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

Food Plots????

Old 03-04-2004, 02:52 PM
  #11  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Food Plots????

let me clarify - when I say co-op or extension I mean the loacl agency that deals with farmers on cropping, etc. usually affiliated with a university - I am not sure we are all talking about the same thing? If we are, then I think you must have poor agents. Most of the ones I know and work with give good, maybe general sometimes, but good none the less, advice regarding planting crops. Seeing how that is what a food plot is, the advice should be similar. Any extension agent worth his/her salt should be able to give good advice on planting/maintaining plots, as well as, recommending unbiased seed choices (because they are not selling anything).
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Old 03-04-2004, 03:36 PM
  #12  
 
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Location: Mt. Washington KY USA
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Default RE: Food Plots????

I guess that all the biologists that I know and work with are novices then, bucause I've never met a professional yet that pushed the high priced miracle seeds that appear in all the hunting rags (unless they worked for the company). Your not dealing with a novice, but I do think that I am dealing with a wildlife seed rep.

With that said, I am open minded and willing to admit when I am wrong, so if you can point me to any legitimately published research that has proven the superiority of some of these seed blends then I would love to read them.
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:09 PM
  #13  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Food Plots????

No, you obviously don't know who you'are dealing with. For the record, I work for a Soil & Water District and occasionally get questions (and give advice) on food plots. If you took the time to read my first reply, you would know that I like generic seed (clover especially) and not the name brand stuff. I didn't elaborate because i don't want to bash the name brands (I am sure they have a place and know they work well for a lot of people), I just think people can be better off buying "regular" seed from their local feed/seed store and planting what is suited to their conditions and goals.

Maybe you misinterpreted my statements or just don't read very good because I can't see in any of my replies anything that would make me out as a seed rep or anything other than a hunter with an opinion (plant clover and consult with extension agents for advice). Oh, and by the way, there are many biologists that promote the name-brand blends - have you ever watched a hunting show - they are always pushing brand X, but that is besides the point

Well, happy planting - whatever you decide to do.
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:26 PM
  #14  
 
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Default RE: Food Plots????

Doughboy,

I apologize for the misunderstanding. I was replying to Lunchbucket, not you. I think we are pretty much on the same page as far as what we would plant. I believe the "novice" potshot made by Lunchbucker was aimed at me, since I was the one that recommended buying seed from farm/seed supply stores. Sorry again for the misunderstanding.

As for the "biologists" on TV promoting brand X - I'm sure many are well compensated for their "expertise"
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:11 PM
  #15  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Food Plots????

no problem. i was having a hard time understanding what the heck was going on there.

again - happy planting
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:19 AM
  #16  
Typical Buck
 
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Default RE: Food Plots????

We do sell deer/wildlife nutrition products and have a great deal of experience with manufacturers and the county/state ag reps. The ag reps are not usually inclined toward wildlife mangement so much as farm management. Deer to them/farmers are a pest so it's kind of hard to ware the two hats. There are a lot of folks that know us and we believe our reputation preceedes us as far as our integrity is concerned.
You will notice that since the more targeted blends have came on line, starting the the Whitetail Institute, more trophy quality buck have been taken than ever in the history of recorded hunting. The new worlds record is being claimed by the 15 year old boy that said he shot him near a targeted blend. They say they didn't have the deer theynow have until they did a 3 acre field of the targeted stuff.
We do a lot of shows and hear the same thing all the time, Targeted product vs. Ag product... no contest.
The ag products are intended for cattle that have no choice in their diet, they must eat what they are fed.
The targeted blends draw from the ag products... Post a thread and see the response on targeted vs. Ag products. The folks that plant these things more often than not come from the ag side of the food plot spectrum to the targeted side when they see the difference.
One example if the Imperial Whitetail Clover. We no longer sell their products but do not see anything that comes close if you have the right soil and some luck. A constant protein value of 25% and up to 35% year round and sweet too is something that is not paralled by anybody we see, targeted or ag... But you must have the right soil and some luck.
Some folks have such bad soil they are limited to buckwheat and rye grasses for 3-5 years and nothing of any really great value will do until the soil comes into line.
Believe me, if the ag products could do what some of the quality targeted manufactured products do they would put some in a bag with a deer on the front and have it in the biggest stores, they don't. Why? Most of the quality targeted seed manufacturers have countless testimonials on the virtue/value of the targeted blends and the ag folks don't seem to have any.
What we see is for a little more you get so much more. Folks complain about a few dollars more for some seed but don't hesitate to spend hundreds or thousands more on equipment when the nutrition will make a difference that the equipment can't... Go figure...
To each their own, we wish everybody good fortune...
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:04 AM
  #17  
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Default RE: Food Plots????

i'll put a plot of good ol' ladino clover up against any other variety of food plot mix. mixes are good and I am sure (like I said before) that the brand mixes work good for some people in some situations. the main problem I have with them is that sometimes the mix contains plants that 1) may never grow in a certain climate or conditions or 2) have plants that don't serve and purpose for the planters goals and 3) often they are never made aware of those facts by the people trying to sell them. in many instances they could selectively buy individual forages, that are in the mixes, separately and save money and get "better" results for their situation and goals. I don't necessarily discourage people from buying the name-brand mixes, but i do tell them to check into other options and don't always believe the person who is selling you the mix (and by looking into options they think that I am off base as well, but at least they are informed)

on a side note - grazing cattle do have a choice in what they eat (they selectively graze at first and then may be forced to eat what is left). deer are no different. if given a choice they will eat what they "desire" first and then look for something else. studies (cattle and other animals) have shown that animals regulate thier intake of forage based on their biological needs. let me explain - animals "know" what they are lacking and will search out feed to balance their diets. ie - if they need protein they will seek out clovers; if they need another nutrient they will seek that nutrient out; and if they are overloaded with protein (like in my total clover plot) they will seek out something with more energy, carbs, or fiber (browse maybe); additionally, if a cow is deficient in, say, manganese and they are given free choice minerals, they will eat more manganese to get balanced.
Some studies are also showing that it may be beneficial to plant a plots (pasture) in strips - strip of clover, strip of grass, strip of brassica, etc. that way deer can selectively eat what they want/need all in one area and don't have to pick and chose between individual plants that are mixed. most of what i am saying is related to cattle, but I think it holds true for deer just the same.

just some "food" for thought

ps - i planted a plot on my back hill (logging roads) using a "piece-meal" approach with varied results; planted a mix of grass and clover with a rye cover crop; deer loved the rye and seems to eat clover mostly; I was just up there yesterday and the deer have been digging in the snow to get to the grass; if I were to do it over i would plant the clover at a similar or higher rate and plant the grass at a lowre rate (the grass wants to take over; I try and mow occasionally to prvent this
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:49 PM
  #18  
 
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Default RE: Food Plots????

Lunchbucket,

There is no doubt that you are a very knowledgable person. I am new to the forum but have read a lot of your previous posts and you provide some excellent information. I even noticed that in posts just a year old that you were recommending the same things I am - clover, alfalfa, winter wheat, etc.

As for saying more trophy deer are a result of the wildlife food plot industry, that is bull and you know it. 3 acre food plots dont grow trophy deer unless there is some seriously intense management going on otherwise. The increase in trophy deer is probably more of a result of 1) selective harvest - there are more deer now then ever before, so people are choosing to let smaller bucks pass to grow into larger ones 2) Lower buck limits - a lot of states have realized that if they limit the # of bucks being shot, people will be more selective and more bucks will grow to an mature age and 3) increased doe harvests - many states have gotten a lot more liberal on the numbers of does that you can kill in order to reduce/maintain herds at levels that will allow them to keep good body weights and grow nice racks.

I don't doubt that intensive food plot management on a large scale can improve the quality of a herd, but it has to go hand-in-hand with other management practices and for most folks it just isn't practical nor cost effective. In a lot of areas, money would be better spent on bullets than on food plots. Keep the deer #'s down and let the little bucks walk and in most areas you can grow big deer. If you want to concentrate them around your stand, then plant a food plot.

I also want to say that I have probably been wrong to lump all seed blends together. I'm sure their are some legitimate products out there that may be worth the price. However, until I have seen the research come from a reliable scientific source, I will stick with what has been proven by farmers for years.
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Old 03-06-2004, 12:36 AM
  #19  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Food Plots????

well i just herd it - the show i was just watching (2 am eastern - yes i was out late) ended saying "yes, buy our mix because it will not only grow good deer, butr it will grow great turkeys, as well"

make sure you go out and get it NOW, you might miss out on a trophy????
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Old 03-06-2004, 01:10 AM
  #20  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Food Plots????

and the show that followed had a similar statement "buy this mix, it WILL work"

I do have to hand it to them, they did mention soil tests and consulting with local ag agents
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