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MNpurple

Evaluate my game plan.

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MNpurple

I'm new to the whole food plot thing, but plan to hit it hard this spring. The included map is of the hunting area I own, 73 acres in the steep bluff country of extreme SE MN. I'd love to get some feedback from you guys more experienced than me as I admittidley know nothing accept the material online I have been reading.

The green line is the property boundry. Up the middle of the property is a ditch and in the SE corner of the property is a large thick point overlooking a valley. Running N-S on both sides of the ditch are sidehills with another point at the middle north end of the wooded area. The blue polygons are existing ponds and as you can see there are corn/bean/alfalfa fields to the N, W, E and S.The red lines are logging roads.

My plan is to establish 2 mineral licks where the two red circles are, each side of the main ditch. The blue circle in the middle of the woods will be a kiddie pool dug into a small ditch to collect and store rainwater (weird idea but I have read alot about the success of these things providing water for deer in the security of the woods, cheap idea so why not). I plan to thin the edges of the logging roads this winter to allow more sunlight to hit the roads and am going to plant some kind of Chickory/clover mixture on the roads. I need to find something that can accept a little shade and can be planted by broadcast method.

The 4 yellow circles will be food plots. The one in the middle of the woods may be a clover/chickory blend also depending on the amount of sunlight that can get in there. The 3 plots at the end of the woods will be planted in a few different things. 1 will be a brassica (rape, turnips, beets) mix. 1 will be a buffet type mix (clover, sunflowers, rape, chickory, turnips, and wheat) The other one may just be a mix of standing corn and beans. A tractor and plow is not a possibility so this will be done with ATV, a drag, graden tiller, and hand tools. I know I have my work cut out for me but thats why I kept each plot small andmoney is an issue so it will be good old fashioned labor. The clovers will be planted in spring and the brassicas will be planted in spring or fall (I'm worried about a fall planting though as rain can be minimal.) I am going to test the soil for pH and add lime as needed.

The whole wooded area has a fairly dense canopy so beginning this winter trees will be taken down and thinned to improve bedding areas and browse.

Tell me your thoughts, criticisms,and anything else. I am fully open to suggestions. Perhaps I am overly ambitious for this spring but we'll see what happens.

land.jpg

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cupper

Hey MNpurple... I also hunt in SE MN. I grew up in Hokah and my family owns about 200 ares that look similar to yours. My buds are I are trying to do some of the same things you are going to do this off season. It would be great to compare notes and results. Shoot me an e-mail sometime if you want to get more into depth. I live in Shakopee, but hunt down there so e-mail is best.

cupper

cup_w@hotmail.com

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onthefly

The clear advantage I see on your property is that you'll have the bedding area locked up around all those fields.

Anyway, I read a Field & Stream article in the latest issue about creating a sanctuary. Basically, do things that promote growth of the thickest, densest cover possible and never go in it. By providing deer a safe area to bed, you'll give them more of a reason to stay on your land. They recommended at least 15% of your land be sanctuary and that everyone who hunts it knows the rule - DO NOT ENTER!

If it were me, I'd make that my main priority. Then, see how the deer move the first year. After that, create food plots based on what will be ripe during hunting season and deer prefer over the corn/soybeans or whatever is planted in the surrounding fields.

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