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What's up with this?

Old 09-06-2008, 09:25 PM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default What's up with this?

The deer are hammering my brassica food plots. Don't they know they are supposed to wait till after a frost or 2 to eat that stuff?

At this rate I won't have any left by the time my season opens Oct 1st.

Anyone else have this happen.

Its not like they don't have anything to eat. There is a corn field right across the creek and a soybean field 1/4 mile down the road.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: What's up with this?

Jim,how old is your plot? Brassica becomes sweet when the plants mature.Cold weather speeds up the process and enhances it.That's why it is a good all a round food plot.They normally don't mess with it untill it matures.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:40 PM
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Default RE: What's up with this?

Ohio is right. When did you plant and what variety did you use?

It could be the variety you used has started to mature and possibly could have served you better by being planted a few weeks later.

Save this info for reference next year. Figure out how long it has been since you planted and adjust your schedule next year.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:52 PM
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Default RE: What's up with this?

I planted Antler King-Honey Hole the first week of August.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:23 PM
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Default RE: What's up with this?

Wow!

Are they hitting the Rape or are they hitting the turnips?

Checked the AK website and they don't list the plant variety. I know there are some forage turnips that start to mature at 50 - 80 days. Most rape takes 90+ days to mature.

I guess they couldn't wait and needed their fix now.

They also could be keying on a food source that they know will give them the most nutritional bang for their buck. The corn is low in protein and the beans may not be "ready".

Most of the brassica used is able to tolerate some grazing. Hopefully yours can too, and with it still warm you might get some secondary growth.

Keep us posted as to what happens. I could use the learning experience.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:24 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: What's up with this?

Your planting times should have been good. I've never seen them hitting inmature plants that fast.You might try spoiling your field with human scent,such as hair from a barbershop,sweat soaked clothing or towels.Anything to repel them for awhile to give your plots some time.I've used the hair trick to alter deer movement before.It works .
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:39 PM
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Default RE: What's up with this?

i have the same exact problem. they are absolutely destroying my rape. i planted in mid july and there are patches on my plot that are just a bunch of stems.

Plus, a lot of it's turning brown, not sure what the deal is because it's been turning brown even though we've started to get rain again over the last couple weeks. only thing i can think of is that i burnt them.

anyway, i really didn't think they'd be hitting the rape - i didn't even have a camera on it yet. i wonder if it's because it's the only green thing planted other then hay for miles and miles.[/align]
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:28 PM
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Default RE: What's up with this?

This does sound kind of odd that they are hitting it this hard. On occasion the deer will start to eat the brassicas in our food plots before the plants fully mature or the frosts have begun to turn the starches to sugars but it's usually not enough to harm the plot. What are your deer densities? Do you have a lot of deer and not too much other food around? I agree with Mountaineer93 that the corn will not provide a tremendous amount of protein at this point and the beans are at the stage where the leaves are not benefical and the beans are not ready yet. I don't remember the exact protein levels of the brassicas as they are growing but I seem to remember it being fairly high. How many years have you been putting out this plot? If they get used to this food source being here this becomes their new crop field. Either way October is just a few days away and you know that the deer are using this plot heavily. Time to thin the herd!! Good luck.
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