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Old 12-07-2017, 08:56 PM   #1
Bloodrunner
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Default Small parcels & food plots

Got 125 acres. Good deer (occasionally). Main forage is acorns (course). Heavy pressure.

Was wondering (sure this has been asked, don't wanna search) how the guys with small tracts of land figure the size and location of food plots. Also the seed you like to plant and why.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:36 PM   #2
Drycreek3189
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I laid mine out for convenience, but if I had it to do over, I would change some things. On 125 acres I would lean toward one big plot toward the center of the place and plant different crops. I would also not square it up but make it more narrow and long, and put some curves in it. That way the bucks are more likely to travel the whole thing to see whats around the corner. Beans and peas in the spring and oats, wheat, rye grain, Austrian winter peas, Daikon radish in the fall. White clovers on the edges for year round.

Then you can plant some mini-plots for bowhunting stands. A blend of white and red clovers would work well there if it's not too sandy. Clovers work better in soil that holds moisture.

First and foremost, get a soil test and amend your soils to get as close to a neutral ph as you can. Everything grows better with the right soil amendments.

This is not nearly all you need to know if you've never done food plots. It's just the basics and I've probably left something out, but someone will be along shortly to tell me how wrong I am
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:08 PM   #3
BolilloLoco
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I'm no pro, but here's my .02
Use good equipment
Test the soil
Fertilize
Overseed whenever possible
Talk to some locals and find out what grows well
Plan where you want to hunt for each wind and build Plot around that (if you're gonna hunt it)
We put one close to the house so we can irrigate if needed.
Get as far away from the bad neighbors as possible
Make it as big as you can afford or make multiple plots
Be consistent. Keep them going every year. Even if your not seeing any results at first.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:26 PM   #4
EastTx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
I laid mine out for convenience, but if I had it to do over, I would change some things. On 125 acres I would lean toward one big plot toward the center of the place and plant different crops. I would also not square it up but make it more narrow and long, and put some curves in it. That way the bucks are more likely to travel the whole thing to see whats around the corner. Beans and peas in the spring and oats, wheat, rye grain, Austrian winter peas, Daikon radish in the fall. White clovers on the edges for year round.

Then you can plant some mini-plots for bowhunting stands. A blend of white and red clovers would work well there if it's not too sandy. Clovers work better in soil that holds moisture.

First and foremost, get a soil test and amend your soils to get as close to a neutral ph as you can. Everything grows better with the right soil amendments.

This is not nearly all you need to know if you've never done food plots. It's just the basics and I've probably left something out, but someone will be along shortly to tell me how wrong I am
Really good advice!

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Old 12-08-2017, 08:03 AM   #5
Radar
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146 acres here, all low fence. Neighbors all own 70-100 acre tracts with one neighbor that kills everything. 70 acres of mine is cattle pasture, the other 76 acres is a thicket plus post oaks, hackberry and mesquite. I have the cattle pasture fenced off.

I have 4 food plots planted, one plot(5 acres) is centered in the 76 acres and is not rectangular in shape but is made up of "coves" that all meet in the middle. I guess you could say it is flower shaped.

I have two sanctuary(never hunted over) plots that are 1/2 acre each and one 1/2 acre(bow hunt only) in the creek bottom.

I plant a mix in the spring that includes Clay Iron peas, lablab and red ripper peas. Fall mix is usually radish, oats, wheat, turnips and clovers. This year I mixed in cereal rye(Elbon).

It is not uncommon to count 10-15 does in the 5 acre plot grazing, even with the dry spell ,the deer hammered the turnip and radish tops.

Dont expect immediate results when you first plant, you are introducing something "new" to your deer and it will take a month or two for them.

I enjoy the food plots and the work it takes almost as much as hunting as it is very rewarding work.

DryCreek, El Gato, and a few others on here are a wealth of information about plots. QDMA website helps as well. Make sure to get soil samples.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:18 AM   #6
Cardinal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
I laid mine out for convenience, but if I had it to do over, I would change some things. On 125 acres I would lean toward one big plot toward the center of the place and plant different crops. I would also not square it up but make it more narrow and long, and put some curves in it. That way the bucks are more likely to travel the whole thing to see whats around the corner. Beans and peas in the spring and oats, wheat, rye grain, Austrian winter peas, Daikon radish in the fall. White clovers on the edges for year round.

Then you can plant some mini-plots for bowhunting stands. A blend of white and red clovers would work well there if it's not too sandy. Clovers work better in soil that holds moisture.

First and foremost, get a soil test and amend your soils to get as close to a neutral ph as you can. Everything grows better with the right soil amendments.

This is not nearly all you need to know if you've never done food plots. It's just the basics and I've probably left something out, but someone will be along shortly to tell me how wrong I am
This is pretty much the route I took this year on my place (around 130 adjacent acres between me and my dad).

I have one large, central food plot with oats, wheat, rye, chicory and winter peas in it. 2-2.5 acres. Did the throw and shred method to plant this year and I'm pretty happy with how much came up with limited prep time.

Along the tree line I shredded extra low several times, which has left a pretty clear few strips for acorns to fall and be found. I try to "corn" this about once a week mid-day as well, it seems to be as popular of a feeding area as the plot itself.

Along with the big plot I have a couple of other small ones along openings on my creek. I've seen deer on every sit this season
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:20 AM   #7
MisterSanders
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You should always have 30% bedding areas to hold your deer, regardless. travel corridors to and from food plots. I can't remember the certain amount of browse vs food plot implemented on the property. If I find the info, i'll share.
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:47 PM   #8
Drycreek3189
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Radar, thanks for the kind words, but I'm afraid I'm outclassed by El Gato, both in knowledge and resources. I do try though !
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