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Food plots #7184439 05/31/18 04:20 AM
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sunsetroosters Offline OP
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Well Iím gonna change from soy beans. Just doesnít seem like there is enough rain in the forecast to get them off to a good start. So Iím just gonna start prepping for winter plots. Iíve got a couple different places. One in wise county near Bowie and another in archer county. Any suggestions would be very appreciated. Iíve been doing research and wheat doesnít seem to have that much favor by whitetails. Seems as if itís just the only option more times than not. Iím looking for what makes them water at the mouth in the winter. The archer place has cows during gun season and I only hunt it during bow season. Thank you in advance for any input.

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7184478 05/31/18 10:32 AM
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I'm considering planting at my place just South of Bowie. Due to hog infestation, I'm not sure anything will work. In the past, I've found that wheat, over seeded with turnips, was my best bet.


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Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7184526 05/31/18 12:20 PM
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You cant go wrong planting 100lbs of oats and 50lbs of Austrian winter peas per acre. I plant that every year around 15 of September. If you get rain, it will have deer on it by October 7th. Just my opinion.


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Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7184676 05/31/18 02:28 PM
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I missed the boat for spring planting but its good cause it would have been halfassed. I got my soil test back from WI so I'm going to use the summer to prep my plots as best as possible so they can be EFFECTIVE. Looking at whitetail institutes EXTREME mix because my soil is almost perfect for it already.

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7184980 05/31/18 07:24 PM
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Iím hesitate to spend big money for name brand premaid mixes. Not sure why just doesnít seem to make sense to me.

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7185148 05/31/18 10:17 PM
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I tried LabLab about 15 years ago. The deer didnít eat it


Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7186296 06/02/18 08:26 AM
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Oats if you just want to attract them. Plant plenty of them though.

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7187224 06/03/18 01:29 PM
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I know you're talking about food plots, but have you considered free choice protein feeding.

A protein feeder filled with a quality deer feed in a feed pen provides 24/7 access, balanced nutrition and doesn't rely on soil prep, seeds germinating, rainfall & will exclude non target species better than any control methods used on a food plot.

You trade the annual costs of everything necessary to plant a food plot and pray for favorable conditions for them to grow for bags of feed.

I have a protein feeder in a shady spot about 100' from a tank, even with last weeks heat I saw deer eating during daylight hours every day.

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7194479 06/11/18 04:28 AM
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What do you think about alfalfa?

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7194521 06/11/18 09:54 AM
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It's a perennial and takes quite a bit of water. I doubt that we get enough rain for it. I don't see any growing around our area.


Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7194533 06/11/18 10:45 AM
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I have been planting 1/3 each of Winter Wheat, Oats and Austrian winter peas and it has been pretty effective.


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Re: Food plots [Re: Rustler] #7195114 06/11/18 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: Rustler
I know you're talking about food plots, but have you considered free choice protein feeding.

A protein feeder filled with a quality deer feed in a feed pen provides 24/7 access, balanced nutrition and doesn't rely on soil prep, seeds germinating, rainfall & will exclude non target species better than any control methods used on a food plot.

You trade the annual costs of everything necessary to plant a food plot and pray for favorable conditions for them to grow for bags of feed.

I have a protein feeder in a shady spot about 100' from a tank, even with last weeks heat I saw deer eating during daylight hours every day.


This is really a great point. But does a protein feeder really replace the food plot? If it does that is fantastic but Iím trying to think if that really is possible.

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7195158 06/11/18 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: sunsetroosters
Originally Posted By: Rustler
I know you're talking about food plots, but have you considered free choice protein feeding.

A protein feeder filled with a quality deer feed in a feed pen provides 24/7 access, balanced nutrition and doesn't rely on soil prep, seeds germinating, rainfall & will exclude non target species better than any control methods used on a food plot.

You trade the annual costs of everything necessary to plant a food plot and pray for favorable conditions for them to grow for bags of feed.

I have a protein feeder in a shady spot about 100' from a tank, even with last weeks heat I saw deer eating during daylight hours every day.


This is really a great point. But does a protein feeder really replace the food plot? If it does that is fantastic but Iím trying to think if that really is possible.

In Texas the biggest issue is timely rains. If you get average to above average rainfall the food plots will do great but the deer probably don't need them. When they do need to food plots you don't have the rain to grow the food plots. In South Texas if you can not put in 15% of your acreage into food plots and have the farming equipment to farm them correctly you are probably wasting your time. Smaller % of food plots will require a protective fence to get them established and growing to where they will benefit you. A small food plot is not going to benefit your herd nutrition if you have to many deer using it. Like posted above, the protein feeder is there 100% of the time and if the deer need it, they have it. Correctly grown food plots take time and money but can be cheaper to get the extra nutrition to the deer compared to protein feeders. The key is rain or lack it. I know of one larger ranch that had a tremendous food plot program for both dryland and irrigated food plots year round. The fed no protein pelleted ration. They raised some great deer but after about 15 yrs they put a pencil to it and stopped the food plots , feeding straight protein. Neither food plots or protein feeders can increase the genetics or the age of the herd. You either have those or you don't, you can not supplement those into your deer herd.



Re: Food plots [Re: stxranchman] #7195346 06/12/18 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: sunsetroosters
Originally Posted By: Rustler
I know you're talking about food plots, but have you considered free choice protein feeding.

A protein feeder filled with a quality deer feed in a feed pen provides 24/7 access, balanced nutrition and doesn't rely on soil prep, seeds germinating, rainfall & will exclude non target species better than any control methods used on a food plot.

You trade the annual costs of everything necessary to plant a food plot and pray for favorable conditions for them to grow for bags of feed.

I have a protein feeder in a shady spot about 100' from a tank, even with last weeks heat I saw deer eating during daylight hours every day.


This is really a great point. But does a protein feeder really replace the food plot? If it does that is fantastic but Iím trying to think if that really is possible.

In Texas the biggest issue is timely rains. If you get average to above average rainfall the food plots will do great but the deer probably don't need them. When they do need to food plots you don't have the rain to grow the food plots. In South Texas if you can not put in 15% of your acreage into food plots and have the farming equipment to farm them correctly you are probably wasting your time. Smaller % of food plots will require a protective fence to get them established and growing to where they will benefit you. A small food plot is not going to benefit your herd nutrition if you have to many deer using it. Like posted above, the protein feeder is there 100% of the time and if the deer need it, they have it. Correctly grown food plots take time and money but can be cheaper to get the extra nutrition to the deer compared to protein feeders. The key is rain or lack it. I know of one larger ranch that had a tremendous food plot program for both dryland and irrigated food plots year round. The fed no protein pelleted ration. They raised some great deer but after about 15 yrs they put a pencil to it and stopped the food plots , feeding straight protein. Neither food plots or protein feeders can increase the genetics or the age of the herd. You either have those or you don't, you can not supplement those into your deer herd.


Thank you for the really good info. In my mind I have Always thought, plant food plots to bring in deer for grazing. To give them a place to graze in the winter. So with all this said, purely for an attractant standpoint and not as a growth standpoint are you guys saying that the protein feeders will eliminate the reason for a good plot? Also do you guys still feed the protein during season or go to a timed spin cast?

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7195351 06/12/18 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted By: sunsetroosters
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Originally Posted By: sunsetroosters
Originally Posted By: Rustler
I know you're talking about food plots, but have you considered free choice protein feeding.

A protein feeder filled with a quality deer feed in a feed pen provides 24/7 access, balanced nutrition and doesn't rely on soil prep, seeds germinating, rainfall & will exclude non target species better than any control methods used on a food plot.

You trade the annual costs of everything necessary to plant a food plot and pray for favorable conditions for them to grow for bags of feed.

I have a protein feeder in a shady spot about 100' from a tank, even with last weeks heat I saw deer eating during daylight hours every day.


This is really a great point. But does a protein feeder really replace the food plot? If it does that is fantastic but Iím trying to think if that really is possible.

In Texas the biggest issue is timely rains. If you get average to above average rainfall the food plots will do great but the deer probably don't need them. When they do need to food plots you don't have the rain to grow the food plots. In South Texas if you can not put in 15% of your acreage into food plots and have the farming equipment to farm them correctly you are probably wasting your time. Smaller % of food plots will require a protective fence to get them established and growing to where they will benefit you. A small food plot is not going to benefit your herd nutrition if you have to many deer using it. Like posted above, the protein feeder is there 100% of the time and if the deer need it, they have it. Correctly grown food plots take time and money but can be cheaper to get the extra nutrition to the deer compared to protein feeders. The key is rain or lack it. I know of one larger ranch that had a tremendous food plot program for both dryland and irrigated food plots year round. The fed no protein pelleted ration. They raised some great deer but after about 15 yrs they put a pencil to it and stopped the food plots , feeding straight protein. Neither food plots or protein feeders can increase the genetics or the age of the herd. You either have those or you don't, you can not supplement those into your deer herd.


Thank you for the really good info. In my mind I have Always thought, plant food plots to bring in deer for grazing. To give them a place to graze in the winter. So with all this said, purely for an attractant standpoint and not as a growth standpoint are you guys saying that the protein feeders will eliminate the reason for a good plot? Also do you guys still feed the protein during season or go to a timed spin cast?

I use food plots in the hunting season for an attractant but hunting over them in the morning is not really good. I push the deer off them going to the blind. I have a spin feeder and free choice protein feeder at each hunting blind also. I feed protein year round and have never stopped feeding it on ranches I managed or now that I own my own. I also use a road feeder every time I hunt or when I am out around a blind if I am not hunting that day. Free choice protein really attracts a lot of deer to the hunting blind. I make it a point to never shoot a deer inside a feed pen. I only shoot them on the corn in the roads. Late season can generate a tremendous amount of buck traffic post rut around the protein feeders. Needless to say the does never stop eating year round so they are the bait for the pre-rut and rut. October during archery season bucks really hit the protein feeders hard. I have seen bucks walk-over corn during archery and into the pre-rut to go to a protein feeder in South Texas.



Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7195435 06/12/18 03:08 AM
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Stx ranchman. Thank you very much for your input. You have given me great ideas for my strategyís this year.

Re: Food plots [Re: sunsetroosters] #7195478 06/12/18 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted By: sunsetroosters
Iím hesitate to spend big money for name brand premaid mixes. Not sure why just doesnít seem to make sense to me.
I Agree. It's just not a good value. Lots of cheaper and better options.


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