Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
BLACKJACK

Food plots-what the deer are eating now

10 posts in this topic

I've got a two acre food plot below my house broken up into 4 parts - a pumpkin patch, 20 rows of corn, an annual mix (turnips, rapeseed, clover) that I planted this spring, and a cold weather mix (ryegrass, rapeseed, peas) that I planted in late summer. The last two mixes come from the MDHA, the seed that BLB pushes.

Sunday morning as it got light I saw three deer in the plot, one was in the annual mix and the other two were in the corn. Pretty soon they were all in the corn munching away for awhile before they took off. I could also see in the snow where they had done some digging down to the cold weather mix. Monday night as I was making supper, it was right at dusk and I saw a deer come running into the plot, it ran right thru the corn and started munching on the tops of the plants in the annual mix, the turnips and rape.

My advice to anyone looking to plant a late season plot would be to try that annual mix, the deer really like it!! Of course corn is the top choice for late season/winter but corn is hard to do if you're not able to fertilize and spray properly. Clover is still the all-around deer favorate but when you have enough of that planted, try the annual brassica mixes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the down side to annuals is you have have to plant them yearly. but, i still plant them, the same you do. brassicas, rape, turnips, and rutebegas. and boy do the deer like them. even in the snow, the greens are still green, and the turnips and rutebegas have more or less turned to sugar. i have noticed that the deer will prefer to munch on the rutebegas next spring and early summer. why, i don't know. maybe because they are too big to dig up when the ground is frozen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone tried just planting alf-alfa ? They sure like to hang around in the full fields of them at night were I hunt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the deer prefer the miscellaneous clovers and grasses typically found in hay fields. alfalfa alone causes a bit too much gas in the stomachs of deer for them to want to eat it. times like now, they may chow on it, but alfalfa usually dies off with the first frost and other cold weather. there may be different types of hay, but the one the typical farmer raises for cattle isn't a favorite of whitetailed deer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corn is by far your best choice for late season plots, especially in deep snow. If we have mild Winters with little snow, alfalfa, clover, rye, you name it, they will eat it. However, get a foot of snow and the entire picture changes. Corn will bring deer in from miles around if there is enough of it! Round up ready corn sure helps for those looking to make it easy! Good luck all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've planted some alfalfa on some of my trails, the deer will eat it if you keep it mowed, which is kind of what the farmers are doing with their multiple hay cuttings. Clover is definately preferred but what I like about alfalfa is that it seems to last longer and it also grows better on the dryer hillside spots. Some of my trails are actually firebreaks around my CRP, I want something that will green up early in the spring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

Corn is by far your best choice for late season plots, especially in deep snow. If we have mild Winters with little snow, alfalfa, clover, rye, you name it, they will eat it. However, get a foot of snow and the entire picture changes. Corn will bring deer in from miles around if there is enough of it! Round up ready corn sure helps for those looking to make it easy! Good luck all!


I agree that corn is king but its hard for the average guy to plant corn. Clover you can just scratch the ground, broadcast some seed and you have a food plot. Corn takes better tillage, a better planter, and some roundup and fertilizer in order to grow something with cobs on it. Thats why I wanted to emphasize the brassicas, they're in the same category as clover, scratch the ground and broadcast the seed and you have a late season food plot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

the down side to annuals is you have have to plant them yearly. but, i still plant them, the same you do. brassicas, rape, turnips, and rutebegas. and boy do the deer like them. even in the snow, the greens are still green, and the turnips and rutebegas have more or less turned to sugar. i have noticed that the deer will prefer to munch on the rutebegas next spring and early summer. why, i don't know. maybe because they are too big to dig up when the ground is frozen.


I've never tried the rutebegas but I'm not really that impressed with the turnips. I'll see the deer take an occaisional bite out of one but I never seen them eat the whole thing. Now they're frozen hard as rocks. We'll see what happens next spring but in the past they've jsut rotted down into mush. But the deer DO eat the tops down.

Has anybody ever planted sugar beets?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've planted a blend with sugar beets, not sure they did much though. There were a lot of brassica varieties in that mix that I wasn't familiar with and the leafy growth was incredible, didn't seem to get much for bulbs though. I think I've read that sugar beets are touchy to grow, really particular about soil, fertilizer, maybe even planting technique, etc???????

My goal with brassicas now is to maximize the leafy growth and not worry about the bulbs. Sometimes the bulbs get eaten, sometimes not, but I no longer worry about it as long as the tops grow well because they always get devoured. A lot of the brassicas I use now are designed to maximize leafy growth. I've never tried rutebegas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My corn failed with the drought this year so I disked it the third week of August and scattered 2 bushel annual rye and 2 acres of turnip/brassica onto a 2 acre food plot. Drug it in with a bed spring. Came up in a week, got almost knee high, it nearly bare now. First was the rye they loved it, then after rifle suddenly the rape gone in ten days, now the turnips they kneel out there and eat them right down into the ground although they are mainly on the surface. cool.gif I got the turnip/brassica seed too deep so the stand could have been better, but the rye was nice and even. There's been 6-12 out there every night,last night I watched 5 but never got a shot, plots too big. Three were there at 3:00 when I got there. PS We only saw four deer all rifle season. confused.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • knoppers
      with the current weather and the forcast for next week, we should have great ice by next weekend. be safe out there this weekend, ice just took hold on smaller lakes, the wind has kept things uneven.
    • kunzi26
      Down visiting in southern WI with family and our neighbors just watched someone go through ice and drown on a small lake near Lake Geneva. Everyone please be careful when checking ice! 
    • eyeguy 54
      these are pests. not game.  
    • Mike89
      ok, but waste not want not is how I was raised.  I also know what you mean by thinning the heard!
    • LunkerLover84
      Has anybody gotten a look at area lakes? Any of them locked up yet ? A buddy said he seen a couple guys a little ways out on Bakers Bay and a couple guys on Eagle. Seems a little crazy to me. There can't be much more than an inch or two. Maybe a little more on Eagle since its shallower.