The big food plot mystery...

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by Siman/OH, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    Why is it that the "average joe" food plots dont work as well as the ones we see on TV? Especially Brassicas?

    I know some of the obvious answers, but i want to have a good discussion about it.
     
  2. dbl lung

    dbl lung Weekend Warrior

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    Those on tv have much more money to throw at them.
     
  3. A5BLASTER

    A5BLASTER Weekend Warrior

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    My best quest would be because the average Joe Hunter doesn't put in near the time and effort to prep plant and maintain said food plots.

    And second but should have listed it first is the tv guys have the luck to plant and maintain their plots on land that sees much less pressure during and between seasons and the deer heard and surrounding land is better managed for deer and
    deer hunting.

    Me and dad did the all out food plot thing for five years on a lease we were on keep food plots year round put in water works to keep them with water and rotated plots with different plantings to keep the soil in tune and it didn't pay off really and the main reason in my mind is because every other member of that club shot the first deer that walked out and so did the leases that bordered ours.

    Also the land the lease was on is owned by a timber company and their wasn't any land managment that we could do to improve the habitat and therefore improve the herd.

    In my mind I believe this is why the average joe hunters food plots don't work like you see on tv.
     
  4. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    So your saying "location" is the #1 factor?
     
  5. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Nitrogen fertilization is one huge component of brassicas that many simply don't want to invest the majority in sometimes. This last year we had again some killer brassica plots but we fertilize at plantings and at minimum hit with Urea (pure nitrogen) late September as well.
     
  6. greatwhitehunter3

    greatwhitehunter3 Grizzled Veteran

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    Have tried brassicas 3 different years in a row now and have always grown great looking plants (tops and bulbs) and the deer don't touch them.
     
  7. OhioHunter72

    OhioHunter72 Newb

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    People on tv have farm managers,pallets and pallets of seed given to them from seed companies.


    Sent from my iPhone using Bowhunting.com Forums
     
  8. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    Good quality seed can be had from many sources and it only grows depending on many other variables.
     
  9. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

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    I've done a lot of plots, and have minimal equipment to do it. They almost always turn out.

    If people are not having good success, I'd say it's because they are doing it wrong. With an ATV and $700 worth of implements, you can grow killer plots of just about anything that doesn't have to be drilled (corn/beans). It all comes down to prep of the ground, timing your germination date right, PH, and fertilizer. It's not rocket science.
     
  10. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    Same boat. I have the equipment and the crops grow well most of the time.

    The deer just prefer the neighbors corn piles. Lol.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  11. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    The obvious answer is because what you see on TV is cherry picked to show viewers how good it works and how good the TV hunter is at making it work.
    Anyone that ever threw very much seed in the ground has had, and will continue to have, failures of every imaginable sort. If a person is keeping a video log and just chooses to share the successes without showing the failures then it's going to give a false impression. On TV, this is done with intent, intent to sell stuff....seed, fertilizer, equipment...sponsor related stuff.

    Like anything else, it depends on your point of view and how you as an individual determine what "success" means. Does success mean just killing a deer or does it mean killing a booner or a booner every year or does it mean simply helping the general herd health. Those determinations also play a role in the narrative a TV show/personality builds their show around.

    Also...a lot of stuff on TV is fake...so there's that.
     
  12. MGH_PA

    MGH_PA Moderator

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    I've had up and down years, but it's usually a result of weather or seeding timing (usually also a result of weather). If you prep the plot and provide adequate fertilizer lime, as long as your timing is right with regarding to time of year, temps, and rainfall, it's usually going to be successful.

    Deer utilization is a different story. They are definitely selective eaters if given the opportunity. Some plantings take a while for them to get accustomed to, and certain species will be hit as natural and/or existing ag is depleted.
     
  13. remmett70

    remmett70 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I would put this in the same category of why my garden doesn't produce like a farmers. I don't have the expertise, or the time or equipment. But the farmer also can't fix computers as well as I can.
     
  14. copperhead

    copperhead Grizzled Veteran

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    Basically resources and soil management.

    Resources in the time and money to do soil samples, incorporate lime and fertilizer into the soil and proper preparation of the soil.

    I have an ATV, a pull behind cultivator and groundhog disks to do the job. It will adequately break up the soil but take forever because it gets clogged.

    Last year I spent that time and my food plots came out awesome. I did soil samples, broke up the ground and put out lime and fertilizer as described in the soil report. My issue came with properly covering the seed. I used a old fence gate to drag across the plot.

    The average Joe can get a booming plot they just have to put the time and effort in to do it right not just break up the ground and toss down some seed.
     
  15. copperhead

    copperhead Grizzled Veteran

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    If you don't mind me asking what implements are you using now?
     
  16. Siman/OH

    Siman/OH Legendary Woodsman

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    I think you guys are misunderstanding the point of my post. My plots (and alot of guys plots) look awesome. Its not to discuss "growing" plots.

    They just dont get USED like on TV. The post is to discuss the myth of "If you build it they will come".

    On TV, a 1/2 acre big and beasty plot has 20 does and a 150 in it every night...
     
  17. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

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    My gear is below.........I did 5x plots this year. 4x of them were 1/4-1/3 an acre in size, and the one big one was about 1.25 acres.

    Grizzly 660
    Groundhog Max disc ($400)
    Fimco 15 gallon ATV boom sprayer ($215)
    Agri-Fab 130lb tow spreader ($179 - for fertilizer and lime)
    Hand crank over the shoulder spreader ($30 - for seed)
    Cheapo drag I made from angle iron, chain link fence, pressure treated 4x4, and zip ties (Maybe $30?)
     
  18. Rick James

    Rick James Grizzled Veteran

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    You need a couple of things in my opinion. It has to be an area that holds big deer if you want to see or shoot big deer. It also has to be the type of food they want to eat in that location.

    I have mixed results with different brassicas. Some properties they get hammered, others they won't touch them. Last year I had two properties with plots in different counties. Both properties had the same radish mix for a late season plot. One spot got pounded, they wouldn't touch the other. The spot they wouldn't eat the radishes had another bean plot that got obliterated. This year, behind my house they wouldn't touch the brassicas behind my house, but crushed the chicory. The other two properties I planted with brassicas got mowed to the dirt.

    Deer are fickle eaters. I've found that clover, chicory, and beans seem to be some of the few things they will always eat though. Everything else is hit or miss. If they will eat brassicas, it's a fantastic plot because it produces so much food per acre and the right type of brassica (radishes) will often get eaten from early Oct clean into the spring.

     
  19. usmc0317

    usmc0317 Weekend Warrior

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    The statement "If the build it they will come" happens or doesn't happen for two reasons.
    1. You have deer
    2. Your food is better than other options

    If your deer heard is small the competition for food isn't as much of a factor. Also the rut doesn't take a greater toll on bucks competing with a lower deer herd and recovery afterwords is not eat or die. If you don't have the sheer numbers you just wont see the 50 deer in a 2 acre plot like you do on TV regardless of how lush your plot is.

    If the surrounding food available is better than what you have you wont have the numbers either. I'm lucky enough to be able to lease a farm in an awesome location with a high deer density as well as consistently producing mature bucks. Our neighbors are all farmers as well as hunters but non plant "food plots". Being surrounded with 300 acres of corn and soybeans until mid-october results in 4-12 deer in the plots every evening. When the fields are cut it grows to around 12-20 per evening. When the first 6" of snow hit the ground it suddenly becomes 20-50 deer every evening.

    Our 7 acres we plant in the summer becomes the BEST and most limited food source in the area. Having the best available food is what becomes the ticket. Many of the TV shows have the combination of Best Available & Deer Density.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  20. copperhead

    copperhead Grizzled Veteran

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    Another contributing factor is the availability of natural forage like acorns. The years the acorns are sparse come late evening the fields will start filling with deer. If they are thick you better find the tree they favor or things are gonna be sparse. I don't care if you have a lush thick perfectly sweet plot acorns trump them all.
     

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