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Food plot in thick Pine timber #7027164 01/06/18 04:32 PM
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I hunt in Red River County which is in a thick pine timber area. I have a few old logging roads I was thinking of mowing down and planting a food plot. I haven't planted a food plot before and was wondering if anyone had suggestions for something to plant which would be a good all year plot (if there is such a thing)in that type of environment. Is there a certain time of year which would be best to plant in that area? I have a utv I can use to mow down the grass and spread seed.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7027170 01/06/18 04:37 PM
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Check with your ag agent about what might grow. With all of the pine duff you need to scratch down to the 'real' dirt to get a seed to take. Plus, I'd wager the dirt will be fairly acidic due to the pines. I'd bet there's something that will grow and attract the deer, just don't know what.


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Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7027271 01/06/18 06:12 PM
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Anything will grow in pine forest sandy loam, which is likely to be your soil. Your issues will be getting sun and water on it.
Purple hulls in spring and summer, turnips and greens in fall and winter.


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Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7028344 01/07/18 06:36 PM
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Oats always do well in the fall if you get enough rain.

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7028366 01/07/18 07:13 PM
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No matter what you plant the hogs will try to destroy it. I gave up after 3 straight years of watching the hogs destroy my plots.

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7028465 01/07/18 08:52 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Rickt300...That's my concern about my location. I've had a few hogs every couple of weeks showing up around my feeder. I'm wondering if I disc up the soil to plant they would make a huge wallow out of it when it rains.

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7043588 01/18/18 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted By: jwb044
Thanks for the suggestions.

Rickt300...That's my concern about my location. I've had a few hogs every couple of weeks showing up around my feeder. I'm wondering if I disc up the soil to plant they would make a huge wallow out of it when it rains.


Wait a week or two after running the disc. The hogs will come to the fresh turned soil and eat alot of your seed.


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Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7046581 01/21/18 01:50 AM
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I'm hunting in Freestone county and have had good luck planting cow peas in April. Then in October I plant Austrian winter peas and rye grass. Use 10-10-10 fertilizer on all and have been bringing in the deer. Remember you don't need to plants the seeds any deeper than 1/4 inch for best results. I do also feed corn year around. And yes you will have trouble with the hogs rooting up your food plots time from time. Buts that almost every where now days.
Good luck!

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7146849 04/21/18 02:45 AM
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I'm hunting east Texas as well, I'll be following this thread

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7146948 04/21/18 09:57 AM
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In the pine trees you will have a very tough time to get anything to grow!!! Take a look at what is growing there now, nothing would be my guess. The pine needles and lack of sun takes care of most anything. The roads you mentioned will produce deer plots as mentioned above. Some Iron and Clay cowpeas will produce all summer and even when the frost gets them the deer will still feed on them. Give the roads a good lime job wait a couple weeks to plant the peas. Early October plant some cheap Bob Oats in sections of the peas. You will have deer coming to the plots. Hunt the hogs hard even let some friends hunt, you will not eliminate the hogs but you will make them move off your areas for periods of time.







Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7146956 04/21/18 10:45 AM
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Lots of good advice being shared here.

I would add that patience is key when hunting food plots. The best hunting often comes late in the season when natural browse is far more limited after multiple frosts has knocked it down and the acorn crop has been consumed or soured from rainy, wet conditions. Until then, deer will likely feed in your plots mostly at night, the exception being does and lesser bucks that aren't near as wary as older bucks. However, I do believe the scales can be tipped in your favor when using smaller plots in more secluded areas, especially when you park the ATV and walk to reach your stand. I'm a firm believer in the saying, "The more you walk, the more you see." This also works in your favor late in the season when surrounding hunters have given up the chase and leave the woods more quiet so that deer begin to feel less pressured, especially when hunters were frequently filling the woods with the sound of their movements.

Also, late season hunting over food plots can be greatly "sweetened" by hand corning the edges of them in spots were the deer prefer to enter them. It's much like adding a little candy just inside the door. Scatter a 1/4 bag of corn the afternoon before you will hunt the spot and leave it for the deer to eat later that evening and night. Then slip back in the next morning to catch the deer coming back to finish up the scraps. You might even bring a small bag and scatter it in the spot before slipping into your stand. Just add stealth to your movements by walking rather than riding and you be amazed at the difference it can make.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 04/21/18 10:51 AM.

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Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7147079 04/21/18 03:12 PM
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Pine trees grow in acidic soil. Most of the food plot plants for deer do not do well with acidic soil, so you have to change that by adding lime. Usually a lot of lime. The lime will take years to work, with multiple applications every six months. That's about how long each application takes to soak into the soil. Here in Tyler on my land, where it was thick pine trees, I started out with 2 tons per acre, then one ton, and now I'm at about half a ton per acre. I haven't don it as often as I should have, so it's taken me a lot longer to get there.

In ten years of trying different things to grow, the thing the deer like the best is still corn from the feeder. Once you get them to eating that, it's what they come back for. They will nibble on the food plot and that might keep them around a little longer, but my game camera pictures show them going for the corn first.

You really need to keep the corn there for them year round. If you run out, they will keep checking for it for a little while, and then they will wonder off and then you never know how long it will take, if ever, for them to come back to the corn when you start putting it out again.

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7147109 04/21/18 03:44 PM
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Local feed store can usually provide some valuable information.

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7185887 06/01/18 07:49 PM
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I live in Tyler and as Eddie says, they are more interested in corn than food plots. I plant spring and fall food plots every year with little luck. My wife usally tells me that I need to get the weed eater out and cut them down every few weeks because the deer are not touching them. I feed corn and protein year round. I made some pvc protein feeders that hold about 25lbs a piece. I have put out 150lbs in the last week and I don't have racoons.

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7186291 06/02/18 07:30 AM
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I hunt in San Augustine County and if it weren't for a food plot, there would be no bucks coming to eat near my stand. They don't come to feeders in that part of the country. The main advice I can give is get a soil test done. If not, just plan on putting in 1 to 2 tons of lime per acre and about 400 lbs of 13-13-13 per acre to start. I planted in the strips that remind me of senderoes that the guys cut for the thinning operation, virgin ground. I've got about 2 acres total. I planted turnips and radishes in one area and oats and clover in another last fall (about the middle of September). This worked pretty well. The oats and clover took most of the punishment until the first freeze and then they hammered the turnips and radishes. I went back and over-seeded the radishes with clover in early spring and still have a good stand of clover today. This weather is going to end that though. The rain and work has not allowed me to get out and plant a summer plot, but I have cowpeas, sugar beets, and alyce clover waiting in the bags. Just need the right soil moisture to plant and the chance of rain soon after.

Re: Food plot in thick Pine timber [Re: jwb044] #7210028 06/27/18 06:39 PM
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Thanks for the info everybody! I was at my place this past weekend. There are lots of berries and other forage for them now. Feeders had really good activity. I'll keep those full year round for sure, I normally don't feed through the summer. It was my first season to hunt this place last year. I may try planting something this September just to see how it does. Our property gets alot of water when it rains, not sure how that will effect it.

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