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Old 11-22-2016, 07:21 AM   #1601
deer farmer
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we just received about an inch of rain this last week. First rain I have seen since June. Tough season for me growing food plots. Hope u got some rain this past week.
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:06 AM   #1602
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been almost a month since any postings. any updates? i just spent the past 4 hours a work reading this from the start of the thread. very good stuff!
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:34 PM   #1603
ethic1
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Any updates Elgato? Like to see what has been taken this year of this wonderful place.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:40 PM   #1604
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I have been waiting for this thread to pop back up, but figured Elgato is chasing Mexico bucks this time of year.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:13 AM   #1605
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Elgato, how did your season go? How are the food plots holding up? The daikon radish did not handle the cold spell to well that we had couple weeks ago.
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:28 PM   #1606
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Yep, I've been at the ranch most of the time since Thanksgiving. Going back in the morning till the end of January.I'll give a more detailed report once the season ends but here are a couple of high lights.

Hunting the farm was tough this year. Oct. is usually the best month and it was rain, hot, mosquitos, acorns. Food plots were worthless to hunt and woods were life threatening from mosquitos. We didn't take any of the top end bucks and consider this a rebuilding year. Did take a 165" 8 pt that was nice. I'll get finally tally on harvest and report later.

The ice storm with 20' temps killed all the radishes. Smelly mess. Turnips are Ok as well as small grains. All in all food plots are awesome and should provide solid late season recovery.

Above average year at the ranch. I attribute it to a wet winter last year and a lot of top end bucks in the 7-9 yr range. Good news is we are having another wet winter. If conditions hold thru spring next yr could be epic. We are letting most of the biggest bucks go this year.

That said my buddy took this 195 4/8" 8 yr old 18 pt with his bow. Videod the whole thing of course. from a mgt. perspective interesting to note that this buck was in the 160's as a 6 yr old. Age is your friend.
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Old 01-18-2017, 07:33 PM   #1607
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What a stud!


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Old 01-18-2017, 10:38 PM   #1608
BolilloLoco
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Great Buck El Gato!!!
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:49 AM   #1609
bgleaton
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Great buck!
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:55 AM   #1610
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Awesome buck
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:00 AM   #1611
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Great buck
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:00 AM   #1612
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Nice buck.
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:13 AM   #1613
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Awesome deer. I look forward to reading more about your season.
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Old 01-22-2017, 03:09 PM   #1614
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Took 3 days on and off to read through this thread. Thanks for all the input. Almost felt like I was hunting and working right along with you.
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Old 01-22-2017, 03:48 PM   #1615
GarGuy
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Great deer Rusty! Next year will be epic across east tx and West La also. the acorn crop saved the lives of tons off mature bucks across the DCNF as well. We made the decision to pass several whoppers that were young and just didnt get it done on several more. cant wait to see how they turn out next year. My does are so fat they look like they were aired up with an airhose.
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Old 01-22-2017, 04:27 PM   #1616
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On your buddy's buck, is the right side G4 broken or did it just grow that much shorter than the other side? Tremendous buck and he got it with his bow to boot!
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:44 PM   #1617
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtp View Post
On your buddy's buck, is the right side G4 broken or did it just grow that much shorter than the other side? Tremendous buck and he got it with his bow to boot!
Nothing broken...an advantage of taking him early season. I think the 4 on rt followed the main beam and is hard to see. He was fairly balanced to have as many points. I'll see if I have more of a side photo that shows different angle.

The video he took from his blind capturing shot and all is amazing . TV quality stuff.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:39 PM   #1618
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Good grief
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:06 AM   #1619
deerwatcher51
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Great buck....congrats.
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:26 AM   #1620
tmstuk
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Wow. Really nice buck!
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:16 AM   #1621
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elgato View Post
Nothing broken...an advantage of taking him early season. I think the 4 on rt followed the main beam and is hard to see. He was fairly balanced to have as many points. I'll see if I have more of a side photo that shows different angle.

The video he took from his blind capturing shot and all is amazing . TV quality stuff.


Congrats brother!
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:26 AM   #1622
UncleBubba
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Wow
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:56 PM   #1623
bounds
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Hey rusty, how is the coon proofing working on your feeders? Is the bucket method the best you've tried so far?
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:00 AM   #1624
MasonCo.
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Lets see that video El Gato
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Old 02-24-2017, 02:01 PM   #1625
bounds
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I know you've said you don't care what brand and what % protein you feed, as long as they're getting as much as possible. Do you feel the same for buying seed? I read a lot of reviews of guys saying their plots planted in Whitetail Institute seed or other brand names has way outperformed generic seed from a local supplier in side by side comparisons.

I'm not planning a ton of acreage (about 5 acres) and am trying to decide between buying bulk thru my local feed/seed store, buying bulk thru a well known seed company like Hancock Seed or buying mixes thru WI or Tecomate is the way to go. WI's PowerPlant mix is exactly what you plant in your spring annual plots (cowpeas, soybeans, sunn hemp and sunflowers). I would buy that if I go with a mix as everyone raves about it and seems you like it too. I was going to make the same mixture if I buy bulk.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:59 PM   #1626
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Update?
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:41 PM   #1627
elgato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAGR View Post
Following.
Well,.....I kinda thought it might be time for this thread to die. Looking back I see I started it April 2014 so ' a year in the life' became 3 yrs. My original intent was simply to show the planting philosophy and cycles we go thru as well as our concepts of deer mgt. Essentially nothing has changed in our program though we continue to experiment with various planting ideas and watch the herd as it evolves and develops. Globally everything is the same though the finer details change each year.

I had planned to share my spring planting program though I thought it might be a new thread. I plan to start planting around April 15 - May 1.

I will share we found some nice sheds with the best being a 5 yr old that will score between 196-198. He could be in trouble next yr. We also found 7 or 8 dead bucks with the biggest about 170. I'll try to get some pics tomorrow.

For Bounds, apologies for not replying. I don't plant any 'buck on a bag ' mixes. I blend my own so I know exactly whats in it and at what ratios. However I do plant substantial acreage. With that said , only planting 5 acres or smaller plots, some of the store bought blends should work fine. Read the ingredients and make sure your getting what you want that works best in your soil.

It's almost planting time. Love it!
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:25 PM   #1628
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Change title to "life on the farm" and keep it going haha. Thanks for taking the time to share and all the great info. Good luck with everything in the future on the farm!
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:07 PM   #1629
texasdeerhunter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reedimus View Post
Change title to "life on the farm" and keep it going haha. Thanks for taking the time to share and all the great info. Good luck with everything in the future on the farm!
Yea, I agree. Keep it going. Lots of knowledge here that you can provide, especially showing year over year results and changes in thinking on planting, etc.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:12 PM   #1630
elgato
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Sunday afternoon with a bit of time on my hands so here we go with update.

About a month ago we ran a dose of feed with Safeguard wormer [ fenbendazole ] thru the feeders to deal with internal parasites. Been doing this for a few years in the spring and think it adds a lot of value. Next week we are going to run a dose of feed with ivermectin in it to get rid of ticks. I'm convinced internal and external parasites have a material effect on deer and we see benefits in both weight gain and antler growth. Non scientific of course.

Fall plots did great and we have clover all over the place. Durana, red clover, crimson , arrow leaf and berseem primarily.

We are getting ready for spring planting in the next couple of weeks. All the fields we double crop are in fall planted rye, wheat, and crimson. I'll be treating each field a bit more specifically this year based on what I think the fields need and where I want to go long term with a particular field.Specifically it looks like this:

11 acre field that has a big problem with wild summer melons of some sort. I burned it down about a month ago. I'm planting straight soy beans in it then spraying again with gly and Canopy which both kills and acts as a pre emerge. I want to clean this field up.

On a 16 and 10 acre field that are both quite clean I will drill directly into the standing crop a combo of; soybeans, cowpeas, sunflowers, and egyptian wheat. I might even throw a few melon seed in the batch for fun.

On a 8 acre and 5 acre field where I'm trying to increase the organic matter and water absorption capability I'm going with a heavy stand of straight grain sorghum . I'll let it go to seed and maybe even get a dove shoot out of it. Poor mans corn; the deer eat the seed heads once mature, but mostly I'm after the growth and tonnage.

And speaking of doves I'm going to try sunflowers again in my 13 acre dove field. I've had to shift to millet the last couple of years cause the deer started wiping out the sunflowers. Fingers crossed.

On a sandy 4 acre filed, probably the best drained field I have I'm going with a heavy stand of sunn hemp. I want the soil improvement , tonnage and nitrogen fixation. This fall I'll come back with a heavy stand of rye. Next summer I'll probably plant sorghum or something to continue building the organic matter. Then next fall I'm planting it in alfalfa.

Lastly I'm replanting a 5 acre right of way in joint vetch. I had it in there reseeding for over a decade before heavy flooding finally killed it out.

I'll take pics as planting commences.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:16 PM   #1631
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Here are a set of sheds and a couple dead deer we found this year. Seems we find 8-10 dead deer each year. Guess it goes with the territory.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:18 PM   #1632
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Here are some of the dead deer. The 2 together were found side by side with the biggest right at 170
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:26 PM   #1633
elgato
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Heres a mount on a 183 8Pt we found locked up with a 135 8 pt drowned in a pond.Ok he does have a fork and drop but still main frame 8
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:27 PM   #1634
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He's a beast of an 8!


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Old 04-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #1635
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Great thread amazing deer and operation. Hope you keeping add info we can all learn from.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:41 AM   #1636
the marshall
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Keep the thread going. Lots of good information and ideas shared.

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Old 04-10-2017, 09:03 AM   #1637
Mex Polack
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Awesome as always, 1st Class Operation, enjoy the info, pics, and hearing from you!
Thanks again for sharing Rusty, Peace Out!
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:40 PM   #1638
elgato
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Here's a pic of a typical 5 acre clover field. I drilled 25/lb acre of wheat with some radishes and turnips in the fall as an attractant. Now the wheat has gone to hard seed which the deer love. The seeding rate is light enough to allow the clover to flourish underneath it. In fact the field is full of Durana, red clover and a little crimson. With luck on the summer weather it is a valuable food source year round. You can see an apple tree in the foreground and a pear tree in the background. I have a full orchard surrounding the field of apples, pears and persimmons. Probably 30 trees.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:12 AM   #1639
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Even non-hunters should like your set up. It's a great place to be a deer. Many live their lives out fat and healthy. Thank you for showing us how it should be done.


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Old 04-11-2017, 03:59 PM   #1640
elgato
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Here is another 13 acre dual purpose clover field. I planted it 3 yrs ago in crimson and it has been regenerating every since with no additional planting required. You can see it is starting to dry out with the seed hardening. About May 1 I will plant it in sunflowers for fall doves. The nitrogen and om from the crimson feeds the sunflowers. The crimson regenerates on its own and of course is a great deer feed late winter and early spring. Low maintenance and easy. And the dove hunting can be superb.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:04 PM   #1641
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the marshall View Post
Keep the thread going. Lots of good information and ideas shared.

x2
I thoroughly enjoy this thread. Much to be learned.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:42 PM   #1642
BM322
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With the Crimson, what do you do to keep it replenishing itself. Mowing at a certain height or herbicidal treatment?
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:16 AM   #1643
elgato
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Quote:
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With the Crimson, what do you do to keep it replenishing itself. Mowing at a certain height or herbicidal treatment?
Not much needs to be done. The trick is to let it seed out completely. Let it die then I drill sunflowers in. If herbicide is required to kill weeds after crimson is completely dead and before sunflowers sprout I will spray gly. Next fall I drill about 25 lbs/acre wheat into the field. This usually disturbs the soil enough to assure seed soil contact with the crimson seed which has remained dormant all summer. Come late fall rains and cooler weather up comes the crimson.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:38 AM   #1644
GarGuy
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Thanks for continuing the thread. Those sheds are fine....He should be a giant this fall..
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:26 PM   #1645
elgato
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Spring planting time is here and the seed is in the barn! Soy beans, cow peas, sunn hemp,sunflower, grain sorghum,Egyptian wheat, and joint vetch. I'll start planting next week weather appropriate. Pics to follow as process begins.

While I love planting summer stuff I believe you get the most bang for the buck with fall cultivars. Small grains, clovers, chicory, and the brassicas are easier to cultivate, highly nutritious, and with proper mgt. and planning can be available most if not all year.

Nonetheless, I love seeing the summer plots in full growth...and a big bachelor group filing out just at sunset.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:05 PM   #1646
texasdeerhunter
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Do you fertilize your plots? If so, what ratio fertilizer are you using? I'm about to do a soil test to figure out what I have, and then will plan accordingly. But I was curious what you use
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:07 PM   #1647
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Also, what sunflower seed are you planting?
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:25 PM   #1648
elgato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdeerhunter View Post
Also, what sunflower seed are you planting?
I haven't used any commercial fertilizer in several years. Last year I spread chicken litter on most of my fields. I think I also get a lot of fertility from the way I cover crop. I do no tillage. I drill directly into the thatch , let that be mulch to control weeds and feed the following crop. By growing legumes for nitrogen and an assortment of other plants each delivering its own nutrient value I haven't really needed commercial fertilizer.

I'm planting regular black oil sunflowers.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:28 AM   #1649
JeffK
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Hope you keep this going. Really enjoy seeing what you are doing on the farm as well as the pics of those Louisiana deer.

By the way, did y'all end up harvesting that really palmated deer? I believe y'all were on the fence about harvesting him the year before.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:24 PM   #1650
ethic1
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Awesome!!


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