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Old 08-21-2019, 09:16 AM   #1
Adthomps
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Default Will Plowing Field Spook Deer/Change Habits

So I have a food for thought topic. I have a place that has about a 30 acre field that used to be planted every year for winter wheat but it has sat the last 3 years and has become just a big tall grass/sunflower field. I'm sure that deer have gotten used to it and may even be using it for a bedding location. Now, I pulled my cards yesterday and discovered a GIANT coming into my setup. I'm talking about a once in a lifetime type deer. I'm scared to even go to the place much now bc I don't want to spook him away. I have a guy interested in plowing this field and planting winter wheat for me before bow season. Theres not another wheat field within 3 miles so I figured planting it again would bring in more deer.

Now the question is, should I risk plowing up the 30 acre field and planting wheat or should I just leave it alone until I get a few weeks of bowhunting in to try and get a shot on the buck?? I am not sure if plowing the field will change anything as far as his behavior goes. I dont know where he is bedding if its on my place or somewhere else. I just know plowing the field and planting wheat will be a big change to the place from the last 3 years so not sure if that will spook him off the place or not. What do you guys think??
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:33 AM   #2
Walker
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Won't bother the deer one bit.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:41 AM   #3
ISC
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Plant away. If you don't get him in early archery he will be in the wheat when it gets cold.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:56 PM   #4
TreeDaddy
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My deer don't view the tractor as a threat

They run off when I mow

I see them in the rear view mirror return as I drive by

bill
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:01 PM   #5
Grayson
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Shouldn't bother them much at all.

Let's see the monster!
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:02 PM   #6
RMW
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Pic of said Giant? Then we can go from there
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:08 PM   #7
yotethumper
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If you think they're using it as cover I wouldn't plow all of it. I'd plant 20 acres and leave 10 for cover IF it is actually being used for cover.
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:51 PM   #8
Carpe_diem
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I have been planting winter wheat (etc.) food plots in Taylor/Fisher/Jones Counties for over 20 years. Army worms have wiped me out several times, so I quit planting until there's been a frost. I see good bucks every year while I'm on the tractor. They don't seem to mind it. If I were in your shoes, I would not disturb the area until at least mid-October. At that point, if he's still hanging around, keep holding off and hunt him; but if you aren't seeing him, go ahead and farm. In South Taylor County, the rut seems to peak the last week of October/first week of November and it would be really nice to have does in front of you eating wheat about then.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:46 PM   #9
lmartin5
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I've hunted out in Eula in the past and there are some giants out there! Plant away and you should reap rewards. I hunted a (40) acre wheat field for (20) plus years and counted as many as (75) deer on that plot...(4 1/2) miles SW of the Eula school.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:11 PM   #10
lmartin5
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All of these deer were taken on this (500) acre farm. Wheat was in by Labor Day religiously and some of the best hunting we ever experienced!




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Old 08-21-2019, 07:17 PM   #11
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It wonít spook the deer, but if you plant wheat too early, youíre susceptible to drought and army worms. I usually wait until the last week of September, first week of October before planting.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:33 PM   #12
Drycreek3189
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There’s a good chance that when his antlers peel, he won’t be there anyway. Not trying to be a downer, but it happens often. I never let the deer dictate when or if I planted. Who knows, when the chase starts, you might see an even bigger one chasing does around that wheat.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:14 PM   #13
Adthomps
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I’m not worried about the tractor being out there and spooking the deer. Where I hunt there’s tractors working all year so the deer are used to that. I’m more concerned about plowing a field that’s been in tall grass for 3 years and whether or not that will change his behavior.

My thoughts are that he’s liking the place because it’s been relatively unused and he’s not pressured and has great food water as cover close by. Just not sure if changing that cover field to a plowed field would make things worse.

I may just plant about 10 acres of the field in 2 5 acre spots on opposite sides and leave all the middle alone
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:24 PM   #14
TheHammer
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I killed my biggest deer to date while a guy was cutting hay in the field behind me. I was down and out thinking my hunt was over, but it all came together.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:27 PM   #15
RattlesnakeDan
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I would be more concerned about getting winded by him, that is when they change patterns. That is why I always use my tractor to fill feeders, so they get use to it but also use to my smell being there just in case the wind switches while in my treestand.
I don't think the field change will change him much, maybe a little as far as walking a field edge or fence row instead of the middle of the field.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adthomps View Post
I’m not worried about the tractor being out there and spooking the deer. Where I hunt there’s tractors working all year so the deer are used to that. I’m more concerned about plowing a field that’s been in tall grass for 3 years and whether or not that will change his behavior.

My thoughts are that he’s liking the place because it’s been relatively unused and he’s not pressured and has great food water as cover close by. Just not sure if changing that cover field to a plowed field would make things worse.

I may just plant about 10 acres of the field in 2 5 acre spots on opposite sides and leave all the middle alone
I would probably do that, then in the spring plant it all. The strip you leave in the middle will give them some cover as well.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:35 PM   #17
TheHammer
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Here’s the story of my buck. Killed him on a day that they were running tractors during my hunt.

https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=613678
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:11 PM   #18
Antlers86
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Plow away! If you use a John Deere they just think itís another Deer.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:12 AM   #19
gingib
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PLOW for sure because still in summer patterns and not spooked as much.

Post pics of him
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:16 AM   #20
88 Bound
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The deer on our place love fresh turned up dirt. If anything it will probably attract them more than spook them.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:16 AM   #21
Antlers86
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Also turning that soul over attracts deer. May have more show up. Ground will be covered in tracts the first night.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:33 AM   #22
Plain Lucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adthomps View Post
Iím not worried about the tractor being out there and spooking the deer. Where I hunt thereís tractors working all year so the deer are used to that. Iím more concerned about plowing a field thatís been in tall grass for 3 years and whether or not that will change his behavior.

My thoughts are that heís liking the place because itís been relatively unused and heís not pressured and has great food water as cover close by. Just not sure if changing that cover field to a plowed field would make things worse.

I may just plant about 10 acres of the field in 2 5 acre spots on opposite sides and leave all the middle alone
I wouldn't plow anything if you have a buck like that on your place. As someone said above, I'd hunt him 2-3 weeks into the season before planting wheat. If the field isn't secluded, I might leave a wide strip of the overgrown stuff around the edges. But I'm probably overly cautious when it comes to staying out of a big buck's habitat.

I'm sure all of the stories above are true in terms of tractors and plowing not effecting the deer. But every scenario is different. How many acres a place is, how much cultivation, food sources, pressure from neighbors, the changing of food sources throughout the year.

This is a Ford vs Chevy conversation... no right or wrong answer.

But I'd leave that big boy alone myself. If anything, I would increase my corn and keep a steady pile of rice bran, maybe a trophy rock or some other mineral attractant.

Congrats on the pics and Good luck!!!
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:04 AM   #23
TeamAmerica
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the biggest attractant for a buck is 1)food and 1a)female companionship! wheat sounds like it could cover both!

like some suggested, maybe leave some cover and plant the rest strategically.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:50 AM   #24
tbgascorer
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If he's as big as you say he is, I wouldn't do anything to disturb him. Kill him early when he's on a food pattern and then plow/plant away. Imagine the doubts you'd have if he disappeared after you plowed his 30 acre overgrown bedding field. While I agree with what most have said here about it not spooking him, I think the risk isn't justified. Good luck getting him on the ground.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:14 PM   #25
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Depends... in centerville if you breath too loud on our 900 acres the deer disappear. By the house I was shredding and the deer just look at me :-)
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:43 PM   #26
Adthomps
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbgascorer View Post
If he's as big as you say he is, I wouldn't do anything to disturb him. Kill him early when he's on a food pattern and then plow/plant away. Imagine the doubts you'd have if he disappeared after you plowed his 30 acre overgrown bedding field. While I agree with what most have said here about it not spooking him, I think the risk isn't justified. Good luck getting him on the ground.
This is the exactly where Iím leaning. If he disappears before season then Iíll plant as soon as Weather permits. If he stays around I donít want to risk it or have any doubts about how I screwed it up. I wonít ever see another deer like him in my lifetime Iím sure and I would have nightmares about it for the rest of my life if I thought I screwed up a chance to get a shot on him
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:09 PM   #27
JeffK
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If your worried that they are using the field for bedding, why not plant just a portion of it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:15 PM   #28
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Don't touch it. Keep plenty of corn and protein out and kill him opening weekend of bow season.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:20 PM   #29
mmays113
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Agreed with others that this early should not be a problem. Do you have a trail cam pic?
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:28 PM   #30
tbgascorer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adthomps View Post
This is the exactly where Iím leaning. If he disappears before season then Iíll plant as soon as Weather permits. If he stays around I donít want to risk it or have any doubts about how I screwed it up. I wonít ever see another deer like him in my lifetime Iím sure and I would have nightmares about it for the rest of my life if I thought I screwed up a chance to get a shot on him
Sounds like you have made your mind up. Correct decision I think. How often are you checking your set up? The reason I ask is because you want to MAKE SURE that feeder is still spinning and groceries don't run out. Also, shed will be coming up soon. Don't get too stressed if he disappears for a bit during shed. I've seen some these big deer go MIA during this time of transition. If so, he should be back shortly.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:33 PM   #31
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I'd agree. Things that are loud and obvious don't seem to bother deer as they sort of have this, "If it's not sneaking up on me, it's not hunting me" mentality. A lot of times when I'm being loud and tooling around at my place, deer walk right by. You try to go tiptoeing through the woods and every deer within half a mile is on alert.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:56 PM   #32
Fmjag64
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Absolutely will not do harm in my experience.
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:08 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adthomps View Post
This is the exactly where Iím leaning. If he disappears before season then Iíll plant as soon as Weather permits. If he stays around I donít want to risk it or have any doubts about how I screwed it up. I wonít ever see another deer like him in my lifetime Iím sure and I would have nightmares about it for the rest of my life if I thought I screwed up a chance to get a shot on him
Like others have said, I doubt the activity from plowing and planting the field will run him off. Whatever is growing in the field might be one of his summer food sources, but a ton of natural browse this year probably means your buck isn't traveling very far to get food right now.

Plowing it for planting might disrupt his pattern slightly, but I doubt he goes far, or disappears from your cameras.

By October, a fallow field of dried Johnson Grass and dried sunflowers probably isn't all that desirable a food source. Certainly not when compared to a sprouting wheat field.

I think its too early to plant food plots in the Abilene area anyway, so I would keep my feeders full, watch your cameras, and plant some of the field(maybe 5 acres) closest to your stand around Sep 15th - time it with a rain if you can.
If he's hitting your feeder on the regular, I doubt he has the urge to go anywhere until Mid October when the pre-rut gets cranking.

Get your bow stand set up to perfection by early September, turn your corn feeder way up, wait for the perfect wind, and kill him on your first sit of the year. Good luck!
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:18 PM   #34
Adthomps
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmays113 View Post
Agreed with others that this early should not be a problem. Do you have a trail cam pic?

Iím not gonna post any pics until Iím holding him in my hands. Donít want to jinks anything.
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:54 PM   #35
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Deer aren’t scared of my tractor, actually a good time to take pics.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:04 PM   #36
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Not at all! At our place, hogs sometimes follow the tractor around getting some fresh grubs.
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Old 08-24-2019, 04:33 PM   #37
toledo
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To me, it's not about the tractor. It's about removing cover. The fastest way to not see mature bucks. I wouldn't touch it.
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:52 PM   #38
Adthomps
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo View Post
To me, it's not about the tractor. It's about removing cover. The fastest way to not see mature bucks. I wouldn't touch it.


This was the reasoning behind posting the question. Exactly what I was thinking about.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:06 AM   #39
unclefish
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Its really hard to say because we don't have all the details. Is that 30 field next to your setup? Do you know for a fact the buck is bedding in that area? Is there alot of cover on your place?

Once that velvet comes off they become a totally different animal and change their behavior and patterns regardless.
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