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Old 02-16-2010, 06:24 PM   #1
smokey
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Default Texas Deer and Land Management

If you are interested or have experience in topics related to deer and land management in Texas such as, food plots, supplemental feed, bedding plots, natural forage, food plot equipment, planting times, planting forage, deer aging, etc...
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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I looking for some information on food plots and natural forage that deer love to eat. I hunt in the cross timbers region of Texas, does anyone have some information on that region or other regions in Texas?
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:10 PM   #3
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Smokey, where's what I did around the area you hunt. Wheat, oat's, winter pea's and turnip's. The deer really hit the wheat and oat's! I saw more deer 2 years ago when I did this food plot than I have ever seen. Here's the food plot


So has anyone planted anything different and had deer like it as much as winter wheat and oat's? This year I'm gonna add some BioLogic into the mix.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:12 PM   #4
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im in southern eastland county and the deer loved our wheat/oat plot! we have an 8 pt or better outside the ear program i started as well as shooting 2 year old spikes and our deer herd has improved alot in 4 years, our place is only 63 acres but it can be done!
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:20 PM   #5
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I tried a spring food plot last year with mung beans and milo. Did real good until the rain stopped. Deer were in the plots until everything dried up. Planted wheat in the fall. Rain is such a limiting factor that I will probably stick with wheat only this year because of the cost. I hunt in Eastland county north of Cross Plains.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:28 PM   #6
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I tried a spring food plot last year with mung beans and milo. Did real good until the rain stopped. Deer were in the plots until everything dried up. Planted wheat in the fall. Rain is such a limiting factor that I will probably stick with wheat only this year because of the cost. I hunt in Eastland county north of Cross Plains.
hey neighbor
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:28 PM   #7
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How big a food plot you allowed to make? Do you have tractor, discs,harrow etc?
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:39 PM   #8
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Hey neighbor. Looks like there is good moisture out there now. I am going out this weekend to do a little pig hunting.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:40 PM   #9
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The plot can be as big as 7 acres. Tractor, brush hog, no disc yet, I need one! Looking to disc and rake, then seed a spring and a fall plot. Also looking to make a bedding area plot with some switchgrass and klein grass mix, has anybody made a bedding area? Has anybody used the Tecomote seed or Biologic seed?
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:44 PM   #10
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There is alot of good seed blends out there that will work in our area. The only problem(biggest problem) is rain. No matter what you plant, water will always be a limiting factor unless you can irrigate it. Ive never tried a planting a bedding area.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:45 PM   #11
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What ever happened to the pig poisoning scare in Eastland County? Does anyone know?
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:48 PM   #12
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I talked to TDA several times and they kinda got quiet about it. Not sure what happened. It was pretty close to me.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:53 PM   #13
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What about black eyed peas or other peas from the grocery store? I heard they are grow good and cheaper than the seed from the feed and seed store.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:55 PM   #14
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They should work. But when I have planted peas and soybeans, the deer ate them as soon as the seed got out of the ground. Which is not bad, but they dont produce seeds either and they clean a food plot pretty quick.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by huntman933 View Post
Smokey, where's what I did around the area you hunt. Wheat, oat's, winter pea's and turnip's. The deer really hit the wheat and oat's! I saw more deer 2 years ago when I did this food plot than I have ever seen. Here's the food plot


So has anyone planted anything different and had deer like it as much as winter wheat and oat's? This year I'm gonna add some BioLogic into the mix.
Did the winter peas and turnips grow? Or did the deer not like it as much as the wheat/oat?
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:06 PM   #16
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They were like SFC Warren on his peas and soy bean. Deer ate um so fast never got a good chance to come up and they were gone! Planted um around my feeder area because the seed is expensive! So I didn't do a big area for them.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:23 PM   #17
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We've been experimenting with different food plots last couple of years, this year we planted about 1/2 acre of alfalfa and it was pretty amazing deer would walk through 2 other plots and by a corn feeder to eat the alfalfa within sight of the house. We were able to water this particular plot which not everyone can do and there is also some maintenance issues that we'll know more about after this summer.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:35 PM   #18
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Check with Turner Seed in Breckenridge, they have alot of different mixes (fall, spring) that are supposed to be suited for this area.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:42 PM   #19
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This is a great post!
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:07 AM   #20
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Im gonna look into alflafa, just like PFC Warren said rain is a big part of the picture. I read we may have same weather as last year, hopefully no droughts!
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:10 AM   #21
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I have bought alot of seed from Turner Seed. They have some good blends. Thats where I got the Mung beans from.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:20 AM   #22
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I got a couple of questions.

1. With such a wet year (for us anyway) what is best to plant for spring plots?

2. Besides doe harvest, food plots, and controled burn, what other types of land managament is there that is feasable($) and something TPWD will accept in their LMP.

Thanks

Last edited by Death from Above; 02-17-2010 at 08:21 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:40 AM   #23
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Other management practices include brush control, proper stocking of livestock and rotational grazing, fallow discing (discing strips to allow forbs to grow), and re-seeding native grass/forb mixes, if needed. In my experience, if you have enough rain to make spring plots do well into the summer months, you don't need the spring plot, because there is enough native vegetation for the deer. Those native forbs are very high in protein content through late May/early June. But, lab lab is a good choice to plant for the spring in the Cross Timbers. It's pretty drought resistant, and deer like it.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:01 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokey View Post
I looking for some information on food plots and natural forage that deer love to eat. I hunt in the cross timbers region of Texas, does anyone have some information on that region or other regions in Texas?
Below is a link to a whitetailed deer native browse use study in East Texas. I found it quite intriguing. A lot of the species of browse, especially the smilax, will be found in the Cross Timbers as well.

I love wildlife and land management and if you are getting into it I highly reccomend "Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold.

In most ecoregions of Texas prescribed fire is an excellent way to improve native browse. If you are interested in having one and are within a couple of hours of where I live I wouldn't mind helping out.


Forgot the link, here it is: http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/ja/u...a_halls003.pdf
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:13 AM   #25
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I have been working on one for two years know. For a fall plot I wouldn't do anything but some wheat and oats, thats all you really need to attract deer. I'll post pics after the weekend of mine. As far as a spring plot goes it really depends on what you are looking for, I planted a spring mix from pennington last spring and it came up, but because it was the first time to plant that plot a lot of native dove croton came up and choked out everything else. This year I will be planting Eagle Seed Forage Soybeans which are roundup ready and also very drought tolerant. The thing about planting things like corn or alfalfa is you can buy those at the feed store and supplement them yourself, and probably at a better quality. I have never planted lab lab but heard it is great and drought tolerant. Tecomate's Lab Lab Plus also has some milo and ebony peas in it.

www.eagleseed.com
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:14 AM   #26
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Any type of pea will work great in the Spring. Turner Seed and MBS seed have mixes for both Spring and Fall. I have tried the "expensive" big named seeds and haven't had much luck with them. Plant as much land as possible for a Spring crop. Once the peas come up, the deer will hammer them over night. We have planted WGF Sorgum and it grew but the deer didn't touch it. We are located in Eastland County and have been doing test plots for MBS Seed for many years. They have fine tuned the seed blend. J,at Turner Seed is a very nioce guy and can also help you out. We have bought alot of seed from them until we got hooked up with MBS. Rain will also be a factor. Try getting the plot plowed at least a month before planting. When the weather starts to warm up, also spray the field with Glysophate (Round Up) prior to planting. We did plant some Round up ready peas last year and sprayed them after they came up to try and kill the Johnson Grass. The Spray didn't affect the crop at all.

http://www.mbsseed.com/

Turnips and Rape are also some good plants to add to a Fall mix. Here are some pics from our Fall crop this past year.

10 acre field prior to planting


Good buck eating the whole turnip




Lab Lab from a few years ago


And don't forget to use exclusion cages

Last edited by Tye; 02-17-2010 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:22 AM   #27
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Also add a gravity fed protein feeder if you can. Rain won't affect the results of this type program. I would suggest at least 1 protein feeder per 300 acres. We run 6 protein feeders on 670 acres.

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Old 02-17-2010, 06:25 PM   #28
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Tye, that is awesome!! What a great looking plot!! And great information!
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:48 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Death from Above View Post
I got a couple of questions.

1. With such a wet year (for us anyway) what is best to plant for spring plots?

2. Besides doe harvest, food plots, and controled burn, what other types of land managament is there that is feasable($) and something TPWD will accept in their LMP.

Thanks
Without proper food, water, or cover, deer and wildlife cannot survive. Do you have enough water sources? What about beeding areas?
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:15 PM   #30
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anyone plnat anything around the DeWitt County area in that sandy soil??
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:03 AM   #31
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anyone plnat anything around the DeWitt County area in that sandy soil??

The 10 acre plot in the pic above is almost pure sand. At the bottom of that field the sand is several feet deep. Planting in Sandy soils works but you definately have to have moisture since sand doesn't hold moisture like clays do. The picture of me sitting in the Lab Lab is the same plot.

What we have experienced though is you can also grow a good crop of Sand Burrs or stickers. We have had that field sprayed by a commercial company at least 3 times and we are still fighting them. The "burr" holds the seeds and they can stay dormit for 10 years or so. And when you plow the ground, they come to the surface and germinate.

Weed control is a very important phase of food plots. Almost as important as water. If you don't control the weeds, they will compete with your plot and steal the moisture that your plants need.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:39 AM   #32
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ttt
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:35 AM   #33
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Quote:
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The 10 acre plot in the pic above is almost pure sand. At the bottom of that field the sand is several feet deep. Planting in Sandy soils works but you definately have to have moisture since sand doesn't hold moisture like clays do. The picture of me sitting in the Lab Lab is the same plot.

What we have experienced though is you can also grow a good crop of Sand Burrs or stickers. We have had that field sprayed by a commercial company at least 3 times and we are still fighting them. The "burr" holds the seeds and they can stay dormit for 10 years or so. And when you plow the ground, they come to the surface and germinate.

Weed control is a very important phase of food plots. Almost as important as water. If you don't control the weeds, they will compete with your plot and steal the moisture that your plants need.
Tye, how long has the land been under management? The results look awesome! Do you invest in natural browse management or do you feel the food plots provide sufficient nutrients year round?
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:40 AM   #34
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Tye, that is awesome!! What a great looking plot!! And great information!
x a million!
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:25 AM   #35
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Without proper food, water, or cover, deer and wildlife cannot survive. Do you have enough water sources? What about beeding areas?
Lots of water year round. Lots of natural browse and proabaly 500 plus acres of some serious cover. Stuff so thick its a chore to just walk thru.

We will begin a new Wildlife Management plan in 2010. Some of the things we will be doing are:

Doe harvest
Fall food plots
Control burn
Cattle graze rotation
Beaver control(they are flooding us out)
Predator control
Wild hog control

Looking at:
Feeding protein
Erosion control to help natural browse
Tree planting and relocation

The place is 1250 total acres in East Texas. We have a very high deer population.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Brandon
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:47 AM   #36
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Tye, how long has the land been under management? The results look awesome! Do you invest in natural browse management or do you feel the food plots provide sufficient nutrients year round?
First off, we are a high fenced place which is comprised of 670 acres. We have been managing the ranch since 1989 and it was fenced in 1995. The deer are all native other than some TTT does we have brought in. On the whole ranch we run protein feeders from Dec-Sept and we plant both winter and spring crops. We plant them both in the same fields even though you should keep them separate so you don't leech the nutrients from the soil. By planting peas in the summer, they will add Nitrogen back into the soil.

We, unfortunately, are not farmers. It has been on a learn from year to year basis. We started with older equipment that we bought from an auction. Bet some it was an antique. I have spent countless hours reading books, talking with seed suppliers, ag/chemical companies etc. Macy Ledbetter has been our driving force to make the herd what it is today. It has been a long, up hill battle. Chris Garcia, from MBS seed out of Denton has also helped in the food plot end of things. Have your soil tested. We grew our best turnip crop a year after we added Lime


We have tried fallow disking areas that aren't food plots but the results have been questionable at best. We have never fertilized natural vegetation either. I think the keep to a health deer herd is getting the buck to doe ratio as close as possible and try and keep the deer at or below the carrying capacity. I know this is hard to do under a low fence situation. Forming a co-op is a very good option if you can get your neighbors on board. The largest deer in Eastland county (that I know of low fenced) was killed a couple years ago on a Wildlife coop. There are now at least 2 in Eastland county that I know of. Also,IMHO, the AR's will start to improve the age structure of the bucks. Many areas have a very young herd and antler show that. Allowing bucks to reach at least 4.5 would be a huge success and antler sizes will reflect that. It all goes back to the 3 legged stool (age,genetics and nutrition). We can only change 2 of those in a short period of time. But it still takes many years to see the results. It has taken us almost 15 years under high fence to produce bucks in the 150"+ catagory. I killed the biggest buck we have ever produced this year which scored 169" gross and he was a native deer. Out goals when we started this ranch was to produce a 160"+ deer and we finally did it. That is another thing that needs to be brought up, set goals for the place you hunt or own. Keep the goals within reach though. And if you don't own the land, keep them as cheap as possible.

Also, try and do a survey of the deer herd on your property. Our place is extremely thick, so we do blind counts from July-Sept. on weekends. This will allow you to see what kind of bucks are showing up prior to bow season and it will also let you know the buck to doe ratio and fawn crop survival.


Sorry for ranting, just trying to help out with the knowledge I have obtained over the years.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:53 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Death from Above View Post
Lots of water year round. Lots of natural browse and proabaly 500 plus acres of some serious cover. Stuff so thick its a chore to just walk thru.

We will begin a new Wildlife Management plan in 2010. Some of the things we will be doing are:

Doe harvest
Fall food plots
Control burn
Cattle graze rotation
Beaver control(they are flooding us out)
Predator control
Wild hog control

Looking at:
Feeding protein
Erosion control to help natural browse
Tree planting and relocation

The place is 1250 total acres in East Texas. We have a very high deer population.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Brandon
Looks like you are on the right track, I suggest trying to get a good survey of the deer herd and adjust your harvest accordingly. I would also put out 8-10 gravity fed protein feeders scattered across the ranch(It can get costly). We decided to use more smaller protein feeders(hold 7 bags each) compared to a 1 ton bulk feeder. It will help keep the deer from congregating in one place or two. Let us know how things turn out.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:08 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Tye View Post
Looks like you are on the right track, I suggest trying to get a good survey of the deer herd and adjust your harvest accordingly. I would also put out 8-10 gravity fed protein feeders scattered across the ranch(It can get costly). We decided to use more smaller protein feeders(hold 7 bags each) compared to a 1 ton bulk feeder. It will help keep the deer from congregating in one place or two. Let us know how things turn out.
Thanks..we are going to have to do a spring survey and an early fall. Plus record all deer sightings thru deer season
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:21 PM   #39
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Awesome information! Forming a Co-op is key part for the majority of us, if possible!
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:18 PM   #40
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ttt
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:20 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tye View Post
The 10 acre plot in the pic above is almost pure sand. At the bottom of that field the sand is several feet deep. Planting in Sandy soils works but you definately have to have moisture since sand doesn't hold moisture like clays do. The picture of me sitting in the Lab Lab is the same plot.

What we have experienced though is you can also grow a good crop of Sand Burrs or stickers. We have had that field sprayed by a commercial company at least 3 times and we are still fighting them. The "burr" holds the seeds and they can stay dormit for 10 years or so. And when you plow the ground, they come to the surface and germinate.

Weed control is a very important phase of food plots. Almost as important as water. If you don't control the weeds, they will compete with your plot and steal the moisture that your plants need.

Thanks for the reply! I am thinking about trying BEP in the spring and then come back and throw oats out for a fall plot. Nothing too big, maybe an acre total along some areas that are sandy but have a little clay mixed in where the water holds. I am sure the 15 or so deer that I have will hammer the plot and wont let the plants get up past a few inches.
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:52 PM   #42
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Has any body done any plots in or around the three rivvers area? I just got 200 ac.and plan on putting in some plots. Cow peas probably i the spring.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:27 PM   #43
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:53 PM   #44
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Did the winter peas and turnips grow? Or did the deer not like it as much as the wheat/oat?
I typically dont recommend planting any type of brassicas in most parts of TX. This is because they are really bitter untill a good period of freezing weather, typically 2-3 weeks. Once the freeze has hit for a period of time the plants pull all the bitter tasting parts into their roots and leave the sugars behind in the leaves. This is the time in which deer will really hit them hard, but the only downfall is that when this time occurs its usually after deer season, if it occurs at all.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:34 AM   #45
TD2000
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TPWD info that should be useful for all in the Cross Timbers & Prairies Regions. Can't go wrong with native food supplies.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publicat...w7000_1017.pdf

Great thread - keep it going - Challenge is keeping all the info by region - cheers to the cross timbers region - hope everyone improves the habitat in the area
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:39 AM   #46
eagles405
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My two suggestions I have are take a soil sample about two months before you plant your food plot. This will tell you what nutrients are lacking in the soil and what fertilizer to use to replace those nutrients. The other important thing the soil sample shows is the pH of the soil. This is very important in that at one to two points away from neutral, phosphorus gets trapped in the soil and can not be taken up by the plants. In east Texas, soils tend to be between 4.5 and 6.5. To fix this it will take about two tons per acre of Ag lime spread over the plot area about two weeks before the planting to allow for the lime to seep into the soil. Phosphorus is often a limit factor in the environment and is very important to health of mature deer and growth of young deer and larger antlers. Also as mentioned before exclusion fences are great for seeing how well the food plot is growing and how hard the deer are hitting it. Also keep records of everything you see and do. This way you can tell if your actions are working and if they are helping or not.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:11 PM   #47
nsbowhunter
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good thread
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:16 PM   #48
Jokull
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Love this thread
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:38 PM   #49
smokey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD2000 View Post
TPWD info that should be useful for all in the Cross Timbers & Prairies Regions. Can't go wrong with native food supplies.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publicat...w7000_1017.pdf

Great thread - keep it going - Challenge is keeping all the info by region - cheers to the cross timbers region - hope everyone improves the habitat in the area
TD2000 that link is AWESOME!! Its long, but what a breakdown of native food source!! Those trees, shrubs and plants have been producing a heck of alot longer than any food plot.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:56 PM   #50
Patton
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Was doing some researching on google and came across this thread, going to tag and bump it to the top.
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