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Old 04-22-2011, 11:53 PM   #1
Spike
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Southeast Tennessee
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Default Southeast Tennessee Spring/Summer Food Plot Seed

I have a hunting club in the mountains of southeast Tennessee. We have approximately 500 acres of posted private property consisting of approximately 20-25% fields/powerline R.O.W. and the rest bountiful mast producing hardwoods. The property includes a deep and wide hollow (approx. 600ft D x 500 yds W at its widest on our property) with year round water in a few spring pools down in the hollow even during drought as well as 5 spring fed ponds on farmland on one side of the hollow. Our property borders about 3000 acres of Franklin Forest property, 1000 of which was clearcut 12 yrs ago. Needless to say the 1000 acre clearcut is one huge sanctuary for the deer. Our food plots have in the past totaled about 2 acres and have been restricted to the powerline r.o.w. running through the middle of our property on top of the mountain. We are limited to the amount of area available for food plots due to the topography of the terrain on that right-of-way (mostly steep). Last year I planted a combination of Hutcheson soybeans, white clover, and iron&clay cowpeas as well as several Trophy Rocks situated at the various plots. Needless to say the deer herd was healthy in the fall. We had an unbelievable mast crop of white oak and red oak acorns throughout the woods. The food plots were literally cleaned, down to the dirt, of all the crop planted. I am considering erecting a small (6ft x 6ft) fenced portion with a top on it to better monitor the actual crop growth potential. I am also looking at planting Ladino clover instead of white. Is there anything else I can do or a different seed mixture I can plant that would better benefit the health/antler growth of the herd? We, myself and a couple other members have committed to letting yearling bucks walk and harvesting more does in the hope of improving our buck to doe ratio. Any suggestions/advice/information is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Big Boy 1 is 2010 Big Boy 2(3) is 2009
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
Nontypical Buck
 
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Sounds like your planting the right forage, but I think you need to add more acreage to it. 2 acres is not enough acreage to make a big difference in the size of bucks. Soy beans would be another good crop to plant, but it needs to be more acreage. JMO
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:39 AM   #3
Spike
 
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I am from southeast TN as well, Hamilton County to be exact. What county is your club in? Just curious
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:11 AM   #4
Boone & Crockett
 
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Deer like iron clay peas and hit them hard. Iron clay peas are more drought tolerant that soybeans, cow peas and blackeyed peas. Last Sat. i no tilled iron clay peas mixed with milo over about six acres of ripening oats. The iron clay peas climb the milo stalks. The ground was well moist and the place got more rain yesterday.

Here is one of our plots from 2007. This one has too much milo.

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Old 05-06-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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You should increase your acreage or choose something more resistant to grazing. I'm sure you were excited to your plot eaten to the ground, but it isn't a good thing to have your plots eaten that low.

I like 5 acres minimum for most beans, but cowpeas (purple hull, iron clay) or forage soybeans might get by with half that depending on the deer density.

One good choice that lots of people overlook is aeschynomene (joint vetch, deer vetch). It's a summer annual that takes grazing pressure better than any bean.
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