Food Plots vs Baiting

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Siman/OH, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. frenchbritt123

    frenchbritt123 Grizzled Veteran

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    I think quality bedding areas are better than food plots in the Midwest, except for maybe late season when I am waterfowl/upland hunting.
     
  2. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    Deer here have torn up my brassicas. We had a week or so back there that daytime highs were in the single digits and the deer slammed my best turnip patch that week.
     
  3. remmett70

    remmett70 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Deer like easy paths, I've found if I walk with a pair of loppers and make narrow paths through the underbrush that go where I want them to go, I get more consistent traffic. I've also been working on planting small areas in natural clearings where I'm going to setup a stand, it isn't something that will feed a herd, but when the leaves start dropping it is something green for them to nibble as they pass through.
     
  4. Michael.herb

    Michael.herb Weekend Warrior

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    I too think this is a good option for you. Maybe even cutting out trails for the deer to use going to your plots and even from the bedding you create to the AG fields. At least you would have an idea of where to sit to catch them leaving.
     
  5. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    That'll never happen.

    If you go to a buffet, do you eat in the salad bar line or the pizza and fried chicken line more?
     
  6. early in

    early in Grizzled Veteran

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    Depends on weather or not you're a vegan? lol
     
  7. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    3 are, one isn't.

    The one that isn't is located near standing sweet corn (mostly picked), in a transition area (1 acre crp) next to bedding. I get deer at all times of the day in this location. Its also where I got a shot at my 5.5 year old shooter during rut, he had 7-8 scrapes in the vicinity (wasn't shot over the bait though, he was scrape checking Nov. 4th downwind).

    One is located on a brassica plot that is pretty much destroyed. Same with another over a clover plot (destroyed).

    4th one is located next to my main clover plot, with a small patch of brassicas. Because of hunting pressure and how open it is, this one gets the least amount of daylight activity.

    I have another brassica plot that is literally untouched. Not one deer is visiting it, even though its in what has always been a high traffic area.
     
  8. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    PLENTY of standing water. They use my one pond after dark every frequently.
     
  9. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    My main block of woods is still very open with lots of hardwoods. The ash were all dead, so they weren't blocking any sun.
     
  10. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    Haha touché!
     
  11. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    This is something I ponder often, and probably the root of my question.

    With all the easy food available in the forms of corn, record rack, ect (At least 4 neighboring farms baiting heavy), ive come to the conclusion that my 1/4 acre food plots are just simply never going to be as successful as the Midwest foodplots are.

    Now, im only on year 1 of my trial, but after 1 year of brassicas/clover the winner is clearly a simple pile of corn.

    If I removed the corn from the equation and just had foodplots, im willing to bed my number of deer on camera would decrease in the 90% range. They would simply revolve their feeding around the neighbors cornpiles (assumed).

    Does anyone on here have any examples of food plots being a better draw for the deer than bait in states where baiting is allowed?
     
  12. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    I did this test over the last 5 years. I started with just baiting a spot I liked to hunt and would get thousands of pics every week. But I had to go in and bait every week to 2 weeks. So lots of scent was layed down and very little day time pics. Only day time pics I would get was during summer or rut. But I would get fawn pics during the day most days.

    The back story of property is its a hunting club on about 2000 thousand acres of nothing but big woods. Every one in club dumped corn every where and made for some hard hunting. Deer would bed near corn piles and only come in at night. So I wanted to do something different.

    So 2 years ago I decided to try a micro plot about 1/2 mile back in the woods. Very hard work to get started, but got it done in a couple weekends. I ended up putting in clover. It needed a lot of work to keep going (lack of rain) and the deer were mowing it down before it could take off. So I planted Rye/clover mix and it held up to the pressure better. But still not getting the traffic I was hoping to see. I had to make a lot of trips in to maintain the plot, so I was still putting a lot of pressure and scent in there. I ended up dumping corn again, which I think helped the deer find the new plot. I think they were unsure of the new plot in the middle of the woods. Same thing happen with pics as before. Mostly night pics and would get random pics during day time. I did have a small group of does that lived near by and would visit almost every day and would bed in it at night some times. Which made it great for a couple day during the rut.

    So This year I Frost seeded my plot in the winter with Rye/clover mix again. The plot came up very strong, but the deer were all over it and eating it as fast as it grew. I decided to go cold turkey on corn this year. It paid off And I got almost as many pics in there as I did with corn. I would only go in no less then a month to check camera only and leave. The lack of scent and pressure did wonders to area. I had bucks and does visiting it all year. And more day pics then night pics and almost no coon pics! ( Which made up more then half my pics when I was dumping corn).

    So my conclusion is not the corn pile vs plot - which one produces more deer. But the lack of pressure that I was creating while going in to dump corn vs letting the plot do its job and trusting it. Don't know if this will help you but this is what I observed while hunting this spot of the years. Other members on the property were seeing the same thing as always while I was getting a lot more deer activity.
     
  13. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    Another great reply.

    Unfortunately, pressure is hard to eliminate from the family farm. During the offseason, were riding ATVs, cutting wood, working on the plots, ect. During the season those activities cease, except for a once a week trail camera, scrape freshening, corn dump. And the hunting, obviously. I have 13 properties that touch my farm, a couple big ones, a lot of small ones. These properties generate more pressure than we do and its impossible to eliminate.

    I do agree wholeheartedly that reducing pressure would improve the daylight activity.
     
  14. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    Yes if I had a property that was multi purpose, I would do the same as you. Another thing to ponder ls to a certain point the deer get use to the activity, then when you guys start hunting do all your other stuff stop on the farm? Maybe it clues off the deer that when its all quiet on the farm they know something is up.

    Another question, Do the mature bucks ever hit the corn piles during day light and hunting season?
     
  15. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    The deer have become accustomed to ATV's. They will show up at cornpiles less than 2 hours after I dump on a regular basis.

    To answer your daylight mature buck question, the answer is yes, sparingly.

    On certain high pressure (30 and rising), cool evenings in late October/early Nov (23rd, 25th, 27th, 31st, 4th) I had multiple bucks killable at corn piles. They were most likely scent checking does, but none the less were killable in the evening hours (trail camera proof).

    Before that, totally random. No pattern. After that rut kicked in and the hunting was very good, just couldn't seal the deal.
     
  16. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    To add to the discussion, I think next year im going to plant a little more food (Add 2 or 3 more 1/4 plots to the existing 4 main plots), and bait slightly less. And only in 2 central locations as opposed to 4 spread out locations (farm is divided by a road, north and south side).

    The central feeding locations will give the deer 1 destination food source on each side of the farm, with multiple food plots to channel their travel to and from bedding areas.
     
  17. ruck139

    ruck139 Weekend Warrior

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    Didn't read any of this thread, but have an observation that surprised me this summer. A deer or three got into my garden over a two week period while we were away, and what they went after shocked me. They did not touch lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, or any herbs. They did eat both the fruit and leaves of pumpkin, squash, green beans, and melon. They also ate carrot and tomato plants. But of everything in there, they absolutely demolished a hydrangea bush, so bad they killed the plant!
    Just to finish up, my dirtbag neighbor, the poacher, his bait of choice is pumpkins, he buys the misshapen and damaged ones cheap, and he breaks them open and puts them around his stand, the one on the nature preserve, with the LED floodlight mounted on it. How this guy has not gotten pinched is beyond me. He's gotta be a cop or something.
     
  18. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    I know its hard to do because of the results you get, but it might be worth seeing the results you get with no corn for a year and see what happens. With the amount of plots your describing sounds like should have no problem holding them. Or try no corn on one side of road and see if there is any difference.

    I too like to get trail cam pics through out the year to just see whats out there. I stuck with mineral sites, food plots and scrapes this year and didn't get as many pics as over corn. But the quality of buck pics I did get was much better. I also had more sightings from the stand of deer that never walked in front of the cameras. I went with quality of pics over quantity this year and it paid off big time for my hunting season!
     
  19. Lester

    Lester Grizzled Veteran

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    Have you tried spreading corn in the plots?
     
  20. Okiebob

    Okiebob Grizzled Veteran

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    So last year I had great food plots for the fall filled with rye, winter peas, kale, turnips and chicory. I saw deer almost every sit. Lots of good does and bucks. This year, I had to work out of state from March until mid December so I did not get to put my plots in. I went ahead and bought two feeders and ran them from June and they are still going. I tried a few different types of feed, corn, roasted soybean, big tine(corn, sunflower, milo mix) and even put out some sweet feed occasionally. Plots are better in my experience. The food plot will hold your does throughout the year and they in turn attract the bucks. I hunt a property that has little to no crop land around for miles and miles. CRP and improved pastures for grazing is about as good as it gets. This year I am starting early making bigger plots and have plans for planting the edges with millet, corn and soy beans. In the middle I am doing summer plot mix and then turning that under to make fall plot mix. I am a farm boy stuck in a concrete jungle, luckily I have a lease and the owner lets me go buck wild planting.
     

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