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Food Plots

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Robbins290, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I am starting to research food plots. Does any one have any input or ideas for a mountain in maine that is not accessible by any equipment besides hand tools. Looking for a perennial with low maintenance. Will be lower light as there are still tall trees there and soil is pretty rich.
     
  2. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Well Small Town Throwdown from Antler King https://www.amazon.com/Antler-King-Small-Town-Throwdown/dp/B07932KF7Z#customerReviews gets good reviews and it's not too expensive. Has two different types of forage with the idea that the deer will establish a habitual pattern and keep coming back, and will find a second wave of forage as they do so as the year progresses toward hunting season. You might want to scout where you get at least the most of the limited light for your plot. You will probably find other brands/products that like moderate light levels. Most plot mixes are made to cover a quarter-acre, which might be rather large for you, so perhaps two smaller plots would work. I'd suggest a gas powered weed whacker using a ground tiller attachment would be your best bet.


    LD
     
  3. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    Thanks loyalist, the area i will be using will be about 2 acres or so. So size is not an issue. I could clear it out and get more sunlight if need be. I did a google search and got overwhelmed.
     
  4. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I'd be more concerned in getting something they want in a small plot, to come in strong and healthy as opposed to trying to put in a larger plot that comes in only so-so. Part of making a good food plot is fertilizer, and many times that costs as much if not more than the seed itself. A half acre food plot containing something desirable is plenty in many areas to draw deer. You may also need to fence part of the plot in order to keep deer from eating it all before season arrives. I regularly fence half of my quarter and half acre plots, not only to save it for later, but to see what and how much of my plots the deer actually eat. This tells me what I should plant next year. In your situation, a shady pasture mix might be all you would need, otherwise a good clover mix, once established, both would last 4-5 years. They would still require some form of fertilizer and to be mowed/cut several times a year. This is especially true in larger plots where the deer themselves won't keep it trimmed. My suggestion would be to plant the perennial you want, but leave one or more smaller patches of a 1/8 acre or so to plant fresh fall greens like Oats/Wheat/Rye and cowpeas or brassicas.
     
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  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    One method I forgot to mention, that has worked very well for me, is frost seeding. This works very well on hillsides that receive several hours a day of direct sunlight. The idea behind frost seeding is that the thawing and refreezing of the soil will make for better soil contact with the seed. Clovers and grasses work very well for this. Since you are asking this question quite late in the growing season, I'm gonna assume you are thinking about next spring. What I would do is to cut/weed eat a section of ground...maybe an quarter acre at most and then spray it with a herbicide to kill anything that is growing. Then in late winter or early spring(before maple syrup season) go out and broadcast your seed. Now frost seeding requires a little heavier seed rate and you might want to include a little bit of cover seed like rye. Then, right before the seed starts to germinate, I'd fertilize it. Most of my clover has been planted this way in the last several years and it has worked well for me. I keep the plots small since I cannot get a tractor or mower on the steep hillsides, so I have to use a weed eater to mow it 3-4 times a year. This makes the clover/alfalfa bush out and spread and keeps it young and tender.
     
  6. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    For hard to reach, you want something that is sure to take off. Clover is great. In Michigan which has a similar climate, deer loved treefoil. Fall seeding annual rye grass works too. But it's an every year thing.
    I'm not a fan of mixes unless they're similar sized seeds with similar planting requirements.
     
  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Problem with commercial mixes is many times they contain high amounts of cheap seed like oats/rye....IOWs, they put $5 worth of Oat seed in a fancy bag, call the mix "Antler fuel" and charge you $25 for it. I make my own mixes or buy ones that contain the type of seed in the percentages I want. Mixes work well for deer because their are not grazers, but browsers. Mixes also work well when you need a quick cover crop such as oats/rye when spring seeding clover. Mixes that mature or become preferred at various times can extend your food plot when using annuals. Planting a mix and then fencing off a small portion will also tell you what in the mix the deer prefer. What to plant is not always as simple as just buying what's on the shelf at the hardware store. I have experimented over the years and have figured out what works best for me, where I hunt. Others I know have better luck with something different where they hunt. Depends a lot on what else is available at the time of year when your plot is optimal.

    Here's a good link to frost seeding.....https://www.qdma.com/frost-seed-food-plots/
     
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