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What to plant to attract game.

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

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  1. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    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

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  3. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    ....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 Member

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  8. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    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 Member

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

    Patocazador Member

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    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

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    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
     
  12. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    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 Member

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    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
     

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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  14. Ms_Dragon

    Ms_Dragon Member

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    What to plant to attract game?

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

    enine Member

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

    alsaqr Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    redneck2 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.
     
  21. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    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.
     
  22. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  23. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    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.
     
  24. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    I was thinking of being more specific. What would you plant for rabbits?
     
  25. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I planted cowpeas for a bird field and grazing for the cows. Rabbits invaded it because it provided nutrition and cover from the raptors.
     
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