How many of you plant food plots in the Spring Time for deer?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Veo, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Veo

    Veo Super Member<br>2012 Turkey Contest Winner

    If so, what do you plant in the spring and about what time do you plant it?

    And do you replant in the fall or just mow or what?

    I really want to get a good food plot going, and finally have the land prepped as far as cleared and stuff, I just don't know if it'd be best to do in the Spring or fall or both or what?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Im going to pay attention to the comments on this thread. I have the land too. Just never done anyting with it.
     

  3. Passthrough

    Passthrough Account Suspended

    X2- I have decided to do Spring plots this year too. i was gonna ask for the same advice.
     
  4. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Here is what I do. I plant my fall plots with wheat and overseed with Farm Co-op grade white clover or ladino. The wheat provides a quick green up in the fall for immediate use. The clover starts coming in late winter and the deer will use it all summer - or until the heat and drought kills it - mid july the past two years. I use the cheap white clover because I disk these plots and replant every fall - I don't care if the clover comes back. The deer hit this clover hard in the summer until it dies. These are usually small to medium sized plots - 1/4 acre to 3 acres. These are my "kill" plots - this is were we kill most of our deer. I also have a few small - less than 1/2 acre - usually 1/4 acre permanently established Imperial Whitetail Clover plots that have, so far, come back every year - even with the drought. They actually provide enough growth in September to provide some grazing at that time - even before the wheat gets going. By the way, I dont plant my wheat/clover until the end of Sept or in October because around here - it is too dry in September. Mow these pure clover plots a couple times in the summer and they will be looking good the rest of the year. My summer plots are planted with roundup ready soybeans. In SW AR, I try to plant in April to insure rain for germination and growth when the beans are young. Roundup your ground a month prior to planting - it will be pretty clean by planting time and easier to work. I dont like to roundup my beans until they are at least 6" tall. I have found it may yellow (burn) them a little if they are smaller than that. They will come out of a burning - but I believe it sets them back some. Dont worry too much if it looks like the weeds are taking over - the roundup will take care of it. I ususally roundup once when they are about six to eight inches tall - and another time when they are about 15 inches tall and that is usually all it takes. The deer will browse the vegetation right up to leaf drop in the fall. Get as late a maturing variety as you can find. Aound here, I can usually get a 6.7. The higher the number, the later the maturity date. 7 is as late as they come. Mine will usually hold their leaves into late October. Usually a month after leaf drop, the bean pods will start bursting open, expelling the beans. Deer will usually continue feeding on the beans on the ground. In additions, I have had some great winter dove shoots on these beans. I like at least three acres for my bean plots - and 5 is even better. Where I plant, deer ususally will not start really hitting them until mid summer. This is another reason to get them in early so they are able to generate enough growth to withstand heavy browsing. In May and June, there is usually enough natural green matter available that the deer dont wipe out the bean field when it is 8 inches tall. I tried the Eagle Seed forage beans this year, but they pretty much burned up so I cant provide an opinion on them - but I can see the theory behind them - they supposedly continue to grow even after browsing. The deer did use them - I just did not get much of a stand. This year, after the leaves dropped on my soybeans, I planted 1/4 to 1/2 acre of a leafy planting - a mixture of brassicas - kale, rape, turnips, etc. - right back in part of the soybean plot. The planting is doing great, we will see how the deer like it. You could easily double crop wheat and soybeans if you are space limited. However, I prefer a larger soybean plot than my wheat plots. I feel like the summer plots are especially important - to draw deer and hold them on YOUR place all summer - so they are already in the area when you plant fall hunting plots.
     
  5. Passthrough

    Passthrough Account Suspended

    Wow- talk about some step by step guidance. Thanks for taking the time to post. This will really help me.
     
  6. Tink

    Tink Well-Known Member

    We been doing it for 4yr now and what we do is plant iron and clay peas in the spring and by August we over plant we soybeans. We also mix clover, brassica, sugar beets, and turnips for fall plots to get them threw January - March. In my OPINON you have to play with food plots to get what works best for your area. It took us two years to get the right combo to get deer hitting are food plots like we want.
     
  7. Passthrough

    Passthrough Account Suspended

    This is what I was worried about, trying to figure out what will work in my area. Its pretty dry groung where I hunt. I grew up hunting on a property where other folks had big tractors and equipment and took care of all the plots. Now Im hunting my own place so I am having to learn from scratch.

    Im only trying to do 3 or 4 small plots, probably acre or less each. I have a disc that pulls behind my atv and a large brush mower. Anything else I am going to have to have?
     
  8. mathews1012

    mathews1012 Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of double crop with the soybeans and wheat. Our farmer does that at our camp and it works great.
     
  9. BIG JIM

    BIG JIM Select Member<br>Ol Eagle Eye

    x2
     
  10. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    A sprayer to be mounted on the back of your ATV. It needs to be one that the wand mounts on the back of the sprayer and you can just drive and it will spray a 6 to 10 ft wide band of spray. I can not emphasize enough how important it is to remove as much vegetation before you start with the disk. If possible - spray roundup on your foodplot areas a month before soil prep. Then, burn the vegetation off right before disking. Your disking time will be greatly reduced if you can burn the vegetation prior to disking - and you will get a better seed bed. I get one of the 16 foot heavy hog panels - the kind that is made out of wire almost as big as your little finger. Take a sawsall and cut it into - so you have a pc 8 ft wide. Get a couple of old tires and wire these on the panel where they sit about 15 inches apart - they add weight to the panel - this will be your drag once you finish planting. These are actually cheap enough so you can have a couple of them and leave them various places around your land. You will also need a seeder - a hand seeder or preferably one that mounts to the 4 wheeler or can be towed behind the 4 wheeler. I have put out 1000 lbs of seed and fertilized in 95 degree heat with a hand seeder - but I did not like it. The hand seeder makes for a pretty messy job putting out fertilizer.

    I spray two quarts of generic roundup (Eraser, Ranger, etc) per acre. You can buy this without a pesticide license at the Co-op for about $40 for a 2 1/2 gallon jug. I will spray at about 3 miles per hour. You will have to figure out your tank rate. Fill it half full of water and spray til it is gone. If you are spraying one acre, and your tank is good for half that before you have to refil - then put 1 qt roundup per tank - that way you will spray two tank fulls over the whole foodplot, with a quart of roundup in each tank - for two quarts per acre.

    I like the roundup ready soybeans over other types of summer peas because you can control the competition with the roundup. Other types of plantings may be overwhelmed by weeds if you can't keep them controlled.

    Did I say how important it is to get rid of as much vegetation as possible before soil prep. If you cant spray and burn it, then at least try to spray a month before. If you cant spray, bush hog a month before. Soil prep - especially with an ATV disk, goes much better with as little vegetation on the ground as possible.

    The BEST soil prep tool is a tiller mounted on a tractor. I don't even use my disk since I got my 60" tractor mounted tiller. But, I have planted many an acre with a 4 wheeler and 40" disk.:up:
     
  11. Veo

    Veo Super Member<br>2012 Turkey Contest Winner

    Thanks a lot Swamp Cat, lots of help! I only have one spot I'm planting and it's about 3/4 of an acre, hopefully it will be my "kill" plot as you say. I planted mostly clover this year and the deer are hitting it hard, and i want to put something in this spring they can use all summer.

    Thanks again really appreciate the help.
     
  12. Passthrough

    Passthrough Account Suspended

    x2
     
  13. Tink

    Tink Well-Known Member

    X2 on removing vegetation! Got remove it!
    We used the same set up as swamp cat and use to use a four wheeler with a disc until we got one for are tractor. Once you get ground broke and establish a food plot ground to me it's a lot more easier year after year to disc. The other big key is fertilizer! Yes you can use to much where and seen it happen where deer wouldn't hit one food plot but the other they would mow it down. I don't know why but, I seen it and heard others say the same. Triple 13 is all we use on are plots and we spread it 1/2lb per ac.
     
  14. Veo

    Veo Super Member<br>2012 Turkey Contest Winner

    Thanks Tink!
     
  15. Passthrough

    Passthrough Account Suspended

    throw fertilizer at same time as seed, before, or after it starts growing?
     
  16. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Preferably, spread prior to disking and disk it in. Remember, beans make their own nitrogen so as a general rule, you can get by with less nitrogen - first number in fertilizer. But, 13-13-13 is fine or even 17-17-17 even though you are somewhat wasting the nitrogen and contributing to weed growth. On my fall plots, I put out 200 lbs per acre 17-17-17. I put in 100 lbs at time of planting and the other 100 lbs around the first of november - gives a green up and growth spurt right before gun season. This is a little labor intensive and putting it all down at time of planting is fine. Every plot of ground has different fertilizer requirements but pretty much anywhere in AR can handle 200 lbs per acre.
     
  17. gregrn43

    gregrn43 Well-Known Member

    2,160
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    NEA
    I plant 5 acres of soybean every May. Deer feed on them all summer long and keep feeding after the leaves fall until all the beans are gone. Last year you could walk through my bean plot and see nothing but straight stalks standing. This year my bean plot failed, planted in May with good moisture in the soil and they popped right up then they went over 8 weeks with no rain, lost all of them. Swampcat is right roundup is your friend. Clean plots are much easier to work up than ones with grass and weeds in them. Get a soil test done now so you can see what type of fertilizer you need and how much lime needs to be added to your soil. I dont have a drill for my tractor so I broadcast the beans and lightly disk them in while pulling a drag behind the disk. I use pioneer brand beans because I get them at the local elevator and they are the least expensive roundup ready beans that I have found. Soybeans are a big draw for whitetails they simply love eating beans and will come to them every afternoon to feed in. If you can keep your distance and not spook them you can watch deer every afternoon in the late summer feeding on them. I dont plant any field corn because without adequate rainfall corn is not going to do very good and corn takes a lot of water. Also soybeans take far less fertilizer than corn does. Clover is a good crop to plant in the fall for the next summers food plot. In my experience if its planted in the spring sometimes it doesnt get a good enough root system down to keep it going before the dry weather hits in the summer. I have had good luck with arrowleaf clover because it is more drought resistance than some other varieties. I plant my clover in the fall mixed with either oats, wheat or my favorite winter rye. Deer love winter rye and its easy to grow and takes very little fertilizer. In the spring is when the clover takes off and which every type of cereal grain that you plant with it offers some shade for it during the summer months. Soybeans and clover make up my summer time food plots. For the fall its a cereal grain and some type of brassicas usually rape and turnips. Right now the deer are just hammering on my turnips and rape. Next year I am gonna try some winter radishes I have heard good things about them. Good luck with your plots next spring and I hope we get more rain this next summer than the last one.
     
  18. KemperCamper

    KemperCamper Select Member<br>2014-2015 Deer Hunting Contest W

    BOTH IS BETTER IN MY OPINION
    I plant fall and spring food plots for deer and turkey.
     
  19. KemperCamper

    KemperCamper Select Member<br>2014-2015 Deer Hunting Contest W

    I had really good results planting Milo and Buckwheat in my spring foodplots.
    The Milo did really well. Turkeys been hitting it through late summer and into the fall.
    Lookup and do some research on Buckwheat. think you will like it.
    Mine did great this year.
     
  20. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    How well did the deer use the milo. I have planted it before and had very little use by deer.

    I have thoght about trying buckwheat before - I have heard the deer like it and also heard bees will work it well (I have a number of hives). Did the deer use the buckwheat well? If it made it this year during the drought, it can probably make it any year.