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Food plots and deer yards.

Old 04-24-2005, 07:52 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Calais Maine
Posts: 498
Default Food plots and deer yards.

Im full of questions tonight so here goes another one.

If I am to put in a food plot will it interfere with deer moving to their wintering areas or will it keep them there well enough fed. Do food plots bother deer in their wintering areas or not.

If they are apt to stay around should I add more or just mow it down before winter?
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Maine
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Default RE: Food plots and deer yards.

I think (although I'm not a biologist) that the deer are going to migrate to deer yards regardless of whether or not you plant a food plot. Deer use yards to ecsape the threats of winter, food or lack there of is only one threat. Deep snow, shelter/protection from cold and wind as well as safety in numbers all play a part in deer yards.

Personally I would be hesitant to intrude into a deer yard and do any major disrupting. The deer have choosen their yard for many reasons. If you disrupt this habitat (even with good intension) it may add stress to deer in the most difficuly time of year for the animals.

If you want to plant food plots or creat wintering habitat I think that's a good thing. I think it would be risky to disturb an active deer yard as the damage done my not out weigh the benefits of the "imporvement" you make.

Just my #$0.02.
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:42 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: cazenovia, NY USA
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Default RE: Food plots and deer yards.

Andy -

I can tell you alot about how plots effect a deer yard.

Basically the "yard is the yard" - but we understand that the local herd "moves" over an area of 1-5 miles - at least thats how it is is my parts.


When you plant plots in an area the supplement the local herd in the winter months - you "invite the herd" in - for at least some of the winter.

For instance - We planted 4 acres of really good corn this last year - and left it up. By Mid January - we had 10-15 deer daily feeding on it - and it was holding up very well. Some time in Mid February - the "Yard" moved over the property - and all 20,000 lbs+ of corn was GONE in 2-3 weeks.

Sure we helped the local herd - some never probably even Yarded up - but the Local Yarded herd (75-100 deer) will put a hurting on almost any plot when they come through.

I always used to think that some yarded deer - liked our property enough - that they stayed on - I now do not think that's true - But I always plan for a hundred deer in mid winter - and rarley do I offer enough food. The plots though- have really made a difference on the local vegetation - we actually have undergrowth again in some open woods and secondary growth again!!!

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