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EatSleepFish

food plots

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EatSleepFish

i know theres plenty of other posts about plots but id like to personalize my question: id like to know what type of seed is best for my area(Carlton County), what type of seed do the deer, turkey, and grouse like the most, what type of seed is easiest to care for, and what location(open,shaded, partially shaded) would be best to plant and hunt it. also is it possible to plant a plot without using a tractor or ATV?

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Mark Christianson

Clover.

Your maintenance would be to mow/weed whip it a couple times a year and some fertilizer. And it will come back for several years without replanting.

As far as planting without an ATV or tractor.

How do you plan to make the seed bed? Tiller? Rake? No prep?

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PerchJerker

Quote:

what type of seed do the deer, turkey, and grouse like the most


Depends on local conditons and other food sources available, really no way to figure this out without some experimenting

Quote:

what type of seed is easiest to care for


I'd say perennials if you have the right equipment for mowing and weed control, because there's so much less planting. But annuals are better for vigorous growth and competing with weeds, although you need to plant them every year so in total there's more work involved.

Quote:

is it possible to plant a plot without using a tractor or ATV


Yes it's possible, but very labor intensive and challenging. You need lots of things to come together for a good plot, soil prep, ph, fertilizer, weed control, etc. Very difficult to do that without some type of equipment.

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Cooter

Is it or will it be a new plot?

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tealitup

Big Lake! I would like to create a small food plot; but the most I can do is put some round-up and then sprinkle some seeds. Alot of rock and fallen trees to clear out an area. When I say rocks I mean boulders the size of a house smile.gif

Can you suggest something? and then I would like to order from you - I am in big lake at least 2-3times a month.

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B mac

A couple more questions....

Who/where in the area (west central MN) would you recommend getting a soil test (quickly)?

Is it necessary to spray round up if I'm planning to disk/plow prior to things turning green this spring?

Thanks fellas.

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EatSleepFish

im only planning on doing a very small plot maybe 10 yards wide by 20 yards long? the deer have plenty of food nearby but just want something extra to hunt over. im willing to put the elbow grease in that it will take to plant it by hand. and yes it will be a new plot.

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Fish to Win

This is why I think food plots to hunt over is just as bad as baiting

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Mark Christianson

I suppose the ethical nature(or not) with food plots is going to divert this topic.

To anyone that hates food plots, go tell all the hunters with their stands overlooking corn fields, alfalfa fields, soybean fields, etc that they are unethical hunters too. There is no difference whatsoever. Planted food is food is food. Some people just dont have the luxury of a farmer to put in 160 acres of corn to hunt over.

So to the food plots.

teal,

The roundup will kill a lot of what is growing, but you still need to get some dirt exposed to get some decent seed/soil contact. Maybe hit it with roundup, let it grow for another month and nuke it again. Then figure something out to get it scratched up and do a late summer/early fall planting of some sort.

Bmac,

I have no idea where to get a specific soil test done out there, but I would suggest calling any local elevator. They should know where to go.

teal(or whomever),

If you need seed, shoot me an email.

mchristi@brocade.com

I have it being delivered tomorrow.

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PerchJerker

Quote:

Is it necessary to spray round up if I'm planning to disk/plow prior to things turning green this spring?


You want weeds actively growing when you spray herbicide. If you disk before weeds are green you will delay their germination --- but they will still be in soil and will still germinate, at the same time as your seeds. Unless you use a pre-emergent herbicide (which Roundup is not), spraying before greenup is just wasting herbicide.

I use Roundup to wipe out as much competition as possible before I plant. In the spring I plant 1-2 weeks after using Roundup, in the fall I plant 3-4 weeks after using Roundup.

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BLACKJACK

B mac, in Willmar there is a place called Eco-Agri Labs, they have done soil testing for me in the past. Or look in the yellow pages under 'fertilizer', the local coops/Cenexes/fertilizer plants will be listed, they will do soil testing or know where to send you.

You're on the right track by doing a soil test, they can tell you exactly what you need to add, make sure you tell them what you're planting, the needs of corn and clover are different!! When you start reading in the articles about doing food plots, they always talk lime, lime, lime. The soils person I talked to said thats not true for our part of the country, so the soil test will be a good investment for you.

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EatSleepFish

has anyone tried planting garden plants in their plots... was thinking about planting some pumpkins maybe

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Mark Christianson

You bet pumpkins work!

I planted a bunch last year, mainly for the kids to have their own Great Pumpkin Patch.

Darn deer cleaned house on me before Halloween. I salvaged only 4 pumpkins for halloween. I had 50 to 75 on the vine that I was hoping to pick from.

I had a few different kinds planted, but the one that the deer chowed from 30 lb pumpkins down to not even a seed left was this kind.

bandkoct2006punkin2medikl2.jpg

I got this one from a buddy that grows them every year for a contest. It was 450 lbs. I have dried seeds out of them each year, and this is the one the deer just tore up on us.

Here is just one of many I had eaten up. There was nothing to be found by late October from any of them.

pumpkinsatfarm1mediumav5.jpg

PS - No, I had NOTHING close to that size growing. The biggest I had was maybe 30 lbs, but thats still a biggun.

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camdu7

EatSleepFish. I have property south of you near Bruno and have great luck with clover, rye, corn, and the turnups. If you just want a small easy hunting plot, try turnups. They will grow anywhere. You likely have acidic soils and may need some lime. But you can get by growing turnups without it. The big 8 I shot last year was standing in turnups looking like Opra at an all you can eat salad bar. Oh by the way, I'm speaking to bowhunting. I planted 3 acres of turnups last year and they were all gone by firearms season. Get the seed from BLB. That seed is as good or better than any of the high priceed crap you can get.

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Cooter

Not to steal the post but is last years rye nice and green yet? I haven't looked at mine in a while but I bet they're pounding it about now.

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Cooter

OK, that was a dumb question....How long have they been green?

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Mark Christianson

My plot out behind the house was greening up a feew weeks ago when we had a warm spell. Gonna check it tonight. I presume its gonna be very green, but very mowed.

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UdeLakeTom

When do you do turnips?? Spring or fall?

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Mark Christianson

Spring if you want turnips of any size.

Late summer would work possibly, but you wont have much for actual turnips.

The deer were chowing my turnips last month when I checked it out. They were planted mid May last year.

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UdeLakeTom

Thanks...we put a hut in a location without any natural food, just trails, so we are thinking of doing the turnip, kale, etc to get them attracted to the spot, not just passing thru.

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BLACKJACK

Mark, I've been meaning to ask, on one of your other posts you showed some pictures of some HUGE turnips - did the deer eat most of them or are they still in the ground? When did they use them the most? The reason I ask is that on my annual patch, after the first couple of frosts the deer were in there thick, but mostly eating the tops, with a few of the turnips nibbled off, but they never did eat the whole turnips, probably because they were froze solid into the ground. Was wondering what you found.

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Mark Christianson

The couple years I have had turnips, the deer mowed down the tops after the first frosts/freezes in the fall/early winter. The deer didnt eat the turnips until late winter/eary spring. I checked my turnip plots a month or so ago(I had 3 plots), and all three were scratched up and you could see where deer were nibbling on the turnips. Not sure why they would go after them when they are frozen solid, but they were after them for a reason. Whatever the reason is, I like the fact that they are finding year round sources of food on the property.

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PerchJerker

I've had years where the deer eat all of my turnips, had other years where they barely touch them. I'm refering to the bulbs, not the tops.

I haven't been able to figure out why it changes from year to year, but for now am going with the theory that the years they don't eat them there is a hard frozen layer on top of the ground, ie. freezing rain or frozen snow (not fluffy snow). From what I've seen it doesn't seem to matter if the ground itself is frozen or not, it has more to do with if there's a layer of ice on top of the ground.

Not sure about this though, I could be way wrong confused.gif

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Scott M

What's a good thing to plant where your food plot will be growing below some tall trees? I'm worried that there wouldn't be enough sunlight for much to grow....

If that's not enough to worry about the soil is pretty junky and I don't have any machinery to do a plot. And I get up to this area a couple times each spring and summer. Is it worth trying to put something small in to hold a few deer? Right now the spot is definately just a passing-through and bedding location.

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Mark Christianson

Clover will fit your needs if you ask me.

It may not seem like much, but let me tell you the deer are still chowing my clover as of yesterday. Although, its days are very limited now with the cold nights.

It grows decent with shade, takes little maintenance, and should be a good option to try.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • IceHawk
      First off welcome to the site ! Fish that area quite often and have seen some good flocks around there.  I would get out and do some glassing in the area , especially around some picked corn fields. Right now they are wintered up but will break  apart once spring gets closer. Maybe hit up a local bait store and ask around if anyone knows of a spot. Or look at the landowners list that received permits in that area. They legally have to grant permission to hunt there land but unfortunately a lot of landowners will tell you they are full even if there not  Good luck in your search. 
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