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Food plots or natural food sources?

Old 09-24-2003, 09:43 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Oklahoma
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Default Food plots or natural food sources?

Since last deer season, I have leased a new piece of hunting property near my home in northeast Oklahoma. On this property which is approx. 950 acres, there is an abundance of persimons because the land owner has not brush-hogged the property in some time and the persimon and blackjack trees are taking over the land. Also, there seems to be a decent amount of acorns on part of the property. I recently planted a 1/2 acre plot of biologic green patch plus mix and have seen some sign that some deer are moving into the plot but not as much as I would like. I also set up a moultree feeder and have been using corn but I haven' t seen any significant results since I put it out about 2 months ago.

My question is this; With persimons and other green browse so abundant in the early fall (bow season) on my property, will the deer first feed on the natural food sources and later come to the food plot and feeder? Is this the norm or the exception? Keep in mind that this is the first time food plots or feeders have been used on the property. I' ll appreciate any advice or suggestions.
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Old 09-24-2003, 06:32 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lexington NC USA
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Default RE: Food plots or natural food sources?

Deer are browsers by nature. They tend to wander around eating a little bit of this and a little bit of that. If there are several different food sources available they will eat off of the buffet. Once the food sources begin to run low they will most likely start eating the corn and grazing in the food plot more often. I have had a feeder up in the same location for 3 years now. The deer feed from it a good bit however when the acorns start to drop they will have nothing to do with the corn. When the acorns are gone, the feeder starts getting hit hard again. If I were you I would plan my hunts around the persimons or acorns. When they are gone then the deer will probably destroy your 1/2 acre food plot.
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:58 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: cazenovia, NY USA
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Default RE: Food plots or natural food sources?

John Deer

Welcome to the board -

Deer will almost almost always feed where and when they feel most secure. I know that wasn' t exactly your question - but it goes toward the correct answer.

This may be at night (like on a golf course) or in secluded cut-overs. Its been written that even with the best food plots availible - most deer will still obtain at least 1/3 of their nutrition through natural browse/mast. - So both are important.

However - the QUICKEST and most efficient way to boost the carrying capacity of the land is with a few stratigig food plots - 1 acre - 5 acres in size. A good rule of thumb is that 1 acre of clover - will feed 3 deer for 1 year.
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Old 09-25-2003, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Walnut MS USA
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Default RE: Food plots or natural food sources?

I totally agre with Ballistictip. They are quite skittish about anything new. I have a friend that has a small club by the Tombigbe waterway in NE miss. They consulted a state bioligist about what to plant on their land. After a walkthrough, he told them their best bet was to fertilize the available and established food sources; Oaks, Honesuckle, etc. Works better than plots, easier. No tilling, no seed cost, minimun maintenance. With our moderate climate most natural forage will stay green all winter with a little luck. They do supplement some with a few small plots.
After thinning out my Pines last year, the undergrowth came back with a passion and my plots aren' t seeing much action, either. And the mast crop seems to be high this year.
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Old 09-25-2003, 06:57 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario Canada
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Default RE: Food plots or natural food sources?

The deer in my area are hammering the apples. I assisted by putting out 2 bushels in a pile (from home). They were gone in 2 days. There just appears to be too much food available this year, so they' re picking and choosing.

Dan O.
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