the value of small secluded food plots

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by pastorandrew, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. pastorandrew

    pastorandrew Weekend Warrior

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    In February of 2012 I cleared a small quarter acre food plot on a high spot in the center of our swamp. I could see into the plot from a rifle stand a few hundred yards away. I put the plot in for one purpose killing deer in that location. I went in and put a culvert in through the swamp and creek, creating a high path to the plot. when I did it, I stood in it and told my wife, we are gonna shoot some giants in this thing. Little did I know how true that was.
    Struck again today in it, two straight years, late in rifle season I have harvested mature bucks in the plot as they fed in the early afternoon. today's buck followed a doe and fed into the plot. shot both these bucks within a matter of feet of same spot.

    I find the keys to these plots are to be able to get in and out clean. I like to bow hunt about fifty yards either coming to the plot of going from. using brush and tree tops is a great way to get them to enter and exit right where you want them to.
    this is the plot, its 100 yards from the main feeding field, with thick brush between it and the field, the perfect staging spot for a big boy that wants a snack before he hits the main fields after dark. So far it has been hugely successful! the buck in this pic is homeboy, he was a 3.5 yr old buck I passed that fall and my father harvested him 100 yards from this plot up the trail that exits it, know doubt he had fed through the plot just prior to dad shooting him.
    [​IMG]

    2013 buck 3.5 yr old 11 pt, 17 inch inside spread
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    2014 buck, 4.5 yr old 7pt 19.5 inch inside spread
    [​IMG]

    Over all small kill plots can be hugely successful, they are hard work, get pounded hard by deer, but when you walk up on that buck you hunted for 59 days, I will say this, it feels pretty darn good!
     
  2. TheChurchArchers

    TheChurchArchers Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Awesome deer congrats and yes those small plots are the best...i find the deer feel more confortable in them because its tighter and closer to cover.
     
  3. Scott/IL

    Scott/IL Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Awesome Andrew. Congrats.
     
  4. POWERHAWK_11

    POWERHAWK_11 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    You know how to do it right. Congrats.
     
  5. tynimiller

    tynimiller Legendary Woodsman

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    You know I'm a fan bud! Can't wait to connect some this off-season and just talk plotting and habitat manipulation (a visit is GONNA happen!).

    These small secluded plots do get hammered and one thing we've learned to always have handy is oats/rye for over-seeding or re-seeding for fresh growth always present in the plot. Something we have started doing and next year will take it to another level as we will do 3 stages of seeding in some of our plots from spring/summer through the fall. Again awesome buck bud, smiled wide when I got the text!
     
  6. jvanhees

    jvanhees Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Awesome deer! How big is the swamp that this sits in the middle of?
     
  7. pastorandrew

    pastorandrew Weekend Warrior

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    That plot sets in the middle of a finger between two woods that is probably 5 acres in size, the woods that connects on the north side is around 50 acres, the woods on the south side is 300 acres. the east side of it is grass and autumn olive with a cedar thicket that's probably 15 acres in size.
     
  8. pastorandrew

    pastorandrew Weekend Warrior

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    this is how the 40 acres lays out. the south rifle stand is the one we primarily hunt after the 15th of November, it can be entered and exited without spooking any deer, which is critical for success in the Michigan gun season! they need to think they are not being hunted. I find since I began hunting that blind my hunting only gets better after the gun season starts, and the second week of gun is twice as good as the first. It used to be that you never saw bucks after first few days of gun season! I built the stand in 2012, for three straight years we have had shots at mature bucks the second week of gun season, why? because we eliminated out pressure. we can basically drive right to the blind, after dark the deer see a vehicle start up and never think twice. Once late bow season hits I will hunt the plots again with a bow.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. jvanhees

    jvanhees Die Hard Bowhunter

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    That is awesome! Nice looking 40 acres. Where abouts are ya?

    I fully agree with the little-no pressure strategy. Just cant get everyone else to.
     
  10. pastorandrew

    pastorandrew Weekend Warrior

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    I am in Isabella county
     
  11. jvanhees

    jvanhees Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Oh that's a great county. I hunt near Weidman a few times a year.
     
  12. pastorandrew

    pastorandrew Weekend Warrior

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    were getting there, it has been a slow progression over the last twenty years! we have really made stride in the last ten though. The advancement in trail camera's has helped, when guys see what is running around there places at night its easier for them to not pull the trigger on smaller bucks! but that being said we have a long ways to go. I dream of a day when all my neighbors are shooting 4.5 yr old's!
     
  13. KillerC

    KillerC Weekend Warrior

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    What do you like to plant in these small kill plots?
     
  14. pastorandrew

    pastorandrew Weekend Warrior

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    It varies, I do some brassica blends, clover blends, and also some cereal grains.
     
  15. C0wb0yChris

    C0wb0yChris Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Working on a similar project on our farm. Glad to hear your hard work has paid off!
     
  16. nutritionist

    nutritionist Weekend Warrior

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    Kill plots are something more should look at. Jay Ellioff wrote in the 2013 Mathews edition of deer and deer hunting an article called "a man and his rake."

    IMG_1782(1).jpg

    The more sunlight the better...
    This is the time of year to be getting your lime down, as most woods areas are low in pH from the annual leaf drop. Also, the soil is tight, typically so an inclusion of humics isn't a bad idea, either.
     

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