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fisherking01

FOOD PLOTS CLEANED OUT!!

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In looking at the food plots we have, which includes aproximately 6 acres of corn, four acres of soybeans, two of clover, it is evident that they are mostly exhausted. These are all within one square mile with deer turkey and pheasant using them. We will start with supplamental feeding this weekend. there are some beans left, but these are under a fairly heavy snow cover.

Anyone else finding their plots empty already??

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Our 2+ acres of corn was flat out cleaned up before muzzleloader season.

Granted, the crop was a little less than perfect due to strains from the lack of rain.

Seeing how much the wildlife ate at our place really made me wonder how much crop damage they do to a farmers crop over the year.

When I was up 3 weeks ago the deer were tearing up our wheat field through 10+ inches of snow. Lotta winter left too....

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Read somewhere that we lose about 3% of the pheasant hens for everyweek of snow cover. Thus if we get 11 weeks (Dec 1 - Feb) MN will lose about 1/3 of the hens ...

March will be a real important month this year for many MN game populations.

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I had two corn plots, one of about 1 acre and one of about 5 acres, the 1 acre plot is completely gone, closer to a woods, and the 5 acre plot is still going strong - but last weekend I counted 11 deer going out of it... Still have some pheasants flying into the 1 acre plot, trying to figure out how to feed them, hopefully they'l make there way over to the over plot that is 1/2 mile away. The deer are still trying to dig down to the rye, next year I plan on planting more, and giving it some fertilizer so it grows taller by Sept./Oct.

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Our plots have been getting hit hard all winter. The clover, rye, chicory are mostly gone but the deer are still coming into them. We got a photo over one of the plots this past week with 16 deer on it digging for the goods!

Tunrevir~

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 Originally Posted By: fisherking01
We will start with supplamental feeding this weekend.

If you are going to go with supplemental feeding, it's important that you continue it until green-up in the spring, not just until the snow melts. Deer are foragers and will move on to other forage (woody browse) when your food plots are depleted, but if you get them used to coming in to supplemental feed it will be much harder for their systems to adjust if you stop feeding prior to green-up. Many people don't realize this but many deer biologists preach it.

Also, this is why having some perennial clover food plots is such a good idea - they will start growing and greening up as soon as the snow melts, providing some of the earliest nutrition available in the spring.

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good points perch

love the idea of perennial clover plots

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Absolutely, This has been our practice for many years. Supplamental feeding is just that. Not a full diet. Supplaments include limited corn, soybeans, alfalfa. the deer are already browsing heavily on the sumak and other browse. They are in great shape, but with the cold, the feeding supplies much needed energy.

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Sunday morning I watched 19 deer come out of my 5 acre plot, was interesting see what directions they headed, they didn't all come out in a group, they wandered out in doe groups, 3-4-5 at a time. Watching the deer this time of year is when I get my reward for planting the food plots!!!

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We just checked our food plot, and it was buried in snow, but I usually out my ground up maples leaves in bags around my trailer by out deer camp for wind protection. This year the deer destroyed the bag and wiped out the leaves. My camper was surrounded with black droppings and there weren't any leaves left. This is the first time in 10 years this has happened to me.

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