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Food Plot Fencing #7255049 08/14/18 05:55 AM
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Txduckman Offline OP
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What is the biggest and smallest food plots you have done that you fenced off from cows that actually worked? We plan to spray this weekend and then scrap and plow in Sept. This is pasture land. Got soil tests ready to go as well. Without removing mesquites, we can do 1/4 to 1 acre plots. Our 1,000 acre has zero fields or ag right now. Neighbors near us have large wheat fields but not much cover like we do. Deer avoid feeders if possible except young bucks and doe. This is Montague county. By end of season it was 15 doe and zero bucks at a feeder.

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7255120 08/14/18 12:14 PM
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I was on a lease a long time ago and there were 10 of us on 2,000 near Ranger. We fenced a 5 acre square in the middle of the place and everyone agreed not to hunt with in 250 yards of it making it sort of a sanctuary. Of course one guy did, but I guess there is always that "one guy" on a deer lease where he agrees to rules and then when everyone else is going by them, he does not. It did work by the way to draw and keep deer on our property.


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Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7255134 08/14/18 12:29 PM
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stxranchman knows more about food plots than anyone I know. If I were going all in, I'd like 10% of my acreage in plots. But that would be summer/winter plots and would provide a bunch of good forage for the deer herd. Hopefully, greatly reducing supplemental feed consumption and producing bigger, healthier deer. If you're simply looking to attract/hold more deer on your property, you can get by with a lot less acreage. Ideally, I would think several toward the center of the property, if possible. Now I'll shut up and wait for the experts to chime in.

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7255380 08/14/18 04:35 PM
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This is just for attractant right now in several places. I would do protein for the other. Since it is a lease I am not investing in 10% of the property. Been on 8 years though.

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7255398 08/14/18 04:50 PM
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If correcting my mistakes gives me knowledge then I am can comment, but I do not know that much about the correct way farming. Small plots are best if you don't have cattle or other livestock on the land. If you are needing fencing, I have used electric fencing to keep the deer off of plots to get them established. I have done small plots of 1/2 to 5 acres with electric fencing. It is cheaper than conventional fencing but still cost a lot to get everything you need. Everything is reusable but you have to buy enough to do all the plots, including the solar fence charger and batterey. We always put the fence up the day after we finished planting. Then let the plot get established well and then took the fencing back down to store it. Dealing with a lot of small plots for fencing to keep the cattle off all during hunting season will be an issue since the deer will knock it down till they get used to it. You could dedicate one larger plot in the central area of the lease to draw the deer in and just try not to hunt it. Hunt the trails leading to and from it. Anytime I tried to hunt food plots in the morning I always ran the deer off. The more I hunted it the less deer I would see in the mornings. The evening were fine. I used a road feeder when hunting but still not near as much success in the mornings compared to seeing the amount of deer in the evenings. By the time you factor in the amount of time/money spent on the successful plots vs. the amount of years they fail, it might be cheaper to just go with timered or free choice protein feeders close to or at each blind.



Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: stxranchman] #7255406 08/14/18 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
If correcting my mistakes gives me knowledge


That's how we learn and you've been at this game a long time!

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7255408 08/14/18 05:01 PM
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I hunt in clay county and have a similar situation where we have cover, and a neighbor has a large wheat field. Last year we fenced in 2.5 acres with woven wire and seasonally planted it with peas/ wheat and it was heavily utilized and eaten down pretty quickly. The woven wire so far has kept the cows and hogs out successfully. This year we have fenced in another plot that is 5 acres and hope that with it planted it will help keep deer on our property. The creation of both plots required grubbing mesquite. We also feed protein and corn. Last year we had a thermal drone survey count 25 deer on our property. This year the drone counted 45 so despite the accuracy issues that come along with drone surveys it definitely appears the property is holding more deer. Another point would be that even if you aren't seeing mature bucks now if your feeders are covered in doe then when rut roles around you never know who those ladies will attract.


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Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7255464 08/14/18 05:45 PM
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I will know more after this weekend. I look at it as playground. We had some pretty big deer killed by neighbors last year but they only occasionally stopped by our place. This guy made a mistake but it was taken bow opener. Hopefully passed the genetics. Couple nice 150+ 10s taken as well by our next door neighbors.

I hunted Clay last year a few times. Some huge deer there. I enjoyed the wheat field hunting. Saw over 40 in one hunt. Killed a 300+ boar there.

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7259006 08/17/18 11:42 AM
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I've done quite a bit of food plot fencing on leased property to keep cattle out. I build the same kind of fence that I would build as if I was fencing the perimeter of the property. You also need to make it big enough so that the cattle don't push it. Leave enough space that you can drive your pickup all the way around it.

Consider the farming aspect (lessons learned). If it is to be a given acreage, make it longer than it is wide and give plenty of space to turn your tractor at the end rather than backing it up to turn. The length needs to reduce the number of turns, or it will take forever to farm.

For a decade, I had 12 food plots strung out over 2 miles, all fenced. I kept them small approximately an acre and square; they were a bitch to farm. It took three days for a single operation such as discing. I actually ended up redoing them which meant a lot of work but it was worth it. 300 yards long and 50 yards wide which is an acre, with at least one 16' gate at each end. It dropped the single operation work to a day.

I also made sure that the landowners understood that I would take it with me when I left unless they paid half of the material. I suggested that it would be useful for hay storage when the plots were dormant or when I left. All three of the different landowners accepted that consideration and paid half. I figured the labor was on me and the hands I hired. I also let them send their cattle through the plots when it suited my needs.

All this after I went through the effort with electric fences. Save your money.


Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Ranch Dog] #7261171 08/19/18 04:03 PM
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we started 5 years ago mowing and discing ANY area we can on the ranch no matter size..Let the new growth come back.. Its amazing how many deer you see esp in DEC/Jan just eating the new browse that comes up in the mowed areas..

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7279323 09/07/18 02:35 AM
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Thanks everyone!

We got our soil samples back from 4 areas and they were 5.5 to 6 pH. Need to get to 6.5. I do want do plant other areas so should be about same. If we do 2 acres does $900 sound right for lime, fertilizer and seed for ballpark? Would do 2 .66 acre plots and one .7 acre. Then disc other areas around feeders for new growth. Using higher ground as anything low here can get serious runoff.

If too muddy this weekend, not going to be able to disc anything. We have access to full size tractor and implements so size impacts our tpost driving and barb wire effort the most. Hopefully don't need to plow first but ground could be very hard as it has never been worked and over grazed.

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7283613 09/11/18 06:01 PM
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Sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, but are you saying electric fences won't keep the cows out and still the let the deer have access to the plot? I was thinking about trying an electric fence for this purpose this season.

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7299535 09/28/18 01:31 AM
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Txduckman

1. It has been my experience that if cows want in they will get in, having said that if you have any cross fencing on your place that allows for planting in the intersection of existing fence rows the you can cut down on the fencing needed by using the existing fence corner and putting up electric fencing to enclose a square or rectangle that makes it easy to figure acreage.

2. As for the liming - As a vague rule of thumb you can figure 1 ton of lime per acre to raise ph 1 point, the lime is cheap but the trucking isn't - you could possibly rent a dump trailer and haul the lime your self depending on how much your looking to do.

3. Fertilizer - When you got the soil tests, did they recommend what ratio of NPK to use and how much per acre? My local CO-OP will mix for me and even throw in free use of their fertilizer trailer to haul it with a truck and then hook to the tractor for spreading.

Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7301322 09/30/18 12:23 PM
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Thought I would add something here. In 2015, I took all my fencing, feeders and food plots down. Haven't used any since. I realize three years later that it wasn't worth a decade of money and effort.

I tried selling some of it here, a member said he was going to stop and pick it up on his way to his Mexico lease. Never heard from him again. He missed out, as I was planning on just giving it to him once he was here. There was several trailer loads of materials, both panels and then everything that goes with good solar power fencing. After a couple of more months, I called The Nature Conservancy to see if they needed it and they accepted it without hesitation as they needed it for their prairie chicken restoration project SE of Goliad. I even hauled it all down to the site. Earlier this month I was invited down to see how it was going, three years into the project. It was an experience that I won't forget seeing the donated materials used in the pre-release pens and varmint and cattle proofing fencing.

The prairie chickens were everywhere, never seen one before. The birds around the pens were young, but at one point a bunch of mature birds flushed from the waist-high prairie grass and flew over us. It was breathtaking and I knew that in my lifetime, few would witness that in Texas. That flight of birds made the money spent on that fencing and the effort to put it up and take it down, worth every penny and every minute spent.




Re: Food Plot Fencing [Re: Txduckman] #7320344 10/20/18 01:29 AM
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Unless you can just really do them on a grand scale. They probably are not going to return to you what you spend on them. I plant 2 or 3 acre-ish size plots in duval co. They arenít fenced. No cows on the place though. Years like this where it rains they are neat to have. Oats are cheap and I only fertilize occasionally. Hogs will piss you off. Itís just life. Already had a tractor and disc and shredder. Bought a sprayer for fence lines. It works to put grass killer on plots too. Iíve slowly been working up a roughly 8ac plot. But always lots to do down there. Itís been a slow process. Right now they look nice though.


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