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rye cover crop like corn?

Old 10-09-2005, 09:08 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default rye cover crop like corn?

this year in new jersey i buy my usual bag of fall rye cover crop seed and with rake in hand i seed some areas near my stands. its been very dry and the seed never took after 3 weeks. what ive found is every time i go into these areas im spooking deer .they seem to be pawing the gound where the seed is. are they eating the seed? this would be way cheaper and lighter to carry in the woods than bag corn am i missing something. i checked the seed on the ground and its not growing. is there any nutritional value in just the rye seed or is it that the deer will eat anything? maybe a new great discovery
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Old 10-09-2005, 09:14 AM
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Default RE: rye cover crop like corn?

Sounds more like you have turkeys and other little creatures eating the rye and doing the scratching. The rye would be more expensive than corn and I can't see the deer prefering it over corn. The deer may be smelling the rye or are feeding on acorns or other foods in the area.
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Old 10-09-2005, 04:47 PM
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Default RE: rye cover crop like corn?

I'ev never had deer eat rye seed. all the rye I get is treated seed and nothing eats it?????
the deer around me prefer corn.
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Old 10-09-2005, 07:54 PM
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Default RE: rye cover crop like corn?

i pay about 10$ for a 50lb bag. volume wise rye is much lighter than corn and i was just dreaming for a moment that i could use it as a substitute. im positive its deer that are pawing it up. i have kicked up deer with heads down feeding out of my cleared out plots. im talking small 80 ft. by 30 ft plots. there is nothing growing. i cover the seed with pines needles that i fling over them with the rake. there is nothing else growing in the soil maybe some moss. finally got some rain maybe the seed will pop.
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:46 PM
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Default RE: rye cover crop like corn?

There are two types of rye, grass and grain. Grain rye islike corn, wheat, or oats. Deer will utilize thesegrains after winter kills the green stuff. Plant ONLY when you have a significant chance of rain within 2 or 3 days. Cover the seeds with dirt, not pine straw. You can also try frost-seeding if your ground heaves in winter. For early season hunting, plant greens such as turnips and collards, for late season plant grains and leave standing. If you have applied lime and fertilizer, deer may be eating the dirt to get to the minerals. If the rye is grain rye, they are probably eating the seeds.
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Old 10-16-2005, 07:35 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: rye cover crop like corn?

it is indeed grain rye and they have picked all my plots clean and i continue to kick deer up walking into the plots. i have sat on some of the plots and i have seen no birds or other critters eating it. i keep kicking deer off just the planted areas. its been so dry that none of the seed took at all. in the past the rye would pop in about 5 days so i guess the deer didnt have a chance to eat it as seed. i just thought it was strange because i have never seen it before. the thing im thinking is that it seems to attract them and its way harder for the deer to pick at the seed. if i started just scattering rye seed in the thick brush would it hold deer longer than the 2 or 3 days it takes for them to finish off a 50lb bag of corn?
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:28 PM
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Default RE: rye cover crop like corn?

In my experiences as a hunter/farmer, you may be right on target. I don't know anything for sure about rye, but have considerable experince with winter wheat. Wherever I clean out my grain drills or drop some seed while augering, etc the deer most certainly come and eat it and don't wait long before they arrive. This isn't something I've read, I watch it all the time. As a matter of fact, I watched a doe come across 47 acres of newly planted wheat (hasn't come up yet) just this past Saturday to eat the seed wheat on the ground. It happens all the time around here in S.W. Okla.although I'm not sure most people know it. Occasionally, I'll just pour 5 gallons or so of seed on the ground just to watch how long it takes the deer to find it and begin eating it. Believe me, it isn't long. Most of the time it's the same evening. I wouldn't think it would be that balanced of a diet, but they sure like it and will continue coming to it until they can't get any more. Also, the smell of pesticide on it doesn't seem to stop them either. In fact, I sometimes believe it helps them find it. We generally spray the seed with malathion to keep the bugs out. I wouldn't recommend spraying the seed because I couldn't think it would be good for the deer, but it sure doesn't stop them from finding it and eating it. Of course, the turkeys, hogs, raccoons, birds, etc take their share too. You might just be able to use this to help you some especially if you have access to a farmer somewhere with extra (maybe older) seed or seed screenings from cleaning or maybe what was left in his grain bins. Good luck.
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