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Just bought 101 acres, need food plot advice (long post)

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Just bought 101 acres, need food plot advice (long post)

Old 11-12-2013, 04:26 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Western NC
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Default Just bought 101 acres, need food plot advice (long post)

This Summer I bought 101 acres and three older homes in the north central area of NC. There are quite a few does and fawns either living on my property or cruising thru regularly, as well as six shooter bucks we've either seen or caught on game cams. It's mostly woods, just a few acres cleared for homes or for where the previous owners farmed a little. We have large sections of thickets (where they're bedding) interspersed with areas of oaks, hickory, maples, and birch trees. A creek borders the north and we have a 2 acre pond surrounded by thicket on three sides (with deer trails running to the pond from the thickets) and a pine stand on the other. All around me is also sparsely populated and mostly land like mine, with deer everywhere. I want to put in feed corn, soybeans, and clover to keep more deer cruising thru and to keep them healthy. Also want to make a mineral lick. I don't want to spend an arm and a leg, either, so all this might not be possible within my budget. I need to start pricing and planning. So, a few questions:

- The corn will be just for animal consumption, is there a strain/brand that is best/healthiest for whitetails? Is there a strain that can be planted later than other so they have corn late into the fall?

- I was planning to put in an acre or two of Ag soybeans, planting an early crop and then another late one so they have pods dropping in the late Fall. Is plain old Roundup-resistant ag soybean seed just as good as any?

- I have a recipe for a large mineral lick using salt and phosphate and some other things, but I've been told by a wildlife bio guy that it would be better to have more minerals and less salt than the recipe. Does anyone have recommendations for ag supply blocks that can be ground and mixed into the soil (mostly red clay), one that you've observed deer using often?

- I want to thin some trees and run a prescribed burn to open the canopy some and get rid of all the weeds and briars and old crap on the floor of one of the hardwood stands, and to promote new browse for the herd. Is there a minimum acreage that would be worth it? I was thinking 3 or 4 acres but I wasn't sure if that was enough to be beneficial?

- I have a whole lot of black, red, and white oaks. But the whites are not producing at all this year and the deer don't seem to like the black oaks acorns. I was going to fertilize all my whites and was wondering if anyone had suggestions on fertilizer ratios and/or technique. I was going to just drill around it out at the extent of the branches and fertilize like we used to do pecan trees. Is this the best method?

Last edited by Snakum; 11-12-2013 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:26 PM
  #2  
Boone & Crockett
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ponce de Leon Florida USA
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Get you a big current aerial photo of the area and see if you can tell of good feeding areas on the contiguous lands. Setting up near the line might produce. I wouldn't go too crazy with the fire. Briars and other weeds are very important food sources for the deer. Cutting down some of the less desirable hardwoods would promote better browse. Without seeing the area it is impossible to know all the answers. I would lean toward Lab Lab or Iron Clay Peas instead of soybeans. The deer can mow down an acre of soybeans in a couple of nights and won't come back as well.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:55 PM
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Boone & Crockett
 
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I wouldn't go too crazy with the fire. Briars and other weeds are very important food sources for the deer.
Good point. "Prescribed burns" often get out of control and destroy larger trees, especially in areas where there are a lot of leaves and dead limbs. It also kills the sapling oaks.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:49 PM
  #4  
Spike
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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You should have 3 mineral licks on that amount of acreage and plan on spending $60-100 a year on the mineral initially and more as more deer stay around there and get use to the licks. Note to not put the licks on stumps or on top of the ground but get below the ground as it's more natural and your consumption will be much higher.

Food plots typically run $30-$100 an acre but $50-70 is more common. In your area of the country Roundup ready eagle beans will throw pods. They stay green late and will be high tonnage. Shhhhh a little tip for everyone. If you plant a half rate of Eagle beans or some 5.7-7.3 maturity RR beans, the non eagle beans will grow taller as well as they compete for sunlight.

Year one on food plots plant things lower imput and that can tolerate lower pH's and lower fertilities. Crimson or arrowleaf in your area, rape, lablab, and things like winfred brassica are options.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:33 PM
  #5  
Spike
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I'm trying to meet with someone locally to go over the maps and plans. Was just curious about seed and mineral brand recommendations and min/max burn acreage. Thanks for the seed/planting info.
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