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Mar 25th, 2012
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Does having a food plot hurt? #5452663 12/02/14 01:37 AM
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My friend has 80 acres he lives on with the back 40 we use for hunting. It's probably 35-40% wooded back there with a clearing for power lines going across. This year we built a 1 acre food plot of mixed grasses and I have a gravity feeder out there. Now I know having the gravity feeder hurts with increasing your odds of seeing deer during the day, but I was wondering if the food plot creates the same problem.

I am buying a digital feeder in the spring to spin only during shooting hours, but was wondering if having a food plot where deer can eat 24/7 will decrease their activity during the day. All of the pictures on my cameras are at night, regardless of it being a buck or doe. Trying to decide if I wanna scrap the food plot next year and just use the digital feeder, or will it help keep them around until the corn gets thrown.

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5452710 12/02/14 01:56 AM
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I don't think it ever hurts to have too much food for the deer. Get as many does as you can on your place before rut starts up each year.

Last edited by wtr; 12/02/14 03:30 AM.
Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5452715 12/02/14 01:58 AM
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I would think it would help of all things. Its always great for deer to have an abundant source of food...


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5452736 12/02/14 02:06 AM
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If you see pictures at night then you need to find the direction they are heading out at the end of the night to head back to their bedding ground. Either set up more cameras if you cannot scout or spend some nights out there just watching them... Find which way they go, then set up along that route somewhere during the night and wit for them to head back to their bedding area during first light.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5452751 12/02/14 02:14 AM
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Don't scrap the food plot, increase the size of it. It take time but after a couple more years you can draw deer from adjoining properties, I started with several 2 acre plots but am up to 8 acres on one now and after 3 years its a blast to watch when rut going on. Had 29 head in it the other day. 6 bucks with 2 in the 120's. Killed a 140 in it 2nd year.

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5452828 12/02/14 02:46 AM
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Deer come and go on 40 acres. Giving them reasons to come can only be a good thing.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5452830 12/02/14 02:47 AM
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We had food plots before hey were called food plots, it's called a wheat field. I wouldn't want to go a year without it.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: dogcatcher] #5452859 12/02/14 03:02 AM
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In our area the deer are coming to our oats and pretty much ignoring our feeders sitting on the edges. Some are even leaving the corn and oats to look for acorns under the oaks scattered around the food plots bang . Depends on the year but some years food plots are the draw and some years it's the feeders. hammer

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #5452946 12/02/14 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted By: QuitShootinYoungBucks
Deer come and go on 40 acres. Giving them reasons to come can only be a good thing.


X2

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: dogcatcher] #5452948 12/02/14 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted By: QuitShootinYoungBucks
Deer come and go on 40 acres. Giving them reasons to come can only be a good thing.


Originally Posted By: dogcatcher
We had food plots before hey were called food plots, it's called a wheat field. I wouldn't want to go a year without it.


Food plot done right and good rains and it will only improve your viewing pleasure. I was growing oats and wheat for my cows before I ever heard the term "deer food plot", most country guy's know that will bring them in.

Deer will use them 24 hrs a day but they tend to be out at daylight to 9am, and later around 4-5pm. I have deer in my plots at night all the time, most days I can see them in the times mentioned above fairly routinely.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5453074 12/02/14 04:43 AM
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The only thing a food plot hurts is your back if there is no tractor/atv access. The amount of food a plot delivers makes a feeder look like a waste of time. Some of our turnip plots are yielding 8 tons of forage per acre.

Last edited by Hirogen; 12/02/14 09:11 AM.

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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: dogcatcher] #5453093 12/02/14 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: dogcatcher
We had food plots before hey were called food plots, it's called a wheat field. I wouldn't want to go a year without it.
We tried not doing oat patches a few years ago. BIG MISTAKE! Always plant. The deer will eat at night but they also eat at night at feeders too. The more food available will only increase the deer in the area. Trust me on this. Lots of good info above too. Food plots equal wildlife, from bunnies to bobcats, deer, hogs ,etc. They certainly help more than they hurt. I've seen deer walk past my feeder to munch on fresh GREEN oats.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5453387 12/02/14 02:13 PM
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I have a 4 acre food plot near waco. I always plant oats. This year I decided to plant 3 acres of oats ($11 a 50 pound bag) and one acre of Austrian winter peas, ($52 a 50 pound bag). The peas cost 5 times as much as the oats to plant. The deer are hitting the oats fairly good, but they are really hitting the winter peas. Some parts of the peas are just dirt now as they have eaten everything. They are eating my oats, but not nearly as much. Darn, it looks like next year I will plant 2 acres and 2 acres. I think my venison is now running around $1,000 a pound. lol.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: Mr. T.] #5453413 12/02/14 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mr. T.
I have a 4 acre food plot near waco. I always plant oats. This year I decided to plant 3 acres of oats ($11 a 50 pound bag) and one acre of Austrian winter peas, ($52 a 50 pound bag). The peas cost 5 times as much as the oats to plant. The deer are hitting the oats fairly good, but they are really hitting the winter peas. Some parts of the peas are just dirt now as they have eaten everything. They are eating my oats, but not nearly as much. Darn, it looks like next year I will plant 2 acres and 2 acres. I think my venison is now running around $1,000 a pound. lol.


If you aren't harvesting, mix the seeds together and they'll eat some of each rather than pounding the pea area.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5453478 12/02/14 02:46 PM
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Thanks, I will try mixing the oats and peas next year. This being my first year to plant Austrian winter peas, I wanted to see if they would even bother to eat them. I have my answer.....YES, they will.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #5453569 12/02/14 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted By: Mr. T.
I have a 4 acre food plot near waco. I always plant oats. This year I decided to plant 3 acres of oats ($11 a 50 pound bag) and one acre of Austrian winter peas, ($52 a 50 pound bag). The peas cost 5 times as much as the oats to plant. The deer are hitting the oats fairly good, but they are really hitting the winter peas. Some parts of the peas are just dirt now as they have eaten everything. They are eating my oats, but not nearly as much. Darn, it looks like next year I will plant 2 acres and 2 acres. I think my venison is now running around $1,000 a pound. lol.


If you aren't harvesting, mix the seeds together and they'll eat some of each rather than pounding the pea area.


What QSYB said, Oats are a great cover crop for legumes, you should also mix in some wheat with the mixture.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: dogcatcher] #5453584 12/02/14 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: dogcatcher
We had food plots before hey were called food plots, it's called a wheat field. I wouldn't want to go a year without it.


Yep.

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5453608 12/02/14 03:33 PM
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While it is something, a 1 acre plot isn't going to draw and hold many deer simply because it wont support them. We have a few plots around an acre and even with excellent rains they get hammered to death. They just don't produce enough to sustain many animals.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5453763 12/02/14 04:40 PM
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On 80 acres! 1 acre is greatness, you have plenty of food for the deer that occupy/ bed on your property! When winter really does get here and acorns sour! You will be getting surrounding property's animals coming into eat also. After the rut and no acorns corn and oats will get hammered !


Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: BadLander] #5453776 12/02/14 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted By: BadLander
On 80 acres! 1 acre is greatness, you have plenty of food for the deer that occupy/ bed on your property! When winter really does get here and acorns sour! You will be getting surrounding property's animals coming into eat also. After the rut and no acorns corn and oats will get hammered !


All depends on how it grows. We have an acre or so planted that has had 5 inches of rain since germination and it is grazed to a nub. It doesent attract or hold or feed much now.


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Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5453822 12/02/14 05:03 PM
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Increased food= Increased deer movement on your place. Night or day you are providing a reason for them to be there. Warm weather increases night activity. Food plots are just getting good for me with the freezes we've been having.

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5454057 12/02/14 06:58 PM
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I'd rather have it than not.

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5454930 12/03/14 01:50 AM
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Have five plots 2 clover, 3 a combination of oats, wheat., and peas. I have 3 stands of oaks that I have cleared under and fertlize heavy using liquid twice per year from base of trunk to crown. As prior post said the deer pass feeders and stay in plots and under oak trees. Acorn crop is usually very good and realy concentrates deer and gives food plots time to get a good start, the plots are covered with deer in late December and Januar. It takes work but it's well worth it,
texas

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: spoon33] #5457042 12/04/14 01:13 AM
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I plant in Spring and fall. in 4 places about 6 acres total. if we get rain we have a food plot. if it don't rain we have a plowed field! but if we get the rain everything grows and they eat everywhere. (in the woods to) if no rain they eat at the feeder and protein feeder. so we plant all the time and I can't see that it's worth the effort.

Re: Does having a food plot hurt? [Re: Lonestar1955] #5457148 12/04/14 02:03 AM
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Not to hijack the thread.

I've got very low deer numbers in my area and a whole bunch of crops around. I've thought about a plot and stxranchman visited with me about it. 130 horse tractor and 20' tandem disc, I can build one several acres big, and I'm on the place more days of the week than not. My reluctance is drawing in hogs. I hate their guts and they have only showed up on two occasions in a year. So I don't seem to have a large hog population either, and I'd like to keep it that way. Figured it would take a hell of a fence with hot wire and that still might not keep the hogs out.


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