Wildlife Management / Food Plots This forum is about all wildlife management including deer, food plots, land management, predators etc.

food plot lay out

Old 03-31-2013, 09:31 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Clear Lake,WI
Posts: 6
Default food plot lay out

I have 30-40-@80 acres.woodsan fields on all,wanted ideas on how to lay out different plot sizes,as an L,oblong,hub or other ideas.like L 30 ydsX 30yds x100 ft long.live in NW WI.polk county
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:57 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Location: Ponce de Leon Florida USA
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About impossible to say without actually seeing the areas, but I would keep in mind the dominant wind direction and place stands and access routes with those in mind.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Wisconsin USDA Zone 5A
Posts: 36

Rectangular food plots work better than square IMO. Your going to need to get a soil test 1st and then figure out summer and fall plots. I plant clover and chicory together and soybeans and buckwheat for summer. Then in mid august I work up the buckwheat and i broadcast winter rye,winter wheat,oats,peas,crimson clover and GH Radish in the soybeans and where the buckwheat was for a great fall plot.When the beans are brown they have a smorgasbord of food.I also plant a couple acres of corn but you need the right equip. for that and can be costly and you need to rotate the beans and corn every year to help with the soil. The following spring the wheat and rye will green up and give them another spring food source until you till it up.Good luck..

Last edited by Hoyt63; 03-31-2013 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:08 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: N.W. Wisconsin
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I too prefer rectangular or even better kidney shaped plots. I'm in N.E. Polk county, and am able to grow great clover/brassica plots in most parts of the property. I'm not a farmer, and only have access to my ATV and a small ATV disc.

I recommend discing up an area right after the snow melts and then wait until it greens up a bit, and then spraying it to kill everything. Then you can LIGHTLY disc it up again, and plant the clover/chicory. Try to have that done by the end of May each year, but this year is late, so you still can get it done.

If I have a plot I want for late season hunting, I recommend brassicas/turnips. But no need to plant them until mid July.

All of the seeds for brassicas, turnips, clover and chicory are very small, so you don't need to disc the seeds under. Just broadcast on your freshly disced ground and then lightly cultipack ... or drive over it with your ATV to make good soil contact.

Buck oats and winter wheat do well in fall also, but you need to cover the seed a bit deeper. and you can wait until September to plant.

With the deer density so high in Polk county you are wasting your time planting corn, soybeans, Lablab or anything similar unless you plant at least 10 acres per plot. Which is hard to do unless you have a tractor available.

I have approximately 12 ATV made food plots, with the largest being about 200 yards long, by 20 yards wide. It runs north to south in a snake pattern, as it was the logging road put in by the loggers 2 years ago. I immediately seeded it in clover the spring after the logging (last MAY) and this year it already looks amazing. I over seeded in a few bare spots, but basically it is a great looking plot, and right next to the poplar re-growth, so the deer can feed easily.

All my other plots are no bigger than 50 yards by 30 yards, and usually have a bit of a curve to them. I feel that if a buck can't see the entire plot from the woods, then he is more likely to step into the plot to check out the whole thing.

As always ..... soil tests are very important, but if you don't have the time/money for soil test and fertilizers, then I'd just go with Clovers.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:42 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 52

If you have large AG fields by your land that’s where the deer will likely do most of their feeding. So with that said I would plant small plots of clover & chicory for spring to fall and plant a mix of kale, turnips and rape for late fall and winter. Use these plots to slow the deer down on their way to the larger AG fields. I would place your plots just outside bedding areas and think about your stand placement along with wind direction as you plan your plots. I’m also big into screening, if you don’t have thick cover going to your stands on these plots then I would think about planting some screening so deer can’t see you going to and from your stand. I use sorghum sudan grass hybrid (it will get 8 plus feet tall and doesn’t need much water) to break up my plots and to edge them. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:52 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Northern WI
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What I am starting to do, in addition to my 1/2 acre plot that is mostly clover now, is creating food plot trails through the more open sunny areas - this allows me to easily work the trails with my ATV and also preserves more cover. My whole hunting acreage of 20 acres becomes a food plot. I do an early plot (plant early June) and stay out of the "refuge areas" after they are planted. Then, I will put in some smaller "shot plots" toward fall.
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