southern States to determine how much lime and fertilizer I had to add. It's plowed and disc'd now, going to sow this weekend. I'm thinking about millet next spring as I have turkey and grouse I'm trying to feed besides the deer.

  7. #7
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    So y'all won't be disappointed this hunting season, I am already compiling a new list of thought-provoking one liners on baiting. I must admit that Charlie's (Gsniper's) use of academia and industry to help him determine how best to bait for deer is a novel approach. I appreciate that kind of unabashed baiting. After all, if you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'.

    And the game begins . . .

  8. #8
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    Aug 2011
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    I'm an agricultural pioneer, expanding the available forage for the wild animals in my charge.

    Honestly though, I only shoot a couple of deer a year for the table, I'm not much of a hunter anymore. A couple of does are going to have to take it for the team, but the additional food source will more than make up for the couple that are going to the freezer.

    I'm trying to do a little something for the grouse too. I don't have many, not that anybody does anymore. They don't get shot at all.

    Call it baiting if you wish. I like to think of myself as the Mother Theresa of the outdoors.

  9. #9
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    Mechanicsville, VA
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    We have our plots sprayed right now and are going to do a controlled burn on them in another week or so. Helped last year making it easier to till as well as keeping the weeds out. We will plant the first week of September. Going to add a little lime this year also. We have had good success with oats and winter peas for bow and muzzleloader season and winter greens and tall tine tubers in the late season.
    Eric

    2004 Fishers of Men VA-East Division Champions


  10. #10
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    Berryville, VA
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    E, i assume a controlled burn gets rid of unwanted seed heads as well as weeds? Thistle has taken over here. Rather than spray and til, which would put those seeds in the soil, would a burn eliminate all? How do you do a controlled burn?
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