Best Late season attractant?

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by Jake/OH, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Jake/OH

    Jake/OH Weekend Warrior

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    I have been researching lately on what I want to plant next year for my new food plot. I already have a couple clover plots, and I seem to have had pretty good success with them but after a couple hard frosts they seem to lose there luster quickly. I am looking for something that I can plant in about an acre's worth that is going to offer me forage late into the season at least late November -December. I have been planning on buying soy beans and planting them, I live in a very agricultural region but usually after the middle of November all of the crops are out of the fields, and I thought that would make my acre or so of beans a hot commodity. So I just wanted your thoughts on this, suggestions, advice?? Thanks!
     
  2. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Do you have huge bean fields anywhere around you? If so, I'd say pass on the beans...or at the least plant it along side other stuff. I think one of the biggest mistakes hunters make with food plots is attempt to compete with area agricultural fields...you won't win! You simply need to create food plots that will be their appetizer and dessert, spots they visit before heading off to the destination crop fields (after dark) and then when returning from them in the morning.

    Honestly late season feed (especially one not killed by a frost has got to be turnips and radishes. Both actually get slightly sweeter after a freeze and if the deer discover them (may take a little encouraging the first year) they will hammer them when other food sources die down.
     
  3. Jake/OH

    Jake/OH Weekend Warrior

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    Thank you, so you don't think standing beans would be very successful even after all the other standing crops are harvesting? Also after a few freezes do those turnips/radishes die very soon? Or do they hang around for a while.
     
  4. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Those turnips and radishes will be nibbled (their tops) through out their growind days, but it's when the frost hits that their starches start turning to sugars...and the deer will start digging for the bulb parts when all other food sources are dying off these will continue going strong. Very few crops can you plant that will make it as long as turnips and radishes.

    The beans won't be terrible as a matter of fact we're planting a very small stand of them possibly this year...however it being a stones throw from the house, we'll be able to put a electric fence around them to minimize deer damage (decimation) until about a week before the season. If we didn't fence them I guarentee there would be none of them left by the time hunting season happens....just something to conider. You can always seed brassicas (turnips and radishes) on to soybeans if the deer are annilating them.
     
  5. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Another planting which does numerous things is winter rye (NOT RYEGRASS). Winter Rye can be planted in the fall and it will stay green throughout the winter, and can be a favorite of some deer throughout the winter months. It will even continue to grow than the following spring...providing some food in the early spring.

    Winter Rye is used in our rotation to build up the nitrogen in the soil after nitrogen hungry brassicas have been planted in a plot. Clover is also a nitrogen producing planting.

    We are putting in two small 1/8 acre food plots this year and will be planting buckwheat and black oil sunflowers this spring, tilled under than in the fall and winter rye planted in one with clover in the other.
     
  6. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    I have to agree with Tyni. A brassica mix with turnips is what you'll want to look into. Like he said, the turnips will last well into the season. The only thing different I have to say is that I'm not as big a fan of the radishes. They were great when they were green, but after a couple of hard frosts, they started to turn rotten and smell. The deer barely hit them after Mid-October. Which sucks, because I planted a 1/4 acre test plot of just radishes.

    As for the soybeans. 1 acre will get decimated. Even with the other crops around, they will probably likely never amount to anything. Unless, of course, you can put an electric fence around them. Check the browsing they did on our beans. This was a 6.5 acre field and it got hammered and didn't produce like it could have.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Yeah what dan says about radishes is possible...depends on weather and deer pressure upon them, but I like to mix them in some as they grower really long roots, which means better soil penetration (great for future tillings and such).

    Turnips dusted with a little amount of radish seed is a great idea for you.
     
  8. Scljrl

    Scljrl Weekend Warrior

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    ^^^^^THIS^^^^^

    I planted them for the first time a couple years ago. The first year was very sparsly browsed, but a friend told me to pull a few out after they matured and lay them on top of the ground, cut a couple in half, etc to show the deer what was there. This year it looks like the area was tilled! They ate everything they could dig up!!
     
  9. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    Here's a pic of the radish plot.....

    [​IMG]

    The tops were eaten good, until early October. Then, like I said, they quit hitting it. I expected them to come back to it, but never did. I bet they didn't eat more than a couple dozen radishes out of this plot. Though, it will add some great organic matter to the soil this year and it needs it, because its heavy clay.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Nice looking plot there Dan! Did you pull any of them out or cut them up for them? I know a lot of guys that swear by that to get deer accustomed to them.
     
  11. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    The end that I took the picture from was shaded and didn't grow as well. The rest was great.

    We pulled quite a few out, but hey never got touched and they seemed to rot faster that way. Some that were still in the ground you could see one bite mark on them and that's it. Never saw any with more than one bite mark.

    We also planted another 1/4 acre plot that was half rape, lettuce and turnip mix on one side and radish on the other side. Again, only the tops were eaten on the radishes and as of last week there was not a single turnip left in the plot that had not been eaten down to ground level.
     
  12. RoyC

    RoyC Weekend Warrior

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    I agree with tyni and dan, the brassicas will last through the winter and they usually are not bothered until after a frost or two. I planted 5 of my fields this past season with a mixture of winter greens (whitetail institute), winter wheat and marshall rye. I will be planting at least 2 times the acreage for next season with this mixture.
     
  13. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    wow...I guess your deer just simply don't like them...crazy how much difference there can be from area to area. Shoot even just down the road one food plot can get hammered while the same thing is just nibbled here. Yet another reason I love the challenge figuring whitetail deer out provides us!
     
  14. Jake/OH

    Jake/OH Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks a bunch guys, I will definitely be looking at the Brassicas. And as for the optimum time of year to plant? Spring?
    Like clover??
     
  15. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    Plant later in the summer. We plant ours here in WI around July 15th. Might be a bit later where you're at, depending on temps and when it freezes by you.
     
  16. Jake/OH

    Jake/OH Weekend Warrior

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    Will that be okay with the lack of rain? We have two nasty droughts the last two years from the middle of July through the middle of September.
     

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