What to plant to attract game.


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Readyrod
January 9, 2013, 09:22 PM
I asked a similar question a while ago about what features to look for on a piece of property that would attract game. Now I'm interested in what you could plant on your property to attract game. I'm talking garden and field crops. I'm not asking about any specific game but game in general. The goal is to get an idea of what good hunting property looks like and what I can do to improve it. Any ideas?

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rcmodel
January 9, 2013, 09:48 PM
Think cover, concealment, shelter, food, and water.

http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1192458998480&lang=eng

rc

sourdough44
January 9, 2013, 10:02 PM
Soil type, location, 'zone' all come into play. Apples and or crab apples are tops, if they will grow. The Dolgo crab apple is very hardy & has larger size apples, for a crab. It takes a bit to get an apple tree growing, things are always trying to kill it.

jmorris
January 10, 2013, 01:30 AM
What do you want to attract? Hogs seem to like really smooth hay meadows. Squirrels like trees that have nuts. Rabbits like fence rows. Deer like all of the above.

Readyrod
January 10, 2013, 08:18 AM
What do you want to attract?

I don't have any game in particular (ok maybe deer). I just want lots of ideas. I'm in the idea phase of the plan right now.

Nice link rcmodel thanks. It's great.

buck460XVR
January 10, 2013, 11:29 AM
What do you want to attract?


....and do you want to attract them only during a hunting season or year round? If one really wants to keep wildlife(especially deer) in the area year round, they need to have cover and a variety of foods available year round. On my son's land we plant Rye on the lanes and field edges, it provides good amounts of protein early, as in soon as the snow melts, and late in the growing season and stays green under the snow. Not only does it attract deer, but hen turkeys in the early spring crave the protein rich growth to stimulate egg laying and they in return attract Toms. One hillside was logged and the new growth poplars not only provide thick cover, but also tender buds in late winter when nuttin' much else is around. Occasionally, when the deer have browsed what they can off them, we'll cut a few down so they have a fresh supply they can reach. Two years later in the same spot another crop of new growth has started. Grouse and rabbits like the cover and tender buds also. We also try and plant food crops that aren't readily available nearby. We plant a large pumpkin patch that provides the grand-kids and neighbors with all the Jack-O-Lanterns they need. There's always plenty left over for the deer. Hard part is getting the pumpkins to ripen on the vine, as the deer will generally destroy them once they get ripe. Knowing how much wildlife in general love them, we plant sunflowers in narrow strips in the larger food plots containing commercial food plot seed. We also have planted a variety of apple trees to compliment the naturally occurring oak and hickory trees. I'd suggest contacting your local county or area Ag and/or forestry dept. for ideas and suggestions.

adelbridge
January 10, 2013, 06:04 PM
http://www.plantbiologic.com/

http://www.evolved.com/

http://http://www.whitetailinstitute.com/products/samples.html?gclid=CLPuupHm3rQCFSemPAodXRsA3g

There are hundreds of commercially available food plot seeds. Pick one for your climate and follow the instructions on bag. My buddy in northern WI plants turnips and leaves a couple acres standing corn for food and cover.

horsemen61
January 10, 2013, 06:07 PM
I would not only add plants but I would look at your property does it have WATER game needs water as much as they need food.

WoodchuckAssassin
January 10, 2013, 06:09 PM
Just hunt harder. I never really agreed with planting something to attract game. It feels too much like "baiting"...not "hunting".

Patocazador
January 10, 2013, 06:15 PM
Clover in the Spring; Rye, wheat, or oats in the Fall. Clover is a perennial that fixes nitrogen in the soil and the others are cheap annual crops that will stay green in certain climates throughout the Winter.

rcmodel
January 10, 2013, 06:19 PM
Hunting harder will do no good if there is no habitat for the game to be there.

"Clear to the Road" farming practices here in Kansas have made a wildlife wasteland out of my old boyhood stomping grounds.

All the hedge rows and weed patches are gone, and the only thing left for wild game to hide under is 4 strands of barb-wire fence with no weeds growing under it!

rc

Readyrod
January 10, 2013, 07:07 PM
Great suggestions, just what I'm looking for. I don't have a property yet, I'm still planning. I have a friend back home who dabbles in real estate and I'm going to get him to keep an eye open for me. I'm asking to get an idea of what to look for and how I will improve it. It's not just for hunting, I like looking at wildlife too. Besides, these days the poor little critters need a break, there is so much habitat loss.

elkdomBC
January 10, 2013, 08:01 PM
at very little expense and quick to produce forage , up here in Northern Canader Eh! some crops that will attract many kinds of big game, try plots of alfalfa/clover mix with areas including Wheat and Oats plots and just plain ol' Hay mix, these will attract and keep bringing back Mule deer, WT Deer, Moose, Elk and Bear, these take very minimal ground preparation and general spring and summer rains will provide water to grow, no irrigation required

Ms_Dragon
January 12, 2013, 07:00 PM
What to plant to attract game?

Vegetable gardens, fruit trees and anything else you value and cherish like rose bushes. :p

enine
January 12, 2013, 10:17 PM
Nothing attracts game better than a garden that you intended to eat yourself.

alsaqr
January 13, 2013, 12:07 AM
My spring plots are iron clay peas and milo. Fall plots are oats. Will plant some winter rye with the oats this year.

Readyrod
January 13, 2013, 07:36 AM
I studied agriculture and I've worked on farms and this is a really interesting subject for me. On the farm we were trying to get rid of wildlife tho. Attracting wildlife is like the total opposite. It's a really interesting subject. Thanks for the replies.

Nothing attracts game better than a garden that you intended to eat yourself.

Vegetable gardens, fruit trees and anything else you value and cherish like rose bushes.

Yea, I hear ya.

Lethal Threat
January 13, 2013, 10:12 AM
I know this is opposite of what you asked. But to protect your grounds, plant politicians.

redneck2
January 13, 2013, 10:46 AM
I would not only add plants but I would look at your property does it have WATER game needs water as much as they need food.I've read that birds need 3x as much water in the winter as summer. Also, the biggest thing for birds in winter is grit, not food. You'll see turkeys along roadsides or in gravel drive ways getting grit. Dump a pile of and/gravel where the sun will hit it to melt off snow.

Easiest would be to take a drive thru any state run wildlife management areas. They are typically the ultimate habitat. I'm looking at buying a house and 22 acres right now. If I get it, the habitat will pretty much be the same as those areas.

Patocazador
January 13, 2013, 01:24 PM
Easiest would be to take a drive thru any state run wildlife management areas. They are typically the ultimate habitat.

Maybe the state-run wildlife management areas in Indiana are like that .. but not in Florida. They just take a piece of land, let the politicians and LEOs hunt it until the public gripes enough and then they open it up for limited hunting.

buck460XVR
January 13, 2013, 03:42 PM
.

Easiest would be to take a drive thru any state run wildlife management areas. They are typically the ultimate habitat.


Here in Wisconsin, the state does little if anything to improve habitat. Most large parcels of public land were obtained because they were undesirable for any other purpose....i.e too wet or access limited due to terrain. This makes planting food that is not already available naturally very difficult if not impossible. The state also does not have the monies for this. In small areas where planting crops is done, it is usually on leased fields with the crops being planted determined not by what's needed, but what the farmer leasing the fields thinks is most profitable. What the state does do mostly is to sell off logging rights, which results in clear cutting. While this does produce cover and food in the long run, and works in very large parcel of heavy forested land, it is something most owners of small parcels do not find they favor. The other thing the state does, is to establish low dikes to impound water, increasing wetlands and waterfowl production. Again, something that is feasible in large areas, but most land owners are not looking to make their hunting property a swamp. While I think our state does a great job with the land and monies they have available to them, they are no example of what one can do when they focus on a particular small area with the desire to attract a certain species of game for a specific purpose. They are more focused on doing the most with the least and for the good of the masses. While in the long run it does benefit all wildlife and outdoor recreation, it is government run. What the government does do in many cases tho, is to provide a county ag or forestry agent. In many areas of our state, these agents have little contact with farmers or loggers anymore. Their contacts are mostly owners of small parcels looking to do exactly what the OP is......improving their land to it's optimal for attracting and keeping wildlife. Their services are also free and many times they are land owners/hunters themselves. Our local Farmer's co-op also has an agronomist that spends more time advising food plots for recreation than walking large parcels for cash croppers.

redneck2
January 13, 2013, 08:29 PM
Guess it's a whole different program. Here they plant strips of sunflowers, wheat, corn etc. mixed into evergreen wind breaks. Generous strips of brushy rows.

As noted above, check with the local soil conservation services. There are times they provide free or very low cost trees and seed.

Kachok
January 14, 2013, 12:40 AM
I used to live in a swamp as a child and we always saw alot of wildlife around the wild blackberries on the back of the property (tons of them!), not sure if that would help you out during hunting season though.

Readyrod
January 18, 2013, 10:21 AM
I was thinking of being more specific. What would you plant for rabbits?

Patocazador
January 18, 2013, 11:29 AM
I was thinking of being more specific. What would you plant for rabbits?
I planted cowpeas for a bird field and grazing for the cows. Rabbits invaded it because it provided nutrition and cover from the raptors.

Kachok
January 18, 2013, 10:08 PM
I was thinking of being more specific. What would you plant for rabbits?
We never could keep those dang rabbits out of mom's prize winning day lilies, we tried everything you could imagine, dogs, guns, fences, every night they would tear them apart. Don't know if that is much of a food plot but they sure loved those flowers.
I imagine rabbits would eat anything you would grow in a home garden, as well as clover and grass crops, we saw thousands of them in the blackberry bushes too, that was their daytime hangout.

buck460XVR
January 19, 2013, 01:26 PM
I was thinking of being more specific. What would you plant for rabbits?


I like plantin' a .177 pellet right between their eyes. Dang rodents destroy one or more of my blueberry bushes every winter. While I put out food for the birds and squirrels, and plant and mange the land to attract other forms of wildlife, rabbits are always on my "hit" list.

Readyrod
January 24, 2013, 10:14 AM
How about attracting deer.

gp911
January 25, 2013, 02:14 PM
Hostas. They'll stare at you through the window while munching on your hostas, IMO.

Sav .250
January 25, 2013, 02:27 PM
No property and lots of ideas. Have you tried google? Ask your question on Food plots for what ever game you have in mind. Save you money and time.

I do remember your "first" question. You didn`t know what to do then either. :)

Readyrod
January 25, 2013, 06:05 PM
No property and lots of ideas. Have you tried google? Ask your question on Food plots for what ever game you have in mind. Save you money and time.

I do remember your "first" question. You didn`t know what to do then either.

I've checked lots a places. It's called brainstorming dude. If you don't like it you should find another thread to be rude on.

Dr. A
January 27, 2013, 12:54 PM
Depending on the season I am hunting, (rifle vs. Bow), I plant rye, oats, and Austrian winter peas with red clover topping it all off. It attracts virtually everything, deer, turkey, quail, pheasant and all the predators. I planted early Sept. This year, and it got a bit too long, but was perfect for bow season. The peas and clover sometimes survive the winter, and if the rye is mowed (oats die off), will grow till the moisture or heat gets to them in the summertime. Rye naturally repels weeds, and will leave N in the soil when it dies, which is unlike what and oats that totally waste anything left over. The N fixers (peas and clover, will give a positive n balance, decreasing needed fertilizer and the occasional lyme supplementation. To avoid acidic soil. Its hard to screw up like most other things.

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/2012buckfunneltrailcam015.jpg

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/2012trailcam006.jpg

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/2012trailcam010_zpsdd5c9cab.jpg

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/Bigbuck2012015.jpg

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/photobucket-30714-1359384945982.jpg

Readyrod
January 29, 2013, 10:35 AM
Nice pix Dr. A. Thanks for the views. How big is the field?

Dr. A
January 29, 2013, 07:56 PM
One is 3 acres and one is about 1 acre. On the other side of the farm I've got 5 others and they range from 1.2 to about 4 acres.

Readyrod
February 2, 2013, 10:42 AM
Which field do you think is the best and why? That"s nice thick fodder you have in the last picture. What do you use to keep the fields trim?

Dr. A
February 4, 2013, 06:31 PM
The animals themselves keep them trimmed. During our last snow, the browse was a little shaggy, but they've grazed it down tight. Looks tall where my hand is, but it goes down right now! Swampy area is best in the drouth, but the upper areas are well drained and are best the rest of the time. You can just barely make out in the 1st pic the CRP field it is up next too. With normal rainy year, that grass is 7 feet tall. Its great to have for cover. There are also trees surrounding the area, and this cover is really why the deer like this place. We've got all sorts of wheat, milo, corn and bean fields around us. They may be chosen over us for particular reasons. Its usually related to what tastes best now. Here is a pheasant with that crp field in the back. These plots are actually extensions of that.

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/pheasant20103.jpg

This is the swamp. Have reeds etc. invasive into my plantings, but its a deer favorite.

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/2011-09-10_19-40-58_984.jpg

More of the 3 acre upper field:

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/2011-10-29_15-27-53_312.jpg

MCgunner
February 4, 2013, 09:58 PM
Both my places have really crappy sandy soil. I don't have the equipment anyway, just sayin'. Be nice if I could groom a couple of acres like that. I think on one of my places, I want a tank, not so much for the deer as the ducks. I could have my own private duck pond. :D Ducks land there, anyway, when it's really wet.

Sav .250
February 5, 2013, 09:07 AM
I've checked lots a places. It's called brainstorming dude. If you don't like it you should find another thread to be rude on.
Hey Dude:

You asked the question.. I gave you an answer. Not rude at all. You just didn`t like my answer. That`s life ..........................DUDE.

Readyrod
February 15, 2013, 09:46 AM
Hey Dr. A, do you have livestock on those fields also?

beatledog7
February 15, 2013, 10:18 AM
It would seem to me that simply allowing indigenous plants to flourish would attract whatever wildlife is already around, since the presence of those plants is by and large the reason why they are around.

Anything you cultivate might attract one sort of beast but repel another.

Double Naught Spy
February 16, 2013, 10:22 AM
All the suggestions are great, even Google, but the suggestions are pretty meaningless without specific contextual information. What you can plant, that will survive, and that will be good to attract intended game is going to depend on environmental conditions of geography, geology, and climate, not to mention regional preferences of some animals. What works in BC certainly may not be ideal or even necessarily a good suggestion for Manitoba and may not work at all in New Foundland. That which works down on the coast may not work in the mountains. Ideal plants for sandy soil may not do well in blacklands, clays, or volcanic soils.

What to plant to attract game, aside from "food" is really location specific.

Readyrod, are you planning on moving to a particular area of Canada?

Readyrod
February 17, 2013, 08:28 AM
suggestions are pretty meaningless without specific contextual information. What you can plant, that will survive, and that will be good to attract intended game is going to depend on environmental conditions of geography, geology, and climate, not to mention regional preferences of some animals. What works in BC certainly may not be ideal or even necessarily a good suggestion for Manitoba and may not work at all in New Foundland. That which works down on the coast may not work in the mountains. Ideal plants for sandy soil may not do well in blacklands, clays, or volcanic soils.

I totally agree, but on the other hand there are always some general principles that apply to any area. The cover thing for instance. The grass seed mix may be different in Tennessee but a good local specific grass seed mix will still attract the game somewhere else. That's what I'm looking for, generic and specific knowledge. Also it's just cool to learn what works in different places. Dr. A's pix are kinda nice. Personally I'm thinking of relocating on Vancouver Island, near Comox. That's tentative tho cause western Alberta looks good too. So does the BC interior. Those Rocky mountains sure are pretty and there is some rangeland in there as well.
Sorry if I'm not too specific. I'm still trying to escape Japan. Nice place but dang those gun laws.

Deer_Freak
February 17, 2013, 10:44 AM
Winter wheat doesn't require a lot of fertilizer to be lush. Persimmons are big draw for all kinds of game. There are dozens of wild persimmons on my property. I always approach the area around a persimmon tree very cautiously, quite often there is a deer around there.

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