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What to plant to attract game.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Readyrod, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Readyrod

    Readyrod Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  3. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Readyrod

    Readyrod Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  6. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    ....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.
  7. adelbridge

    adelbridge Well-Known Member

  8. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Well-Known Member

    Just hunt harder. I never really agreed with planting something to attract game. It feels too much like "baiting"...not "hunting".
  10. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    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!

  12. Readyrod

    Readyrod Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. elkdomBC

    elkdomBC Well-Known Member

    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

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  14. Ms_Dragon

    Ms_Dragon Well-Known Member

    What to plant to attract game?

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

    enine Well-Known Member

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

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    My spring plots are iron clay peas and milo. Fall plots are oats. Will plant some winter rye with the oats this year.
  17. Readyrod

    Readyrod Well-Known Member

    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.

    Yea, I hear ya.
  18. Lethal Threat

    Lethal Threat Well-Known Member

    I know this is opposite of what you asked. But to protect your grounds, plant politicians.
  19. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    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.

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